IIITM-K team bags NITI Aayog prize at international blockchain hackathon

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov. 21: A team of research students from the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) brought laurels to their institution by bagging the prestigious NITI Aayog prize in the inaugural edition of the Proffer Hackathon held at IIT, New Delhi.


The international blockchain hackathon was jointly organised by NITI Aayog, the policy think tank of  Government of India, and Harvard-based blockchain startup Proffer from November 10 to 13.


The IIITM-K team, comprising of Nikhil V. Chandran, Adarsh S and Anoop V.S. of the Data Engineering Lab mentored by D. Asharaf. S, emerged as the winners in the India Chain category. Their award-winning entry was AgroChain, a blockchain-based transparent marketplace where farmers and consumers can implement a co-operative farming method.    


In AgroChain, farmers can list the potential crops and the expected yield on their farm on the distributed public ledger. The consumers can view the details and check for the farmer’s credibility based on the previous cultivation and supply. This creates a transparent and tamper-proof digital market platform for farm products.


Such a system can also facilitate an agreement between the farmer and the consumer.  It will help the consumer to fund individual crops or a field and can acquire the yield from the farm or the profit percentage of its market value. There will be a rating mechanism to build the credibility of farmer and consumer based on the previous experiences in the agro market.


More than 1,900 students and young professionals from 28 countries signed up to participate in-person and remotely in the event.


Microsoft, IBM, Accel, Coinbase, and Amazon AWS sponsored $17,000 in prizes for the top five blockchain-based applications addressing problems in government/enterprise infrastructure, finance, energy markets, supply chain, decentralized Aadhaar identities and information exchange, among others. 

A panel of judges from Coinbase, IBM, Microsoft, Harvard, BoostVC, and Government of India assessed the projects. About 93 participants from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, IITs and top engineering institutions around the world submitted projects.  The objective of the hackathon was to look beyond currency use cases to see how blockchain technology can make a difference to governments, economies, businesses and individuals. 

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