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Fidelity and Deloitte to Sponsor the Biggest Blockchain Hackathon in Europe

The event will take place just after the Web Summit, at DCU Innovation Campus.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and other blockchains are becoming a very hot topic in technology and finance. While the regulators across the globe are still trying to figure out how to deal with these “cryptocurrencies”, venture capitalists and corporates are already massively investing in blockchain start-ups.

Ireland is not yet known as a hub for blockchain start-ups, although the pool of talent certainly exists here. Chainsmiths, a newly formed Dublin-based consultancy gathering the top players of the industry decided to play its part in putting the island back on the map of blockchain by organizing Europe’s biggest hackathon in the field, which is proudly sponsored by Fidelity Investments and Deloitte.

Welcoming the Chainsmiths initiative, Simon Harris TD, Minister of State with responsibility for International Financial Services, commented:

“From my extensive consultations leading up to the publication of the Government’s International Financial Services’ Strategy, IFS2020, it was immediately apparent that financial innovation and technologies had to be a priority. Similarly blockchain is emerging as a cutting edge development in this sphere. I want to congratulate Kevin and Dimitry on their initiative and wish them every success with their event.”

“We wanted to do something big, to show that despite the lack of visibility so far, Ireland is definitely one of the leading countries for blockchain research and development. In fact, most–if not all- banks are working on blockchain research and some will release products in a few years, maybe even months” says Kevin Loaec, Chainsmiths Managing Director.

Its first edition will already be the biggest blockchain hackathon in Europe, with 150 participants and €10,000 in cash prizes.

Aidan Kenny, Vice President of Innovation, Process Excellence & Applied Technology at Fidelity Ireland added:

“Fidelity has always believed in exploring emerging technologies to find new ways for us to provide the best customer experience in the business. Our innovative approach has led to many breakthrough changes that have dramatically transformed our customers’ lives. Blockchain technology has the potential to become one of the most significant innovations the global financial services ecosystem has seen. Fidelity Investments Ireland is delighted to sponsor this event and to play a key role in supporting participants.”

David Dalton, Partner in FS Consulting and head of Deloitte’s financial services:

“The financial services sector is currently being disrupted by various components. One of the evolutions changing the existing business ecosystem is Blockchain. It is important to create a better understanding of this innovative technology and it’s potential. Deloitte is delighted to sponsor an event focusing on research and development of new use cases in which the Blockchain technology can help improve the services offered by the financial institutions.”

DCU Innovation Campus will host the event in their now well-known hackathon space. Chainsmiths will provide workshops to the participants, no experience in cryptocurrency is required to attend.

Hackers/Founders, a 1500 members strong tech group in Dublin will also help providing mentors for the duration of the event:

“The format will be quite different from the previous hackathons hosted at DCU, the product is the focus this time, not the commercial application. We expect to have a wide range of ideas, not only in Finance, and not only for-profit” Dimitry Kireyenkoff, Hackers/Founders organizer.

The Intellectual Property will of course remain the property of each participant, although the organizers expect most of the projects to be released in the Public Domain, creating long-term value for the whole ecosystem.

Richard Kastelein
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write. Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications. Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.
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