Eleven Global Cities to Participate in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017

Eleven Global Cities Announce Participation in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017

The Blockchain Education Network (BEN), a global network of blockchain communities, has announced a global Bitcoin Airdrop powered by bitJob to begin this new school year. Fintech communities and universities in 11 regions have agreed to participate including McGill University and the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada; UC Berkeley, Wake Forest University and St. Petersburg in the United States; University of Queensland in Australia; Trivandrum and Bangalore in India; St. Petersburg in Russia; and Puerto Rico and Colombia.

The first airdrop event begins on August 11 in Colombia, where Jorge Pérez, the director of BEN Colombia, is hosting a meeting at a restaurant. The airdrop then moves to St. Petersburg in Russia on August 16, where the giveaway is being held in unison with the ICO-Hypethon, an ICO-focused hackathon where blockchain developers will build infrastructure around ICOs to pitch to investors. The airdrop will continue on to other campuses and cities until the network has distributed the entire amount of donations.

Rodion Mikhalev, the director of BEN Russia and one of the organizers of the ICO-Hypethon, explained in a statement that “the Hypethon is a mix between a hackathon [and] an accelerator. It’s a 48-hour event hosted by Crypto Friends, where Eberhard Lindfordt will screen the top 20 projects out of hundreds of applicants. Teams chosen will receive help from experienced [b]lockchain experts which will help them finalize their business and lead them into successful ICO launches.

“There will also be ICO angels ready to invest their money into projects on the spot and whom will receive additional bonus coins if done so at the event. This is the perfect event in Russia to host the airdrop and to distribute bitcoins to the hundreds of innovators who will pass by in the 48-hour window, and we are excited to participate in it! This is a very rare and exciting opportunity which will attract some of Russia’s best talent and will pave the way to a better future worldwide.”

Alberto Jauregui, the director of growth of the Blockchain Education Network, said in a statement that he believes the “Bitcoin Airdrop serves as an engine to introduce students to the disruptive blockchain industry and incentivize them to band together to form new BEN chapters or regions.”

Last year, Jauregui hosted a small airdrop outside the main library at the University of South Florida and hid paper wallets throughout the campus. This year, he plans to coordinate an airdrop alongside a BitCrawl on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. The date is to be announced. “Who doesn’t like free Bitcoin?” Jauregui added. BitCrawl is an event started in Montreal by the McGill Students Cryptocurrency Club and then continued by the Decentralized Tech Association at the University of Toronto, in which a main street agrees to accept bitcoin for an evening and a group of blockchain enthusiasts go between different venues.

High schools are also going to be giving away bitcoin at this airdrop. Sunrose Billing, the director of BEN’s high school network, said in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine that “blockchain [technology] and cryptocurrencies are really taking off and will absolutely continue to grow at a rapid pace. That’s clear when you see teenagers day trading, analyzing macro landscapes and taking the time to educate themselves about innovation in this space in their spare time.” Billing plans to airdrop bitcoin to his friends at University of Toronto School, a high school in Toronto, and he expects that many of his friends at other high schools will join this year’s event.

The title sponsor of the event is bitJob, a decentralized marketplace based on blockchain technology that connects students with part-time work. BitJob has already partnered with many of the blockchain clubs at the participating campuses of the airdrop, including McGill University and the Richard Ivey School of Business, that have agreed to seed the marketplace with the first students looking for work on projects that can help them become fully employed in the blockchain industry.

“It is a true honor to be sponsoring the 2017 Blockchain Education Network’s Global Bitcoin Airdrop across university campuses. BitJob shares a similar mandate with BEN to empower students and give them the necessary tools to compete in today’s marketplace. This year’s event is shaping up to be the largest ever as the popularity of Bitcoin and [b]lockchain [technology] continues to rise globally,” said Dror Medalion, co-founder and CEO of bitJob, in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine.

The airdrop is being supported by blockchain media firms Blockchain TV and BTC Media, digital identity startup DIID and blockchain consulting and development firm MLG Blockchain.

“I am very excited to be a sponsor in this year’s Blockchain Education Network’s global Bitcoin Airdrop 2017. BEN is a driving force behind empowering the youth of tomorrow, which makes for a great story to tell!” said James Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain TV, in a statement.

