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.

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

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.

UAE Can Save Over $3B by Deploying Blockchain, New Research Reveals

The deployment of blockchain technology can save the United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than $3 billion, according to new findings.

The findings were revealed in a white paper entitled “Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain: Case Studies and Learning from the United Arab Emirates”, Emirates News Agency reported on Jan. 15.

The paper was prepared by the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution UAE – a multi-stakeholder operation focused on science and technology – the Dubai Future Foundation and the World Economic Forum.

Sectors identify priorities for deploying blockchain

The white paper aimed to understand the current level of blockchain application, key challenges and success factors associated with the technology. More than 100 organizations from over 60 governmental and non-governmental entities that already use blockchain participated in the study.

The vast majority – 80% – of the surveyed government entities named early-stage identification of applicable blockchain solutions as the most important factor in deploying the technology.

For large organizations, the success of blockchain deployment relied on a clearly defined scope, roles and responsibilities within projects.

As for the public sector, education and alignment with stakeholders appeared to be the most critical challenge when it comes to blockchain implementation, with the private sector noting regulatory uncertainty as a key concern.

By integrating blockchain into their operations, the UAE government can also drastically reduce paperwork, eliminating 398 million printed documents and 77 million work hours per year, the analysis stated.

The UAE’s focus on blockchain

With reported 80% of public and private sector entities already using blockchain, the UAE has apparently dove headlong into the sector. The UAE, along with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is leading the charge when it comes to positive crypto and blockchain legislation. As blockchain author Sukhi Jutla previously told Cointelegraph:

“The UAE has been smart enough to understand that this innovation will grow in years to come and they don’t want to miss it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the UAE becomes the leading nation in this space just as they did with the oil and property space.”

Over the past several months, the UAE has launched a number of blockchain-related initiatives, including the Digital Silk Road which aims to digitize the trade process, the development of the country’s first financial document exchange platform based on the tech, and the Silsal blockchain project with the objective to provide greater security, transparency and efficiency in shipping and logistics.

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