Tunisia is set to witness the first Hedera Hackathon taking place from January 26th to 28th, 2024. The event is a collaborative effort between Dar Blockchain, The Hashgraph Association, ESPRIT University, and SUP’COM University. The aim of the Hackathon, backed by the Hedera Network, is to boost the adoption and understanding of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in the country.

Dar Blockchain, a pioneer in the blockchain technology space, dedicated to redefining the digital landscape toward decentralization, and The Hashgraph Association, a non-profit organization that supports training and education programs across multiple industry verticals through broad adoption of Hedera-powered, enterprise-grade solutions, have partnered with two leading universities in Tunisia to establish a platform that explores the latest in Web3 technologies. 

ESPRIT University, a distinguished institution specializing in engineering and technology, and SUP’COM, the Higher School of Communication of Tunis or Engineering School of Communication of Tunis, will utilize the Hedera Hackathon to emphasize the innovative possibilities offered by the Hedera Network.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and contribute to the transformation of industries through engaging activities and access to a specialized Web 3.0 Decentralized Academy.

Mohamed Mnif and Jaafar Saied, the Co-founders of Dar Blockchain, said: “ We are proud to be launching the first Hedera Hackathon at two reputable universities as part of our aim to set up chapters in local universities and offer training as we lay the foundation for a real understanding of DLT and blockchain. Tunisian youth and university students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to foster Web3 adoption, not only in MENA but globally.”

The Hedera Hackathon will offer tracks that include DeFi (Decentralized Finance), revolutionizing finance with accessible and secure financial services for the Tunisian and African community, DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), reimagining organizational structures for innovative university organization management and collaboration across the country, as well as tracks on the metaverse and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). 

Teams of three to five members are eligible to participate and must send in their applications no later than January 20th , 2024. At least one member of the team needs to be certified on the Hedera ecosystem.

Participants will be required to build solutions that leverage Hedera’s DLT, addressing real and current needs within the African community and showcasing practical applicability and positive impact.

At the end of the Hackathon, teams will need to submit a live and functioning project which includes a URL, a PowerPoint presentation outlining the business case and functionalities, and a three to five minute demo video demonstrating the project’s key features.

Selection criteria for the best projects will be based on relevance to the Hedera Hackathon’s themes, effective usage of the Hedera DLT Network, technical functionality, clear business case, scalability, team composition and collaboration, and effective presentation capabilities.

Kamal Youssefi, President of The Hashgraph Association, added, “Our support of the proliferation of innovative DLT solutions in the African continent is one of our key objectives. We believe that it is through the utilization of the Hedera Network and distributed ledger technology that we can empower future generations to build enhanced economies, technologies, and societies. Working with DAR Blockchain and future-driven universities such as ESPRIT, and SUP-COM is a privilege and an honor.”

In 2023 Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association signed a partnership agreement to develop blockchain in Tunisia and the African continent.

Three Blockchain enabled startups present in the UAE have won the Bybit DMCC hackathon. Web3 messaging platform Pravica, crypto rating platform Evai, and DeFi lending platform Timeswap have one the $100,000 Hackathon in Dubai UAE.

With a total prize pool worth USD 100,000 directed toward fostering crypto innovation in Web3, the Hackathon is the first of its scale in the MENA region.

During the final stage of the hackathon, ten exceptional teams were chosen to pitch and showcase their groundbreaking innovations in diverse areas of the blockchain industry, encompassing GameFi, decentralised finance (DeFi), Web3 infrastructure, Web3 Education NFTs, and sustainable blockchain solutions, with three teams selected as the final winners.

Three winners were selected were Evai Crypto Ratings,  a pioneering world-class decentralized Supervised Machine Learning rating system for Crypto, DeFi and NFTs, Pravica, a peer-to-peer web3.0 messaging and value transfer infrastructure, and Timeswap a fully decentralized lending & borrowing protocol in DeFi powered by a unique 3 variable AMM enabling permissionless lending borrowing for any crypto asset powered by their unique 3 variable AMM.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “With groundbreaking innovations covering GameFi, Web3 infrastructure, sustainable blockchain solutions and more, the DMCC-Bybit hackathon is a great example of the ways we are positioning Dubai as a leader and global hub in Web3. The technology and innovation demonstrated today by DMCC Crypto Centre members across all areas of the blockchain industry will only serve to reinforce this status and attract even more global talent to the region. We are delighted to be working with Bybit to harness Dubai’s Web3 potential, and I look forward to seeing even more pioneering developments by our community members in the future.”

Ben Zhou, Co-founder and CEO of Bybit added: “We are proud to work with DMCC in hosting such a vibrant hackathon that challenged participants and unveiled some inspiring levels of tech talent. We look forward to working with DMCC and its Crypto Centre members on a range of new exciting projects over the coming period.”

DMCC and Bybit joined forces earlier this year to offer financial assistance worth $136,000 to new cryptocurrency businesses that intended to establish their operations at DMCC Crypto Centre. As part of this collaboration, Bybit became the listing partner for the Crypto Centre, providing specialized assistance to cryptocurrency firms that want to list their digital assets on one of the world’s top global exchanges.

UAE Abu Dhabi University’s department of computer science and IT has hosted the first 5ire Web3 Blockchain hackathon in collaboration with 5ire and MetaDecrypt. Over 50 teams representing nine universities acros shte UAE participated in a bid to further enhance students’ knowledge of blockchain technology and innovation and to strengthen blockchain education, research and entrepreneurship.

