Malaysia, October 30, 2023: The recently concluded Blockchain For Good Malaysian Inter-Varsity Hackathon marked an exhilarating chapter in the journey of Malaysian students towards technological innovation and social change. Cultivated by AlgoHUB, in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), this event served as a testament to the potential of young minds when given the opportunity to explore cutting-edge technologies for societal betterment.
The Hackathon, which centered around the theme ‘Blockchain for Good,’ attracted students from various universities across the nation, showcasing a remarkable fusion of multidisciplinary expertise for leveraging blockchain technology for positive impacts. Throughout the Hackathon, participating students presented a diverse array of projects, each highlighting an innovative applications of the Algorand blockchain. These projects ranged from innovative applications in agriculture, supply chain management, and sustainability and energy efficiency, and data safety measures. The thoughtful integration of these themes within the projects underscored the participants’ comprehensive understanding of the implications of blockchain technology in addressing multifaceted global issues.
The active involvement of participants in crafting smart contracts using PyTeal highlighted their commitment to mastering the complexities of blockchain technology. The competition not only provided a platform for learning but also fostered an environment where participants could refine their skills and apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, laying a strong foundation for their future endeavors in the field.
The final competition day, held on 22nd October at the Faculty of Computing, UTM, saw a culmination of months of intense preparation and innovation as ten outstanding teams from UTM, USM, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Sunway University, and Xiamen University took center stage. This esteemed event, representing the climax of the Blockchain For Good Malaysian Inter-Varsity Hackathon, showcased the selected 10 finalists who had persevered through a rigorous selection process from an initial pool of 40 competing teams.
This event, which commenced with an inspiring opening ceremony, was graced by the esteemed presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Computing, UTM, Prof. Ts. Dr. Wan Mohd Nasir bin Wan Kadir. Adding to the prestige of the occasion, Karen Cohen, the Director of AlgoHUB, and a panel of distinguished judges, including Hazlin Abdul Rani, Head of Cryptography Development Department, Cyber Security Proactive Services; Daeng Termizi, Co-founder & COO, KESTRL; Joseph Saw, from Hex Trust; and Ms. Ivy Fung, Vice President of Women in Blockchain Asia, were in attendance. Notably, the event also garnered the presence of representatives from ICT@Johor, alongside a captivated audience comprising faculty members and enthusiastic students.
The opening ceremony held on the eventful day was further highlighted by a significant milestone – the exchange of a Letter of Agreement between UTM and AlgoHUB. As part of this agreement, AlgoHUB generously sponsored $5,000 to UTM and $3,500 to USM, facilitating the realization of the Hackathon and signifying their commitment to fostering blockchain education and innovation within the Malaysian academic landscape.
Following the opening ceremony, the day transitioned into a riveting pitching session where students had the opportunity to present their innovative ideas in front of the esteemed panel of judges and the attentive audience. This session provided a platform for participants to showcase their projects’ vision, objectives, and the societal challenges they aimed to address through blockchain technology.
The momentum continued into the demo session, where each student team had the chance to demonstrate their blockchain applications to the judges. This interactive phase allowed the finalists to exhibit the practical application and functionality of their projects, emphasizing how their innovations could make a tangible difference in various sectors.
Following the engaging pitching and demo sessions, the event seamlessly transitioned into an insightful guest talk segment featuring prominent figures in the blockchain industry. The initial speaker, Belinda, serving as the Head of Partnerships in Singapore at The Sandbox and also representing Women in Blockchain Asia (WIBA) in Singapore, along with Chris Manski, the Chief Executive Officer of Charity Token Pty. Ltd. in Australia, shared their valuable perspectives on the present dynamics and forthcoming possibilities within the domain of blockchain technology.
As the event approached its conclusion, the eagerly anticipated closing ceremony commenced with the announcement of the winners. The distinguished panel of judges, after thorough deliberation, revealed the first, second, and third prize winners, acknowledging their exemplary contributions and innovative solutions that demonstrated the transformative potential of blockchain for societal betterment. Additionally, the business case winner was recognized for their exceptional demonstration of the practical application of blockchain technology in addressing real-world challenges.
“1st place : SmartX from USM”, Team members: Jacky Chung Sze Yung, Kam Soon Cheng and Tham Siew Teng, Mentor: Dr. Lim Chia Yean
“2nd place : Trustay from USM ” , Team members: Dean Lau Sheng Ting, Gwee Per Ming, Lim Chin Feng and Angeline Teoh Qee, Mentor: Dr. Lim Chia Yean
“3rd place : Latz from UTM and UTHM”, Team members: Luqman Hakim bin Md Said, Aiman Haikal bin Abdul Rusli, Zaliff bin Usri, Muhammad Taufiq bin Jurimi, Mentor: Dr. Farkhana Muchtar
“Best Business Case : Team SmartX from USM”, Team members: Jacky Chung Sze Yung, Kam Soon Cheng and Tham Siew Teng, Mentor: Dr. Lim Chia Yean
To conclude the event on a high note, a thrilling lucky draw was held, served as a token of appreciation for their enthusiastic participation throughout the Blockchain For Good Malaysian Inter-Varsity Hackathon. With the lucky draw, the event drew to a close, leaving behind a trail of inspiration, innovation, and the promise of a brighter future powered by blockchain technology and the enthusiasm of the next generation of innovators.
The organizers extend their sincere gratitude to the participants, mentors, and sponsors for their invaluable contributions, which were instrumental in the event’s resounding success. Special thanks go to the hardworking committee members, especially Prof. Madya Dr. Siti Zaiton binti Mohd Hashim as the Advisor, and Dr. Nur Haliza binti Abdul Wahab, the Director, for their exceptional leadership. The dedicated efforts of all the coordinators and staff, including Dr. Raja Zahilah binti Raja Mohd Radzi, Dr. Jamilah binti Mahmood, Ts. Marina binti Md Arshad, Dr. Nurfazrina binti Mohd Zamry, Dr. Mohd. Zamri bin Osman and Dr. Farkhana binti Muchtar, were crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of the event. The invaluable support from the student committee, who went above and beyond in offering their assistance, was pivotal in the successful execution of the event. Additionally, the Registration and Invitations team, led by Puan Haslinda binti Sabari and Puan Norhasidah binti Sahar Shah, significantly contributed to the event’s success.
Photo Credits: Nur Atifah binti Din (Kelab Fotokreatif UTM)