The post Eleven Global Cities to Participate in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017 appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Moscow’s Blockchain Hackathon Reflects Booming Blockchain Industry in Russia

Moscow's Blockchain Hackathon Reflects Booming Blockchain Industry in Russia

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed interest in Ethereum at his meeting with Vitalik Buterin at the World Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg, the blockchain industry in Russia has been quick to heat up. The Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Saint Petersburg was held in June, followed immediately by a blockchain-focused hackathon called BlockchainHack in Moscow, with 150 people in attendance competing for $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.   

The hackathon took place at the Paveletsky Art Center, a massive building in downtown Moscow that has become the de facto hub for blockchain technology in Russia, with an increasing number of blockchain developers and enthusiasts who work out of it. The event was jointly organized by BTC Media, Qtum, Zerion, Waves, the Token Fund and Blockchain School, with additional support from the community in Russia.

The teams presented ambitious demos with winning topics including a mobile application to track and invest into ICOs; an arbitration service based on smart contracts and a reputation system; facial recognition software to determine what ICOs and blockchain projects a blockchain developer has been involved in and is currently active with; among others.

The winning team, Wafer, presented a demo and vision of creating a distributed Wi-Fi network using blockchain technology. They effectively allow routers to sell traffic without being tied to a particular software on the device. It uses smart contracts to ensure that users all pay for their traffic and that a user is guaranteed to get access to the internet after payment.

Qtum was the largest sponsor of the hackathon, and with members of the Qtum Foundation in attendance, many of the developers deployed their applications to Ethereum as well as Qtum. Qtum is a hybrid blockchain that merges the UTXO transaction model of Bitcoin with the EVM on Ethereum. It began as a fork of Bitcoin and the team added in an abstraction layer to integrate the EVM, ultimately allowing any developer tool built for Ethereum to also be available on Qtum, including Solidity smart contracts and Web3. Because of this, many of the decentralized applications presented were built on Ethereum as well as deployed to the Qtum testnet.

Prize money was awarded in Qtum tokens, Waves tokens and ether (ETH): as the grand prize winner, Wafer took home 5,000 Qtum tokens, valued at over $50,000. Qtum also awarded two other teams with 2,500 and 1,000 tokens for second and third prize.

Waves awarded their top three picks with 500 Waves, 300 Waves and 100 Waves, respectively. The winning Waves team developed a platform that uses facial recognition software for investors to quickly determine which ICO projects a person has been involved in.

The winning project in the Ethereum category, as selected by Zerion, created an interface for investors to quickly invest in multiple ICOs, and was awarded 10 ETH.

Patrick Dai, the cofounder of the Qtum project, said to Bitcoin Magazine, “We can see why this was the largest blockchain hackathon in Russia. Lots of developers brought new ideas to the table. We want to promote these projects that can bring the world closer together and spur innovation. We think that’s the purpose of blockchain technology, and it’s our purpose at Qtum.”

Alex Bash, one of the cofounders of Zerion, told Bitcoin Magazine, “I personally was really inspired by the idea of Wafer, a team that implemented a protocol that allows users and routers to share internet [access]. Their idea is based on smart contracts that guarantee the fair prices and conditions for both parties. Also the Lapti team who developed a product that processes various cryptocurrencies, generates a hot wallet for each user and aggregates their payments to a single wallet after collection of statistics and analytics.”

Every one of the 25 teams that participated presented a demo of the software they had created over the weekend.

“Overall, I think it’s a good result for the hackathon, that most of the teams not only came up with interesting ideas, but developed real products and solutions during the weekend,” said Bash.

Rodion Mikhalev, the director of the Blockchain Education Network in Russia, attended both the conference in Saint Petersburg and the hackathon in Moscow. He said that he expects the community in Russia will continue to grow very quickly.

“The Russian Government approved the entire concept of cryptocurrencies a few weeks ago, and a new industry in Russia has been unleashed surrounding blockchain technology,” Mikhalev told Bitcoin Magazine. “At the hackathon, we witnessed something new and extraordinary: a combination of smarts and digital innovation and a sense that through the evolution of blockchain technology, we will see Russia quickly rise as a powerhouse in the tech world. There will be a lot of positive products and services adapted to blockchain technology at a rapid pace.”

What happens next in regard to blockchain development in Russia remains to be seen, as there are still few blockchain companies that operate in the country. One thing we can be certain of though is that the technology is now high on their radar.

