EU Officials Reveal €5 Million 'Blockchains for Social Good' Contest

The European Commission launched its "Blockchain for Social Good" contest Thursday, announcing a €5 million prize for the winner.

AccessTimeIconNov 10, 2017 at 5:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:08 a.m. UTC

The European Commission is seeking submissions for a new blockchain development contest – and it's offering a €5 million top prize.

The European Union’s executive arm revealed the details of the blockchain contest this week, dubbed "Blockchains for Social Good," which it quietly revealed back in August. The competition seeks entries from those who can propose solutions for public issues, leveraging the technology to provide a mix of greater transparency and decentralization.

Winning entries must have a clear social impact, be decentralized while allowing for transparency, and still be both useful and scalable, according to the contest webpage. The commission is specifically hoping for a novel distributed ledger technology (DLT) application which can demonstrate viable use cases, according to the page.

Officials said:

"The potential of DLTs to generate positive social change by decentralising and disintermediating processes related to local or global sustainability challenges is still largely untapped."

A key component of any solution must be transparency, according to the site. EU citizens must be able to determine what the commission is doing through its administrative and production processes.

Using blockchains to increase transparency has been a consistent priority for the commission. This past August, the organization’s vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, stated that the body was building a Financial Transparency Gateway to make available the data companies share with national databases.

Any legal person or entity can submit entries to the contest, regardless of whether they are based in the EU or not. Entries should be submitted by mid-2019. The winner will be announced in the beginning of 2020.

The contest adds to funding the economic bloc's governing bodies have already committed to supporting the tech. The EU has already invested more than €5 million in blockchain startups, recently funding at least six companies through their Horizon 2020 initiative.

EU headquarters image via Shutterstock

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