An atmosphere, filled with excitement, created the setting for the start of our 72-hour Unlock the Block hackathon at Rise Cape Town, which officially kicked off on the 29th of January, following 5 days of digital bootcamp training.
Participants chose use-cases which covered topics from solving Cape Town’s water crisis using Ethereum based tokens, to issuing university degrees, to loyalty programs, decentralized voting and social impact.
Teams presented their blockchain application prototypes to a panel of judges on 1 February, where the top teams were announced to present at the Blockchain Symposium later that evening.
Meet The Panel of Judges
Monica Singer, ConsenSys Blockchain Ambassador
Monica Singer is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. She was the first CEO of South Africa’s Central Securities Depository (CSD), Strate (Pty) Ltd. In October 2017, Monica was appointed as “Creator of Opportunities” to ConsenSys. Monica is a motivating speaker not only in Finance, innovation and disruptive technologies but in uplifting woman to realise their full potential.
Sean Mouton, ABSA Chief Technology Manager
Sean has served ABSA in various roles over the last 30 years, his most recent as Chief Technology Manager which he has held since 2015. He believes that the potential value of Blockchain technology to banks is enormous and is committed to nurturing the development of innovation and talent within the space.
Kelly Parkhurst, ABSA Digital Project Manager
Kelly is passionate about efficiency, adaptability and digital innovation. She has been intrinsically involved in Blockchain research for ABSA and has been the driving force behind various experimental projects. In 2016 she lead the project for the pilot of Wave which won the Best Deal award by Global Trade Review for achieving a world first in the international trade and Blockchain space.
Jessica Davies, Nedbank Disruption Analyst
Jessica graduated with a business degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Cape Town after which she joined Nedbank as an Analyst. With a background in strategic analysis and research she aims to connect innovative start-ups and groundbreaking new technologies with Nedbank and it’s clients with the goal of improving communication, speed and all-round, large scale customer satisfaction.
Andrew Tudhope, Linum Labs Lead Architect
Andrew got interested in cryptocurrencies while completing his Masters degree at the University of Oxford. He approaches decentralized networks with a deep focus both on utilizing the underlying cryptographic properties of protocols, as well as how this kind of programming can affect the social and political dimensions of our lives.
Paul Kohlhaas, Founder at Linum Labs & Director of Business Development at ConsenSys
The founder of Linum Labs and a blockchain entrepreneur from Switzerland with a background in venture capital and strategy. Prior to dedicating his career to scaling blockchain applications, Paul worked at a capital market advisory in South East Asia, a PE fund in Johannesburg and graduated from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland.
Simon de la Rouviere, Engineer of Societies at ConsenSys
Simon is a full-stack engineer that builds decentralized applications for use in the music industry & online communities. In the blockchain space since 2011, he has been doing Ethereum-based development at ConsenSys for 2.5 years and co-founded Ujo. He was also a key co-designer of the ERC20 token standard.
Julien Eluard, Status Developer
After spending a dozen years working on distributed backends in Java, Julien saw the light and moved to frontend development. Hypnotized by decentralized technologies, he is delighted to have been a part of Status team for the past 6 months and believes the mobile future of Ethereum is a bright one.
Co-Pierre Georg, University of Cape Town Financial Innovation Lab Director
Co-Pierre Georg is an Associate Professor at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management at the University of Cape Town and the Director of the UCT Financial Innovation Lab. His research interests range from applications of blockchain in banking to systemic risk and financial interconnectedness with a particular focus on liquidity and payment systems.