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Featured image: Unlock the Block blockchain Hackathon winners (Supplied)

Team behind water saving solution wins special prize at blockchain hackathon

SudoTesla has been announced as one of the winners at the Unlock the Block blockchain Hackathon at an awards ceremony in Cape Town last week Thursday (1 February).

The team developed a system which transfers water tokens via the Ethereum network to smart meters, compensating users for water they save.

SudoTesla won a month-long residency at the Absa Rise facility at the Woodstock Exchange, where it is expected to further develop the project.

The hackathon, which was hosted by Linum Labs and the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM), last week culminated in a Blockchain Symposium which was attended by roughly 80 participants from around the world.

Four winners were awarded prizes at the hackathon with the first prize being split between BlockPoll and Proof of Steak

In a press release yesterday, the team’s leader, Michael Sanne said that although it was challenging, he hoped it would be possible to bring such a project to fruition one day.

“Water is a scarce resource, and this solution aims to help manage that resource,” he said.

The overall first prize of R100 000 was split between BlockPoll for its open-source and secure blockchain voting system, and Proof of Steak for its peer-to-peer lending platform.

In addition, a team from Berlin, EWAN, won a special prize for innovation for its curation market application.

“The event has shown us two things, firstly that the applications of blockchain technology in improving people’s lives in Africa are immense and second, it is much easier to build those applications than many people think — we just need to work together,” said Linum Labs founder Paul Kohlhaas.

One of the judges, AIFMRM associate professor Co-Pierre Georg, said with the economy moving towards the fourth industrial revolution, there was a need to provide scarce skills to ensure economic leadership.

“There is therefore a need to think outside the box. Something clicked in our minds. This led to the hackathon,” said Georg.

He added that collaborations and partnerships such as the one between Linum Labs and AIFMRM would continue to address the need for scarce skills.

The 10-day long Unlock the Block blockchain Hackathon saw participants go through a five-day bootcamp where they learnt some of these scarce skills, including how to develop blockchain applications.

During the bootcamps, participants were exposed to fintech trends and the blockchain tools needed to develop decentralised applications and protocols. Topics covered included Bitcoin and Ethereum among other cryptocurrencies.

Featured image: Unlock the Block blockchain Hackathon winners and organisers, front from left: Una Singo, Kelly Parkhurst, Christopher Maree, Brandon Kenley Verkerk, IordanTchaparov , Kavilan Nair, Kungela Mzuku, Kyle Roos. Back from left: Sean Mouton, Julien Eluard , Co-Pierre Georg, Paul Kohlhaus, and Andrew Tudhope. (Supplied)