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Enabling New Smart Device Applications: The IoT+Blockchain Hackathon in London

Finding new ways for developers to enable IoT applications by using Ethereum and the Blockchain technology behind it

Last month, thanks to the initiative of Stephan Tual and the Ethereum meetup group, the London developer community had the chance to attend the first IoT and Blockchain hackathon in Europe (IoTDAO), where RS Components was proud to be the main sponsor, alongside RiseSlockit and Cellabz.  

At the moment, many Blockchain hackathons are being organised in almost every large city of the world, and, at the same time, a lot of IoT makerspace events are being held globally, but to bring these two fields together, that’s a novel idea! Hopefully, this event (and similar ones in the near future) will help bring together programmers that are keen to find out more about the Blockchain Technology and engineers interested in building new physical applications in the domain of the Internet of Things, using Ethereum and the peer-to-peer solutions.

We are starting to discover more and more the common ground between the Blockchain Technology, previously described as an immutable record of digital events shared peer to peer between different parties, and the physical applications in the domain of the Internet of Things, and this is what the event attempted to stimulate. The ADEPT project is a good example. 

Prototyping new ideas with decentralization in mind

The event started with a short presentation of Ethereum Frontier and an example of a recent application - a decentralized autonomous network of smart locks for personal and commercial use, designed by Slockit.

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Some of the participants described right from the very beginning what projects they wanted to build and what teams they wanted to form, and some took the opportunity to present their skills and brainstorm.

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In total, more than 40 developers attended the event, and by midday they had all started hacking using one of the Raspberry Pi 2 devices provided or the Intel/Arduino development boards.

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The hands-on experience helped everyone better understand both the hardware limitation of the Raspberry Pi and the challenges associated with complex Ethereum smart contracts, but also the huge potential of the Blockchain, if properly used.  

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Among the projects created, the following were awarded prizes:

First prize – Solether 
(Francesco Canessa, Kristina Butkute, Andres Carceller)

The idea of this project is to build and autonomous entity that will give people electrical energy in exchange for ether coins. The energy can be provided by smart devices powered by solar panels that can charge the phone for 30 minutes after receiving payment.

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Runner up – The learners of the chain 
(Mukund Umalkar, NelsoN Melina, Paul Ellis, Aram Mine)

This project is simply a decentralised application that uses the blockchain to implement a secure, trusted, decentralised gas and electricity billing, payment and monitoring platform using smart contracts.

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See all the details about the teams in the hackpad here

Overall...

It was a wonderful occasion to learn new skills and exchange ideas about this new technology that has caused a stir in both the FinTech space and in the field of the Internet of Things. We will keep an eye on future events, hopefully even larger hackathons, and involving many other cities beside London.

Related DesignSpark Articles - When the Blockchain Technology meets the Internet of Things 

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