Pakistan’s first ever Blockchain and AI hackathon successfully concluded by CryptoChicks Pakistan in Karachi on 14th April 2019. The three-day event brought together students, software developers, UI/UX designers, business analysts, technologists, community leaders, educationists, advisors, mentors, entrepreneurs, crypto-curious individuals, thought leaders, and investors to witness and participate in the historic event. CryptoChicks Pakistan partnered with ConsulNet Corporation and WomenInTechPK to provide participants the opportunity to innovate and present blockchain/AI based solutions for local or global problems.
The hackathon saw diverse participation ranging from students and professionals with 11 teams from Karachi, Khairpur, Larkana and Nawabshah. The first two days of the hackathon took place at 10Pearls Karachi Office, while the final round concluded at The Nest I/O.
Every team was given five challenges to choose from and a fully equipped workspace to help find their solutions. The participants engaged with prominent mentors from the IT and blockchain industries who helped their ideas to transform into working solutions.
Day 1: Team Building
On the first day, the participants engaged in a team building exercise for the hackathon, which was followed by the announcement of five challenges to hack and develop solutions. These challenges pertained to a global or local problem that could be solved with blockchain and AI technologies. Shamim Rajani and Faiza Yousuf mentored all teams and helped them to refine and rethink their solutions.
Nataia and Andrei from Cryptochicks and Anum Hussain from IBM joined live to discuss their respective partnerships and goals for the hackathon. The program also hosted an IBM Cloud Webinar by Faisal Tariq, Cloud Developer Advocate at IBM. He introduced IBM Cloud and its various AI services like natural language processing, image recognition, chatbots, blockchain, data science and analytics. He also gave deep insights to the blockchain, hyper-ledger fabric, and its components. He also demonstrated fabric and presented its working to the participants.
Day 2: Brainstorming Solutions
The second day started with a keynote by Ahmed Manzoor, Blockchain & Digital Transformation Consultant on Blockchain Use Cases. He discussed types of the blockchain, history of ledgers and a few case studies, and also mentored the participating teams.
The teams formed on the first day started working in their specific tracks. Seven teams opted for the Developer Track, whereas four teams were in Business Track. The teams worked on building a prototype for a local or global problem statement. They were facilitated by guest mentors from the industry to execute their solutions. These mentors included,
- Anum Hussain – Cloud Developer Advocate, IBM
- Qamar Un-Nisa – Developer Experience Leader, IBM
- Ayesha Imtiaz – Senior Software Engineer, Contour Software
- Ayesha Shafique – Data Scientist, Ephlux
- Zeeshan Abbasi – CEO, MParsec
- Syed Ahmed Rizvi – Business Analyst, Salsoft Technologies
Faiza Yousuf also conducted a workshop to build a Business Model Canvas and how to fill its nine segments. It was followed by a hands-on workshop on Machine Learning in Healthcare by Ayesha Shafique. The session focused on fostering innovative new strategies for applying machine learning in healthcare and medicine. The participants were taught to build a simple supervised machine learning model yet efficient to tackle specified healthcare problem and evaluation techniques to test a model in a real environment.
The activities followed a keynote by Zeeshan Abbasi, CEO of MParsec exploring the promise of blockchain to disrupt conventional business processes. He discussed decentralized autonomous organizations in the context of historical industrial revolutions. He also mentored the hackathon participants.
Day 3: Presenting Prototypes
The final day started with a keynote by Mufaddal Durbar, Head of Product at CoinBundle. He discussed the challenges faced by cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. Sadaf Iqbal, Founder of Next Generation Analytics also gave a keynote session on hidden aspects of deep learning.
The hackathon participants presented their solutions developed, refined, and prototyped over the three days in front of the judging panel that included,
- Jawwad Farid – Director, Alchemy Technologies
- Mustafa Hemani- CTO, Genetech Solutions
- Sadaf Iqbal – Founder, Next Generation Analytics
- Ahmar Adil – PMO, IBM Pakistan
- Ahmad Manzoor – Blockchain Enthusiast
- Qamar un Nisa – Developer Experience Leader, IBM Pakistan
- Zeeshan Abbasi – CEO, MParsec
The judging criteria identified the project’s use case, creativity, originality, design, technicality, and usability. The winners from each track: Business & Developer received PKR 150,000 while runner-up for both categories received PKR 75,000, along with certificates, access to blockgeeks courses and AI education by CryptoChicks Pakistan.
XORD.id won in the Developer Track, it is a blockchain based system with a public facing mobile application used for identity claim management, like CNIC, Passport, Driving Licences, and other relevant documents.
AI Fraud Detection won in the Business Track. This project uses machine learning models to predicts frauds through the implementation of logistic regression, cross-validation, re-evaluation, key feature analysis, and dimensionality reduction.
Runner Up Projects
BEAR (Blockchain for Equal Opportunity Application for Real Estate), was the runner-up in the Developer Track. The project uses blockchain to solve the of corruption, land registration, and land grabbers in the real estate business. The objective is to provide transparency, validation of properties and give equal opportunity for the common public to bid and do business.
Brandy was the runner-up project in the Business Track. It is a District Municipal Corporation’s (DMC) online portal for systemized and transparent operations. It solves the problem of non-transparent and unreasonable marketing charges issued by DMCs.