Computing students succeed at blockchain innovation

BCIT students love hands-on learning, which is one reason why sixteen Computer Systems Technology students participated at the inaugural 48-hour blockchain hackathon in Vancouver this summer. The software development students were able to explore blockchain technology and create innovative solutions to the problems presented, and they were rewarded with two top placements and a People’s Choice Award at MachoHacks.

48-hour hackathon focusing on blockchain solutions

Hackathons are typically 48-hour computing competitions which take place to innovate or challenge the way things are being done currently. This recent hackathon, set in the Westin Bayshore Hotel and hosted by research and development firm Machobear, set out to have students challenge the current blockchain ecosystem. Examples of challenges posed by the firm included improving commercial adoption of blockchains, innovating shorter faster and expandable chains, and solving the problems of proof of work or proof of stake.

Judges for this hackathon included technical experts from the Machobear team, product manager Derick Hsieh and manager of software development Fuad Arafa; the president and CEO of Concord Pacific, Terry Hui; and former president of Electronic Arts, now venture capitalist, Paul Lee.

Success through innovation

At the event, the students were flexing their innovation muscles as they came up with and applied ideas using blockchains towards transparent lottery systems, educational document verification, enhancing trust in the perishable foods supply chain, un-hackable games, and self-motivation tools. Students joined random teams which enabled them to meet blockchain enthusiasts from other organizations.

“Not only were we pushing and stretching what we’ve learned in the classroom, we were also exploring further beyond our studies into this new technology,” explained participant Justin Cervantes.

There was a BCIT student member on the team that took first place honours – as well as the People’s Choice Award – for its perishable foods supply chain project. Another student was on the fourth-placing team with a crypto lottery project.

BCIT students are in the process of developing a Blockchain at BCIT club so they can keep learning and developing in this exciting area.

Thanks to Justin Cervantes, CST student and Student Association Chair of the School of Computing and Academic Studies, for this blog post.

Leave a comment