The Blockchain Oscar has officially wrapped up, therefore it is a good time to reflect on the highlights of this amazing competition as part of BlockShow Europe 2017 organized by your beloved Cointelegraph Events, educating and connecting people in the Blockchain industry, Humaniq, building and providing an innovative model of banking for unbanked, and WINGS, a Blockchain platform for launching, backing and promotion of new project proposals through a fluid organizational model referred to as DAO.
How it all started
The first round of the competition kicked off in March with a series of webinars. Where participants were pitching their Blockchain-based projects and had a chance to shoot questions to experts and members of the jury board, which included Richard Kastelein, CMO at Humaniq, Tawanda Kembo, technical advisor at Humaniq, Anish Mohammed, lead security architect at Lloyds Banking Group, Dominik Zynis, head of communications at WINGS Foundation and advisor at Wings.ai, and Jamie Burke, founder of Blockchain Angels and CEO at Outlier Ventures.
After thorough evaluation, they have chosen six startups who pitched their ideas in front of the hundreds of guests at the stage of Blockshow Europe 2017 in Munich. The competition has never been so tight, as the list of finalists was comprised of passionate teams pushing forward truly innovative projects:
- Blockchain First
After the first round of competition Richard Kastelein commented:
“The level of submissions was excellent - it was really great to see some fresh ideas around what to do with Blockchain as well as some newer takes on older ideas that were way out of the box. It's looking more like 2017-2018 will be the year we see products coming to market if this array of ideas is any indication!"
And the Blockchain Oscar goes to…. Etherisc!
Finalists flew to Munich ready to wow the audience with their projects and show that Blockchain technology is something tangible and can be applied in industries not thought of a few years ago.
Etherisc was announced the most innovative startup and received €5,000 worth in BTC. The company is on a mission to build decentralized insurance applications, making the purchase and sale of insurance more efficient, enable lower operational costs, provide greater transparency to the industry of insurance compared to traditional operations and democratize access to reinsurance investments.
Richard Kastelein, CMO at Humaniq commented on the results of the competition:
“There were a number of very innovative projects, but what made Etherisc prizeworthy was the fact that they were taking on a vertical - insurance - which is something we have heard talk of, but not seen anything. And the presentation was very good, there were no holes anywhere and the answers to the jury were all sound.”
Stephan Karpischek, CEO and Co-Founder of Etherisc, told to Cointelegraph:
“We feel proud and humbled to win the Blockchain Oscar for most innovative Blockchain startup. It is a great honor and an amazing boost for our endeavor to create an open protocol for decentralized insurance applications.”
SolarChange the most valuable for Humanity startup
SolarChange left Blockshow Europe 2017 with the title ‘The Most Valuable for Humanity Startup’ and €5,000 in Humaniq tokens on top of it.
SolarChange is a web and mobile platform which integrates the SolarCoin Blockchain for incentivizing Prosumers towards the Energy Transition. The platform enables solar owners, solar monitoring companies and solar asset managers to register their solar installation and monitored solar installs to the SolarCoin program.
Assaf Ben-Or, CEO and Co-Founder at SolarChange told Cointelegraph:
“Participating in BlockShow Europe 2017 was a very exciting and rewarding (pun intended) experience for the SolarChange team. Together with our team at SolarCoin, we are proud to offer clean energy users a great way to get rewarded for being active prosumers of sustainable energy sources (starting with solar), while optimizing energy trading (from both production and consumption) through our predictive analysis. It is a case of "the more the better", on many different levels.”
Ben-Or says that it is really amazing to see the Blockchain community recognizing the importance of their project and its potential impact.
“The people who are involved at the BlockShow and the Blockchain Oscars are visionaries and really the backbone of this vibrant community. Receiving ‘The Most Valuable for Humanity’ award is a real endorsement and a testament to the power of creativity. We are always happy to continue the dialog with people involved in adjacent ecosystems, who want to explore synergies. We keep learning, evolving and moving forward. We are thankful for giving us an extra push, and for this amazing award!”
Kastelein says it is fantastic to see teams pushing forward socially responsible projects. He continues:
“In the cryptocurrency community we often talk about disrupting the system and improving the way we can restructure capitalism and decentralize the power structures in the developed economies, but how often do we talk about improving the lives of some 2 bln people around the world who live on less than 0.002298 BTC or $2.50 a day? That’s less than $1,000 a year - what we might pay for a nice week-long summer holiday on a sunny beach - for one person in Europe. What we pay for a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks is what a family lives off for two days in a densely populated slum called Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, on the edge of Nairobi in Kenya. Or in an Indian village - where people do back breaking work harvesting rice in a day - for what we pay for a bus ride. We don’t talk enough about these things.”
Cryptocommunity strives to bring more balance and fairness to the world
The cryptocommunity managed to find the time, means, energy and coffers to fund The DAO for $150 mln dollars - enough money to pay a day’s living wage to some 55 mln people living in poverty. Or 150,000 people for a year.
The market caps for all cryptocurrencies currently add up to over $25 bln we are a community with significant resources to tackle problems. In Kastelein’s view, the cryptocommunity has liquidity and is able to create more at their will - with huge creativity, and raw talent.
“Do we have enough compassion and empathy to bridge the wealth divide and disparity that capitalism has given us as we move to a post-capitalist society?Some might argue no, we don’t. Crypoanachrists, libertarians, exchange speculators, pump and dumpers, Ponzi schemers, outright scammers, Blockchain gambling startups by the scores… It’s hardly a hotbed of bleeding-heart Lefties trying to save the world.”
At the same time, there are those in the movement who truly believe in the profound and enormous impact that Blockchain can bring to society in facilitating a shift to a more balanced, fair and equitable world - there seems to be more focus on destroying the system in place than improving society on a global scale.
People chose their favorites
To engage as many cryptocurrency community members as possible organizers of Blockchain Oscar introduced the ‘People’s Choice Award’. Online voting was held on the Wings platform and allowed finding the winners. The third prize was split among the two high-quality startup teams - CoinDash and Etherisc.
The most of people’s love went Bancor and Status.im direction. Status.im is working on a critical to mass adoption mobile browser platform, while Bancor addresses the liquidity challenge by creating a new standard for intrinsically tradable tokens which unlocks the long-tail of user generated cryptocurrencies.
Kastelein foresees the growth in the number of humanitarian projects like SolarChange, WeTrust, and Etherisc, mainly because the NGOs are looking towards Blockchain as a solution.
Addy Crezee, CEO at Cointelegraph Events commented:
“We were glad to see such a huge interest in the competition in general, and in every project presented by our participants. Next year we are going to dedicate a separate stage only for the presentation of startups. Participants took this competition very seriously - with long preparations, practices, supporting and cheering for each other.”