The post Moscow’s Blockchain Hackathon Reflects Booming Blockchain Industry in Russia appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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University Student Involvement Supports Australia’s Booming Blockchain Community

University Student Involvement Supports Australia’s Booming Blockchain Community

The blockchain industry is booming in Australia recently after the Australian Tax Office (ATO) announced changes to tax laws in the 2017–2018 budget summary by the Australian government, surrounding how digital currencies are treated in the country. In the few weeks since the announcement, active blockchain communities and events such as RegHack DownUnder have launched across the country, supported by universities and government regulators.

Australia has traditionally held strict tax laws when it comes to how they handle bitcoin and other digital currencies, defining bitcoin as a separate asset class to fiat currency and requiring that transactions involving digital currencies are taxed twice by the Australian Tax Office. The new budget summary removes any general sales tax made more than once in the supply chain using digital currency, in an attempt to “make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia” and to grow their nascent community into a global innovation hub.

The summary states, “The Government is committed to establishing Australia as a leading global financial technology (FinTech) hub and is announcing a new package that aims to position our local fintech industry as a world leader.”

This new regulatory environment has spurred growth in the community, from university campuses all the way up to the government regulators. Students have begun to launch clubs at universities across the country, and regulators and business executives have begun to take notice.

“We’re excited blockchain [technology] can finally move to our campus and Australia in a big way. There’s been a significant increase in interest from the community in the past few weeks,“ said Ryan Pousson, the regional head of the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) in Brisbane and the founder of the UQ Blockchain Club, in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine. This perspective was echoed by Jared Piper, a region head of the Blockchain Education Network in Melbourne.

Aaron Schwartz, the director of global engagement at BEN and partner at MLG Capital, told Bitcoin Magazine, “It’s super exciting to be part of a decentralized organization like BEN that is doing something unique with a swarm-style model. We are quickly spreading to countries all across the world with new chapters opening up across Australia, Colombia, Nigeria and Bangalore, just to name a few. We encourage anyone in a blockchain community around the world to reach out to get started growing their local community.”

On the weekend of May 12–14, government representatives in the energy sector and banking executives in the financial services industry came together to judge RegHack DownUnder. The brightest developers, UI/UX designers and entrepreneurs across Australia were encouraged to spend the weekend in Melbourne to develop blockchain technology solutions to solve some of the problems it faces in these two heavily regulated sectors.

In advance of the hackathon, Adam Lemmon, a blockchain expert from Toronto, flew down to Melbourne to present an overview of Ethereum development and Solidity to the community. Following the event, Lemmon said, “RegHack was an amazing experience and it was inspiring to see such a young blockchain community so excited about the technology.”

Chami Akmeemana, the organizer of RegHack DownUnder, predicts a fast growth in the community. He said to Bitcoin Magazine following the event: “It was a mammoth success. Close to 100 participants spent three days exploring tech solutions to regulatory issues. We now have 100+ blockchain enthusiasts, that I expect [will grow] to over 1000+ by the end of the year. I’m hoping to see some world-class blockchain applications coming out of Australia and I’m stoked to be part of this boost to the ecosystem.”

The regulators in Australia are on board too with this digital transformation. Igor Simunovic, a representative from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), said in a statement following the event that “the event provided opportunity for industry (including government) and freelancers/students/developers to meet, integrate and share through the problem solving required to address the Hackathon ‘problems.’ Such meeting and teamwork opportunities are rare and often bound by the [confines] of conferences or meet-ups. The process of discovering new technologies and frameworks was just a bonus.”

It is still the beginning in the growth trajectory of the blockchain community in Australia, but it is an exciting time to be part of a global movement. For example, in the few months following November’s RegHack TO, the first hackathon hosted by a securities regulator in Canada and inspired by Chami Akmeemana, the number of people attending meetups in Toronto has tripled from 200 to over 700 at the most recent blockchain meetup in Toronto. Getting the entire community on board from universities to business executives to government regulators is an important milestone for any community striving to become a blockchain hub.

The post University Student Involvement Supports Australia’s Booming Blockchain Community appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Distributed: Trade Blockchain Hackathon Offers $25k in Prizes for Supply Chain and Finance Use Cases

BTC Media, the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine, and SixThirty recently announced a 24-hour blockchain hackathon with $25,000 in prize…

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