UAE’s Social Ministry to Grant $16K in Blockchain Contest

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) will host a competition for developing blockchain software in the social sector.

Driving blockchain for awareness and social care

The MOCD announced its “Social Blockathon” competition with a total prize fund of $16,300 to encourage the development of blockchain-based applications for educational, social and recreational purposes, the country’s official news agency, Emirates News Agency, reported on Oct. 6.

According to the report, the contest submissions are open till Feb. 20, 2020, with the Blockathon inviting programmers, graphic and interface designers to compete in building blockchain software in the areas of awareness and social care. The contest was announced by the MOCD during GITEX Technology Week held at the Dubai World Trade Center from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10.

According to the report, the MOCD will reward the contest winners in UAE’s fiat currency, the dirham (AED), granting the first-place winner 30,000 AED ($8,200), while the second and third places will receive 20,000 AED ($5,400) and 10,000 AED ($2,700) respectively. The winners will be announced during the UAE Innovation Month in February 2020.

Within the “Social Blockathon” competition, participants will be challenged to develop blockchain-enabled apps within a limited period of time and will not be allowed to use pre-designed software and applications, the report notes.

The MOCD is responsible for developing and implementing social policies and legislation for social policies in the UAE. It also oversees social welfare institutions and sets certain policies pertaining to marriage and other aspects of life in the Emirates. 

UAE embracing blockchain

The MOCD is seeking to improve the social development in the country by striving to meet objectives of the national development agenda, Emirates Vision 2021, which sets the key topics for the social and economic development of the UAE and calls for a shift to a diversified and knowledge-based economy. In November 2018, the ministry rolled out a proof-of-concept based on the ProximaX Sirius blockchain in a move to start implementing blockchain initiatives.

In September, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention launched a blockchain system for recording and sharing healthcare data. Earlier this year, the Dubai Land Department, the real estate division of the Executive Council of Dubai, partnered with UAE-based Mashreq Bank to release a blockchain-based mortgage platform.