Introducing the Social Impact Prize at the Spring 2021 Chainlink Virtual Hackathon

Chainlink’s explicit goal is to create an economically fair world through the widespread application of blockchain technology and smart contracts. The Chainlink Network is helping realize this larger vision of global blockchain adoption by providing developers with the most secure, reliable, and fully functional oracle network, empowering them to create a vast array of universally connected smart contract applications that can interact with the real world. Moreover, we continue to mobilize our resources and domain expertise to drive targeted smart contract innovation that leads to tangible improvements of people’s day-to-day lives, whether it’s massive technological leaps in access to financial and insurance services in emerging markets or reduced systemic risk throughout established markets.

Towards that end, we are excited to announce the addition of the new Social Impact Prize category in partnership with the UNESCO Global Education Coalition for the Spring 2021 Chainlink Hackathon, running from March 15 to April 11. The Social Impact Prize is being sponsored by the Chainlink Grant program and was developed in partnership with UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition as part of their #LearningNeverStops initiative. Chainlink officially joined the Coalition at the beginning of this year. The goal is to use this grant-funded award to inspire developers to build universally connected smart contracts that positively impact humanity in any number of ways, from providing people with access to new economic opportunities through DeFi products to gamifying online education with dynamic NFTs.

The $5,000 Social Impact Prize will be awarded to the hackathon project that integrates Chainlink with the highest potential to deliver meaningful social impact in education. UNESCO’s Senior Programme Lead Valtencir Mendes and United Nations Knowledge Manager Jonathas De Mello will also be joining the hackathon as judges. Ideas for category submissions include:

  • Dynamic NFTs powered by Chainlink VRF that incentivize and gamify education to reduce school dropout rates and support lifelong learning
  • DeFi solutions that use Chainlink’s tamper-proof Price Feeds to increase financial access and solvency in emerging markets
  • IoT-based projects that leverage Chainlink External Adapters to connect smart contracts to real-world sensors and automate outdated, paper-based processes
  • Educational certificates, for both formal university and skills-based courses, that are recorded on-chain and in universal passports

These are only a few of the many possibilities for developers to explore when using Chainlink to connect their smart contracts to external inputs. We encourage developers to get creative and think about what kind of broader impact they want their software to have on the world, in particular for vulnerable populations and emerging markets, where innovative applications are most needed. In keeping with UNESCO’s initiative to close the gender divides in digital skills through education, we also strongly encourage women developers to register for the hackathon and submit their projects to be considered for a wide range of prizes.

This new hackathon prize category is part of Chainlink’s larger social impact initiative, coming on the heels of several other recent announcements, such as the Chainlink grant program funding the collaboration between ACRE Africa and Etherisc, which is bringing crop insurance to smallholder farmers in Kenya, as well as Chainlink supporting UNESCO in accelerating blockchain education and development. We plan to continue our support for social impact causes, both through technical enhancements to Chainlink to power greater impact projects, as well as through additional grants to various hackathons and teams to recognize and encourage projects that prioritize humanitarian outcomes.

If you want to build and submit a social impact project to the Spring 2021 Chainlink Virtual Hackathon, be sure to register here to secure your spot. If you don’t have a team yet, no worries. You can still sign up, and then join our Discord to connect with other participants and form a team.

Be sure to check out our hackathon web page to see a full list of prizes, judges, and sponsors, as well as a calendar of events. We also encourage you to explore our Chainlink Hackathon Resources for examples of winning projects, boilerplate code, tutorials, and some inspiration. As always, we can’t wait to see what you build.

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