A Latin American fintech conference will bring hundreds of the region’s bankers and technologists together, for an event featuring a blockchain-based remittance hackathon.
The 2nd Annual Banking Disruption Conference Fintech Americas, recently announced the launch of its Remittance Disruption Hackathon, a collaborative effort in Buenos Aires to crack open the global remittance market
“If you are a Fintech developer, Blockchain/Bitcoin Enthusiast, Hardcore Coder, Designer or just a geek in look for a cool challenge, this Hackathon is for you!”
— – Fintech Americas
The event is currently open for registration, and the online semi-finals will begin Sept 15. The finalists will be invited to pitch their project on Oct 22, at the Americas Fintech conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Finalists will present their solutions to an audience of 400 Bankers, fintech companies executives, entrepreneurs and investors, for over US$15,000 in cash prizes.
The event is focused on using two software solutions to make remittances cheaper and more convenient for the unbanked. The hackathon brings together Cobiscorp’s payment technology with Blockchain’s Bitcoin wallet, “for a hack job on the $440 Billion Remittance industry!”
Global startup accelerator Startup Bootcamp Fintech London and Latin American venture firm NXTP Labs will also support the hackathon, and form part of the judging panel.
“The World Bank says that huge fees and restrictive practices by handful of firms cost poorer countries up to $16bn a year!”
— – Fintech Americas
The Hack will center around this simple question: ‘How can we use Cobiscorp’s Payment Software and Blockchain Technology to make cross-border remittances easier, faster, cheaper and more secure?’
Fintech Americas is not the first to hold a Bitcoin hackathon with Latin America in mind. Blockchain Beach, a non-profit promoting the use and acceptance of digital currency, held one earlier this year in Miami, Florida,. According to organizers, Miami was a great location because of its nickname “Gateway To The Americas,” and the large amount of remittances being sent from the city to Latin America.
According to the Miami Herald, first place went to Chris DeRose & Arian Amador, team “Party People, for the creation of OPIDoki, an oracle programming interface that enables real world events to be recorded onto the blockchain. Other winning projects included a bitcoin “jukebox,” and a decentralized EBay-style marketplace.
Hackathons have also been a way for banks, and other financial institutions, to explore blockchain and bitcoin technology, and meet those on the forefront of the industry. Global Singaporean bank DBS, in partnership with IBM and Startup Bootcamp, hosted a challenge to create projects in 24 hours or less, that would help improve banking with blockchain technology. Over $20,000 was offered in prizes.
OmniChain took home first prize with a platform that enabled more transparency for startups in emerging markets looking for investments, according to CoinGecko. Second place went to NuBank, a project that sought to combine Bitcoin’s global ledger with local community governance to increase financial inclusion, and lastly, a blockchain analysis and customer identification tool, BlockIntel, secured third place.
“Considering this was the first time a bank has ever so publicly backed blockchain technology it’s difficult to imagine how it could have gone better,” said Adam Giles, co-founder and CEO of Neuroware, whose API was used in the event. “DBS were very well organized and made every effort to understand the technology and work with the developers. All teams got to keep the IP for their ideas, and DBS could be working with some in the future to see how they can support them. Startupbootcamp also provided a great venue and did a fantastic job on organizing the hack and looking after everyone involved.”