Kochi, Dec 21: Blockchain technology can be used as a tool for the upliftment of migrant labourers as also for protection of an individual’s privacy, Dr Dileep Krishnaswami, Senior Scientist at Bengaluru-based IBM Research Labs, said here today.
Delivering the keynote address at the "BlockathonForChange', the first-of-its-kind hackathon in India hosted by Maker Village to address the challenges faced by migrant labourers, he said there is a huge possibility of threat to privacy and data of individuals.
“Blockchain technology will provide only the data which can be shared. We have to find out where this technology is useful for the society and entrepreneurs. This technology is not for financial transaction, but it may be used in various sectors which can be tracked and shared," he pointed out.
The two-day hackathon was organised in association with US Consulate General, Chennai, Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) and Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). Around 15 inventors, software developers, programmers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and startups from various parts of the country are to make their presentations on finding a solution to the issues of migrant labourers.
Inaugurating the event, Ernakulam District Collector Shri K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla said various issues which are linked with the development of Kerala are yet to be addressed. “Technical support is needed from the budding entrepreneurs to address the issues faced by the society like parking, sanitation, housing and transportation,” he added.
In his address, Mr. Alexis Wolff, Information Officer, US Consulate, Chennai, said, “We are still trying to figure out the potential of blockchain technology and working on it to utilise it for the society. We can leverage this technology for the migrant labourers in Kerala to make a social change.”
The blockchain technology is not tested and validated enough where there is serious concern, said Mr. Rajesh Nair, Executive Director, Markets, Ernst & Young. He pointed out that there are only 50 startups in the country which are working on the technology platform for the migrant labourers.
The participants are competing for a total cash prize of Rs 1.75 lakh. All solutions developed during the hackathon will remain the intellectual property of the developers, who will be free to build on these after the hackathon.
Maker Village COO Rohan Kalani said the participants who want to make their ideas into product will be given the technology ecosystem of the Maker Village. “They will be supported by Maker Village and Kerala Starup Mission for angel funding or grants to develop their product,” he assured.
Dr Martin Patrik, Chief Economist, CPPR, made a presentation on the various issues faced by the migrant labourers in Kerala. Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair and Dr D Dhanuraj, chairman, CPPR also spoke.
The hackathon will conclude on Friday.
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