Amidst the current crisis affecting Lebanon, the Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship(DC) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) organized a hackathon in collaboration with Zein AUB iPark and Beirut Digital District.
The hackathon comes as a solid way to engage Lebanon’s youth in building new ways to help the economy by using blockchain and cryptocurrency.
During the opening ceremony, two panels by cryptocurrency experts were included: the local Lebanese challenges and opportunities, and the global trends and their relevance to Lebanon.
The participants got the chance to attend pre-hackathon workshops by guest lecturers from AUB and other universities, who explained how blockchain technology can help economies going through hyperinflation.
Following the information sessions, the participants, who were divided into six teams, received mentoring by experts, to design, develop, and pivot their ideas to the next level towards the launch within 48 hours only.
The closing ceremony then featured a speech from the recognized Bitcoin expert, Amir Taaki, who was previously featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2014.
Taaki gave an inspirational speech, expressing the “need to find our inner strength and power, and now we have an opportunity to open avenues to the rest of the world.”
The hackathon event concluded with 4 winning startup ideas that are ready to initiate their minimum viable products, including a crypto “scratch card” to make using Bitcoin easier for those without digital wallets:
The 1st prize went to CrypLock, which brings operations to over-the-counter crypto transactions by using a digital escrow.
The 2nd prize went to Cash2Coin, which aims to make crypto transactions like ATM operations via stablecoins.
The 3rd prize was received by Walleti-Increase Mass, which works on market adoption of crypto by serving pre-paid crypto scratch cards and an app.
The 4th prize was won by D-Bank, which works on enhancing SME reputation via blockchain-based networks.
The winners also received $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $1,000 respectively.