Hacking the North: Blockmason at North America’s Premier Hackathon
Hello, Blockmason community!
Over the past weekend, we were working hard at Hack The North building new relationships and strengthening existing ones. We have several things to talk about and are excited about some upcoming announcements.
We started off the weekend at the offices of Ernst & Young. Ernst & Young are a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, England, United Kingdom. While we were there, we had the opportunity to discuss and demo Link with their enterprise blockchain architect specialist who was impressed by Link and enthusiastic to help us chart the next stage of Link development, which includes enterprise-grade and enterprise-compliant features. We will share more news as our development team gets to work building out these new features. We are hoping to continue this relationship and are excited to be working with such a well-established organization.
If you want to know more about Ernst & Young you can visit their website at https://www.ey.com/
Before Hack the North began we also had the opportunity to meet up with our existing partners, CryptoChicks and DevHub, in Toronto. Coming out of those two meetings we have several new developer-centric educational initiatives we will be working on that will expand the Link user base and empower more developers to work with blockchain technology, such as the Credit Protocol. As we work closely with these two education partners, we continue to engage their growing developer community.
Finally, after several meetings in Toronto, we descended upon the University of Waterloo for opening ceremonies on Friday and for the start of the 36-hour hackathon.
Hack the North is the premier hackathon in North America. With 1,500 competitors and sponsors such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, it was a huge event, and we are extremely proud of our team showcasing Link for the first time on the global stage. At Hack the North, despite standing next to these behemoths of the tech industry, we excelled and were the most popular, most used blockchain development technology sponsor at the event.
Link enables and simplifies the creation of microservices that seamlessly interact blockchains through web APIs with no special libraries, tools, need to run nodes, or even really any blockchain experience required.
We had several high-achieving teams use Blockmason Link during the competition, and we wanted to highlight a few of the projects that stood out.
MAS (Multi-media Alert System)
MAS is a program made to connect people around the world by using social media to map man-made and natural disasters in real-time. Facebook Graph API was used to scrape Facebook posts and the Twitter API was used to get statuses streaming with disaster filters. They used a homemade ML model using Tensorflow (trained on Google Cloud) to classify the statuses as disaster-related or not. Then they used the Microsoft Azure API to get location and name entities from the tweets. Using machine learning algorithms, they narrowed down the most accurate posts and classifies them based on the disaster (labels include earthquakes, explosions, etc.). These events are now displayed in real-time on an interactive map.
Read more about MAS here https://devpost.com/software/mas
CharityChain is a platform that allows users to donate to charities and see exactly what their money is being spent. All transactions, including both donations and charity expenditures, are tracked on a public Ethereum blockchain. This makes transaction information immutable, secure, and totally transparent. Users get to stay anonymous, while charities are put on blast. They make it easy to be generous and hard to be greedy.
On the user’s end, it’s easy to log in and donate to the charities they care about. Everyone can see a breakdown of how a charity on the platform has been spending the money that it has acquired. On a user’s own profile, they can trace exactly what each donation has been spent on, thanks to the public ledger.
On the charity’s end, it’s easy to begin using CharityChain as a source of donations. A charity simply connects their bank account and can use money accrued from donations on CharityChain to reimburse any payments on their account.
Read more about Charity Chain here https://devpost.com/software/charitychain
FlySafe uses blockchain to secure all of your most important travel documents and cards. Your personal information can be accessed remotely with a facial recognition scan. Additionally, the app allows you to quickly find pertinent locations on the move, including hotels, airports, hospitals, and embassies. Finally, the currency tool allows the user to quickly view relevant currency information.
Read more about FlySafe here https://devpost.com/software/flysafe-p41k2j
TD Rewards platform is a loyalty rewards program that helps students earn crypto coins whenever they make use of TD Bank Services such as a debit or credit card. These coins can be further used to purchase discount coupons for outlets which they usually visit. TD Bank can analyze customer transaction data to suggest coupons based on a user’s spending habits.
By utilizing this application, students can save a lot on monthly expenses and increase customer incentives to stay with TD. Customers can also donate to charities directly through the application which will reward users with crypto coins. Also, there is also an integration with Amazon Alexa which lets you check the balance in your Rewards account.
Read more about TD Rewards here https://devpost.com/software/td-reward-s
Meerkat is a decentralized blockchain web application that tracks Cloud Service Providers’ uptime. Currently, consumers have no way of deciding whether or not a Cloud Service Provider is reliable. The sources of information are either centralized (a Cloud Service Provider’s own assertion, E.g. 99.9% uptime), or without basis (word of mouth, general reputation). In short, there is a lack of transparency in the cloud service industry, frustrating consumers and causing them to make the wrong decisions.
Read more about Meerkat here https://devpost.com/software/meerkat-95z6hb
This was our first year as a sponsor at Hack the North and we were completely blown away by the talent, energy, and creativity of all the hackers. A big thank you to the event organizers and all the participants for such an incredible event!
We will continue to expand on the results of Hack the North throughout the week, until then, thanks for checking in.