Blockchain has changed the way business operates. From fintech to insurance, blockchain is leading the charge in providing safe and secure online transactions and security. But we’ve only just begun understanding its capabilities.

How can it inform and shape the way the public sector operates to change lives for the better?

The UAE government is organizing the largest virtual blockchain hackathon in history to push the limits of what’s possible using the blockchain. With more than $140,000 USD in prizes, the Blockchain Virtual GovHack is seeking out the best and brightest developers, designers and entrepreneurs to take place in this global virtual hackathon.

First Place

$100,000 USD

Plus an all expenses paid trip for 3 team members to the World Government Summit in Dubai

Second Place

$30,000 USD

Plus an all expenses paid trip for 3 team members to the World  Government Summit in Dubai

Third Place

$10,000 USD

Plus an all expenses paid trip for 3 team members to the World Government Summit in Dubai

About The Virtual Hackathon

The hackathon is one part of the overall World GovTechioneers Race, acknowledging government technology pioneers for providing global solutions to global challenges.

The “World GovTechioneers Race” is an annual award designed to acknowledge government technology pioneers for providing global solutions to common global challenges. Winners will be awarded at the 5th annual gathering of the World Government Summit which  will take place between the 12th and 14th of February 2017, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to the enhancement of government around the world. It convenes over 3000 participants, world leaders, policy makers, international organizations and experts from over 130 countries. In previous years, the Summit hosted a number of thought leaders as keynote speakers. Among the previous speakers, we mention Hon. Barack Obama, President of the United States, H.M. Queen Rania of Jordan, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. Jim Yong Kim, and many others.


The first round of registration closed on December 12, 2016. However, we are still accepting teams on a case by case basis. If you would like to join the hackathon, please send us an email with your name, the Blockchain challenge you plan on going after, a short pitch, and the contact information for any potential teammates.


The Blockchain Virtual GovHack is challenging participants to innovate their public sectors by using blockchain technology to tackle on of the challenges below:

Challenge No.

01. Re-inventing Global Identity

According to the UN, over 3 Billion people in the world lack an official identification. Utilizing blockchain technology to track and manage digital identities provides tremendous opportunities in all societies. From enfranchising a significant portion of the global population and enabling them access to a global financial system, to streamlining fragmented identity systems across the world, the opportunities are significant.

Challenge No.

02.  Reducing the Paper Footprint

In the Dubai government alone, there are over 100 million paper transactions and 25 million hours spent annually handing them. As in many sectors, governments utilizing blockchain technology for records and transactions is not only eco-friendly but will vastly improve efficiency and create cost savings.

Challenge No.

03. Fighting Fraud and Proceeds of Crime

Each year, billions of dollars are lost due to online fraud. The transparency of blockchain technology provides an opportunity like never before to track and record transactions that can reduce corruption and prevent cyber-crimes.

Challenge No.

04. The Future of Health

As a significant number of  hospitals around the world have transitioned to digital records, blockchain technology provides an opportunity for patients to keep track of their medical history and provides efficiencies to the ‘medical record chain of care’.  This present an opportunity to improve the patient care experience and reduce costs.

Challenge No.

05.  Building Smart Cities

As much of the world is investing in smart cities, blockchain provides a major opportunity in fiscal transparency, seamless payment transactions, and creating the opportunity for energy and data transfers that have never been possible before, empowering both consumers and energy providers.


We’ve partnered with leading tech experts like Consensys to provide participants with support and educational tools about blockchain technology.


Monday, November 22: Blockchain Virtual GovHack Registration Opens

Monday, December 12: Registration Closes at 11:59pm PST

Thursday, December 15: Approved Project Teams are Notified, Hacking Begins

Tuesday, January 3: Virtual Meetup – Q&A, Office Hours, Last Minute Support

Sunday, January 8: Submissions due by 11:59 PM PDT

Friday, January 13: Finalists Are Contacted

(All Winners Will Be Publicly Announced at the World Government Summit)

Judging Panel

Jeremy Gardner – Entrepreneur-in-Residence @ Blockchain Capital, Founder @ Augur & Blockchain Education Network

Sabeen Ali – Founder & CEO, AngelHack

Joseph Lubin – Founder & CEO, Consensys; Co-Founder, Ethereum

Sam Cassatt – Chief Strategy Officer, Consensys

York Rhodes – Global Business Strategist, Blockchain & Identity, Microsoft

Mohammed Al Khamis – Director, Smart Gov National Plan,TRA

Carole Van Caillie – International Operations; Research and Innovation Independent Expert, European Commission, Indra

Sulaiman Al Maazmi – Vice President Information Communication Technology, Expo 2020 Dubai

Anthony Butler – Chief Technology Officer, IBM Cloud MEA

Micah Winkelspecht – Founder and CEO at Gem

Mohammed Shael Al Saadi – Chief Executive Officer Business Developments & Strategy Sector, Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai

Additional judges may be announced before the deadline!

Judging Criteria

All hackers will be required to submit their solutions on, including a short 2-3 minute video demo about their project.

Finalists from the Hackathon will be selected by a panel of UAE technology experts. Judges will be announced in the coming weeks.

Each submission will be scored in each round based on the following criteria with a minimum score of 0 and maximum score of 20 points, with the final score being the average of the judges’ scores:

  • Execution: How well put together was the project and the demo that was shown? Does it solve a genuine consumer problem?(5 Points)
  • Impact: Is the solution commercially viable? Does it have the potential to scale? (5 Points)
  • Creativity: How out of the box was the solution? (5 Points)
  • Design: How well designed, including UX, UI and user flow, was the solution? (5 Points)


How are Teams Formed?

Teams can be formed in advance or during the event using the Blockchain Virtual GovHack site, as well as a dedicated Slack channel for the event, and will be comprised of one to five individuals. Existing companies are welcome to join the challenge, as long as your team size is no more than 5.


You may create a totally new solution using Blockchain, or enhance an existing application or technology. If you are adding onto an existing application, you must have integrated Blockchain after the start of the submission period (and may be subject to a code review to confirm).

Who Owns the IP?

Participants will own the rights to their work. Partnering companies may have their own terms and conditions for proprietary technology or content.

Participation Agreement

Developers, designers and entrepreneurs are required to confirm they agree to the contest terms and conditions (participation agreement) in order to be eligible to win the Blockchain Virtual GovHack.


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