The Blockchain for Social Good contest, announced in December 2017 by the European Commission (EC) and offering a EUR 5 million top prize is open. However, details about the rules were yet to come within the next few weeks, a spokesperson for the EC told Cryptonews.com without elaborating on the delay. Originally, detailed rules had to be announced in February.
The competition seeks entries from those who can propose solutions for public issues, leveraging the technology to provide a mix of greater transparency and decentralization. According to the EC, blockchain technology "has mainly been used to develop financial applications (such as the controversial Bitcoin)", whereas it has a "strong potential for revolutionary innovations that can be beneficial for the society."
The Commission is clear on the difficulty of this contest, saying, “This challenge is targeted at a wide range of actors: individuals, social entrepreneurs, civil society organisations, research centres from technological and social disciplines, creative industries, students, hackers, start-ups and SMEs. Tackling this challenge requires multidisciplinary expertise.”
The prize of EUR 5 million will be distributed evenly between the five best projects, to be announced in the first quarter of 2020.
The Commission has also announced examples of what projects they are looking for:
– Ensure fair trade conditions – traceability of production processes over the whole supply chain.
– Greater transparency – in public spending and administration.
– Democratic decision-making – improving citizens’ participation.
– Collaborative economy – harnessing decentralised social networks or platforms.
– Manage property or education records – for students, refugees etc.
– Financial inclusion – developing tools such as social currencies.
Mariya Gabriel, commissioner for Digital Economy and Society emphasized that, “our society needs new solutions to sustainability challenges, which are more inclusive and effective than traditional approaches. This prize rewards the social innovators pioneering decentralised applications of the emerging blockchain technologies to create positive change in the society.”
Source: The European Commission
The contest adds to funding the economic bloc’s governing bodies have already committed to supporting the tech. The EU has already invested more than EUR 5 million in blockchain startups last year, funding at least six companies through their Horizon 2020 initiative.