During yesterday’s closing ceremony for the Blockathon Ireland hackathon, Clodagh McCarthy Luddy and Rosa Devine were awarded the top prize for their blockchain-based solution, demonstrating the potential of blockchain to improve services offered by the Government of Ireland. The two-day event, which was hosted by The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, in association with The Department of Finance, took place in Dublin’s Innovation Academy, bringing together a range of technical teams with the aim of identifying and exploring solutions to real problems using blockchain technology.

Following an assessment carried out by the hackathon judges, Team ‘AiL’, made up of Clodagh McCarthy Luddy and Rosa Devine, received the top prize of €5,000 for their proposal around the utilisation of blockchain technology to timestamp files submitted to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). This tool allowed for data to be tracked and recorded across multiple stakeholders in a transparent and secure manner, thereby helping to reduce errors and increase trust between the CSO and its stakeholders. Meanwhile, ‘The Buidlers’, a team submitted by ConsenSys, secured second place with their ‘TravelPort’ solution that demonstrated how a decentralised, frictionless toll collection mechanism for vehicles could be achieved. Finally, third place was awarded to ‘Block Pirates’ for their medical device tracking solution. The second and third placedThese teams received €2,500 and €1,000 in prize money respectively.

Commenting on the weekend’s activities, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said, “This weekend’s Hackathon has been a truly rewarding and engaging experience for all involved, and underlines our commitment to develop a deeper understanding of how blockchain may be harnessed to improve current processes, citizen user experience, and cross-sectoral efficiency. I would like to sincerely thank each team for their participation. They have all played their part in helping to accelerate the pursuit of Irish blockchain innovation.”

The Blockathon set out a number of business problems, ranging from medical device tracking in the HSE, to verifying CSO data and tracking State Aid for Enterprise Ireland. The nine participating teams were tasked with developing blockchain-based solutions, which were reviewed under the following four strands; Innovation, Relevance, Solution, and Proof of Concept (POC). A diverse field of mentors and judges was assembled to ensure the winning team achieved the highest standards in the above four categories.

Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan T.D. said, “The success of this weekend’s Blockathon represents the culmination of extensive preparation, and illustrates the depth of blockchain talent being nurtured on home soil. All the teams here today have displayed an acute ability to harness a complex technology and fine-tune their solution accordingly, impressing our carefully selected judges and mentors. I’m very excited to see the solution progress to the next phase of development.”

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