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‘Blockathon For Change’ gets under way

The blockchain technology can be used as a tool for the uplift of migrant labourers as well as for the protection of individual privacy, Dileep Krishnaswami, senior scientist at the Bengaluru-based IB

Published: 22nd December 2017 01:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2017 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The blockchain technology can be used as a tool for the uplift of migrant labourers as well as for the protection of individual privacy, Dileep Krishnaswami, senior scientist at the Bengaluru-based IBM Research Labs, said here on Thursday.Delivering the keynote address at the 'Blockathon For Change', the first-of-its-kind hackathon in India hosted by Maker Village to address the challenges faced by migrant labourers, Dileep Krishnaswami said there was a huge possibility of individuals' privacy coming under threat.

“Blockchain technology will provide only the data that can be shared. We have to identify the areas where this technology can be used for the benefit of society and entrepreneurs," he said.The two-day hackathon was organised in association with US Consulate General, Chennai, Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) and the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). Around 15 inventors, software developers, programmers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and startups from various parts of the country will make their presentations on finding a solution to the issues faced by migrant labourers.

Inaugurating the event, Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla said various issues linked with the development of Kerala are yet to be addressed. “Technical support is needed from budding entrepreneurs to address the issues faced by society like parking, sanitation, housing and transportation,” he said.Alexis Wolff, Information Officer, US Consulate, Chennai, said “We are still trying to figure out the potential of blockchain technology and are working on it to use it for the betterment of society."

Rajesh Nair, executive director, Markets, Ernst & Young, said there are only 50 startups in the country which are working on the technology platform for the migrant labourers.The participants of the hackathon are competing for a total cash prize of `1.75 lakh. All solutions developed during the hackathon will remain the intellectual property of developers, who will be free to build on these after the hackathon.

Maker Village COO Rohan Kalani said the participants who want to develop their ideas into products will be given the technology ecosystem of the Maker Village. “They will be supported by Maker Village and the Kerala Starup Mission for angel funding or grants," he said.CPPR chief economist Martin Patrik made a presentation on issues faced by the migrant labourers in Kerala. Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair and CPPR chairman D Dhanuraj spoke. 



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