The European Union (EU) is offering a EUR 100,000 prize to the winning team of an upcoming blockchain hackathon.
The event is scheduled to take place June this year in Brussels, jointly held by the European Commission, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and its Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. Participants will compete to develop the best blockchain-based integrated solution to counterfeiting.
Dubbed the “blockathon”, the EU agencies have worked jointly to assemble the event, with the premise of discovering the most talented developers. The blockathon will focus specifically on tech applications that enforce intellectual property rights, with the winner entitled to a prize of EUR 100,000 (approximately USD 124,000).
The EU agencies involved in organizing the event stated that the competition is necessary to find a solution to the issue of counterfeit products in the European market. They estimate that 43 million EU citizens purchased counterfeit goods unknowingly last year, with current preventive systems inefficient and working in silos that criminal networks use to their advantage.
The executive director of the EUIPO, Antonio Campinos, believes that blockchain could be the solution to this problem: “The EUIPO is determined to explore the potential of blockchain to interconnect systems and ensure security and immutability of data in order to add trust to our legitimate ecosystem for the benefits of citizens, enforcers and companies alike”.
Prospective applicants have until 30 April to apply.
The idea exists in the private sector already
Blockchain technology has been utilized as an effective tool to establish and protect intellectual property rights since the early days of its development. A number of private sector companies and startups have developed platforms for just this use.