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Smart Dubai announces third round of Global Blockchain Challenge

Challenge aims to find startups to help transform Dubai into a blockchain-powered city

Smart Dubai announces third round of Global Blockchain Challenge
Dubai needs a holistic blockchain system to become a truly smart city, says Dr Aisha.

Smart Dubai has announced the launch of the third round of the Global Blockchain Challenge.

The challenge, which is held in partnership with Dubai Future Accelerators, aims to find startups with new ideas to help Dubai become a fully ‘blockchain-powered' city by 2020.

The contest brings startup finalists to Dubai, to participate in a five-day program in April. Teams will take part in a pitch competition held as part of the Future Blockchain Summit, with the goal of finding solutions to contribute to the implementation of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020.

The winning team will receive a prize of $20,000, with $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third.

The competition will be held at the Future Blockchain Summit, taking place on April 2-3, 2019, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, where teams shortlisted in the preliminary stages will be invited to come to Dubai and begin training with DFA ahead of the final Blockchain Challenge Presentation and Awarding Ceremony. Earlier in May 2018, the Future Blockchain Summit attracted 8,143 attendees, 140+ speakers, and more than 130 start-ups and entrepreneurs from 130 countries.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, said: "Dubai has established itself, and in record time, as a global destination for innovators and entrepreneurs in the Blockchain industry. Guided by the vision of our leadership, the emirate has become synonymous with bravely embracing avant-garde technologies and utilising them to create an advanced, connected and seamless urban experience for its residents and visitors."

"To build a truly smart city," she continued, "we must establish and empower a holistic Blockchain ecosystem. This includes building the advanced infrastructure for the technology to thrive, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to attract talented and ambitious individuals and start-ups and empower them to implement their innovations - and that is the essence of the Blockchain Challenge, which now holds its third instalment."

Dr Aisha added: "The competition allows us to source highly skilled individuals with innovative and ambitious ideas, and bring them to Dubai where they can pilot their projects to channel Blockchain technology towards addressing people's needs and improving their lives. Building this ecosystem is a catalyst for the Dubai Paperless Strategy and the transition to a paperless government by the year 2021, as well as a key requirement for successfully implementing the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, in October 2016."

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy revolves around three main pillars: First, increasing government efficiency by transferring all applicable government transactions to the Blockchain network; second, creating a blockchain industry and ecosystem; and finally, leading the thinking and advancement of Blockchain technology around the world. The Blockchain Challenge will contribute to the Strategy's industry creation pillar by identifying the most innovative Blockchain ideas from start-ups around the world and bringing them to Dubai.

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