ADU’s faculty members and 5ire trainers introduced students and academics to Web3 and blockchain technology, fostering innovation in the next generation of developers through the utilisation of several technologies such as Metamask, NFT, 5irechain, Ethereum and IPFS. In addition, participants from all coding and programming levels received expert guidance, valuable resources and networking opportunities to ignite their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

As part of the event, students attended a workshop focused on Web3 and blockchain technologies, as well as entrepreneurship. Following the workshop, the students worked together and were encouraged to apply their creativity to competitive and groundbreaking ideas that utilised Web3 and blockchain technologies as well as developing innovative solutions for real-world challenges. 

Professor Mourad Elhadef, Computer Science and IT Professor at Abu Dhabi University (ADU), said: “We are delighted to host the first 5ire Blockchain Hackathon in partnership with our strategic partner 5ire. Together, we aim to boost critical thinking and empower the next generation of Web3 and Blockchain developers. This hackathon serves as a dynamic platform where creativity meets sustainability, showcasing how technology can drive positive change in alignment with the UAE’s strategic vision for sustainability. We are inspired by the pioneering and creative ideas we have witnessed from the bright tech-savvy leaders of the future.”

Dr. Murad Al Rajab, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Abu Dhabi University, said:”Web3 and Blockchain stand at the forefront of innovation, offering unprecedented opportunities for sustainability. By harnessing the power of these transformative technologies, we can forge a path towards a greener and more sustainable future. The recent hackathon, organised by Abu Dhabi University and 5ire.org, showcased how Web3 and Blockchain can revolutionise areas like supply chain transparency, renewable energy trading, and beyond, driving us closer to a world where technology becomes a catalyst for sustainable development.”

Pratik Gauri, Founder and CEO of 5ireChain, said: “We firmly believe in empowering the next generation of Web3 pioneers, and it is not just a vision, but a commitment we hold. By fostering local talent in the UAE and embracing decentralised learning, we strive to equip children and youth with the necessary tools to construct a transformative future.”

The competition concluded with an award ceremony, where the winners were recognised for their outstanding innovative ideas. The top three winners were recognised from different universities within the UAE where ADU came in second place. The winning teams’ projects focused on Cryptocurrency and Sustainability.

Once again Bybit is supporting the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in the UAE. Yesterday it was with DMCC crypto center, and today it is with the University of Sharjah. Bybit has contributed $272.000 equivalent to 1 million AE to establish a scholarship fund to support 20 students to accelerate their academic and research career into fintech and blockchain at the American University of Sharjah.

20 computer science and computer engineering students will benefit from the Bybit Scholarship as soon as this fall.

Bybit is also committed to broader initiatives including an extra AED 100,000 to sponsor a hackathon for the blockchain community in the UAE. The first AUS-Bybit Inter-College Hackathon will be held at the AUS College of Engineering in the 2023-2024 academic year.

“AUS’ reputation as a center for education excellence stems in part from its strong industry links that allows it to continuously bridge gaps between industry and academia. Through this partnership with Bybit, our students will have access to the technical knowledge that helps them keep up with all that is novel in the crypto and blockchain industry, enhance their skills and support their education through the establishment of the Bybit Scholarship. At AUS, we graduate professionals and lifelong learners who are capable of making a difference in an ever-evolving world,” said Dr. Susan Mumm, Chancellor of AUS.

“Younger generations hold the key in driving the blockchain revolution forward,” said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit. “We are pleased to create the Bybit Scholarship at AUS to help their talented students’ future-proof their knowledge and skills. We thank AUS for the opportunities to raise crypto awareness and share first-hand knowledge of the industry with students from one of the most prestigious universities in the region. I look forward to being inspired by the future engineers, blockchain scientists, and Web3 startup founders.”

Despite the dire economic situation and maybe because of it, many startups are turning towards solutions built on blockchain and crypto. Lebanon has become one of the leading countries in MENA region for crypto mining, and crypto trading. Recently, the American University of Beirut witnessed a 48 hour Blockchain Crypto Hackathon which culminated in the success of four Lebanese startups offering innovative crypto blockchain solutions.

Organized by the Darwazah Center for Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship (DC) at the Olayan School of Business (OSB) within th American University of Beirut (AUB) in partnership i-Park and Beirut Digital District, four Lebanese crypto blockchain startups were announced as winners. 

First prize went to CrypLock, which is working to bring trustless operations to cover over the counter crypto transactions via a digital escrow. The second Prize went to Cash2Coin, which is working to make crypto transaction as easy as ATM operations via stablecoins. In Third place came Walleti, which seeks to increase mass market adoption of Crypto through pre-paid crypto scratch cards and applications. Finally in Fourth place came D-Bank, which seeks to enhance SME (Small to Medium Size Enterprise) reputation using blockchain.

Prizes ranged from 15,000 USD to 5,000 USD offered by leading Blockchain platforms such as Avalanche, NYM Technologies, and L1 Digital. Speakers at the event included John Nahas, VP Business Development for Ava Labs, Harry Halpin, CEO of blockchain privacy startup Nym, Ray Hindi, CEO/CIO and co-founder of L1 Digital, Cyrus Azad, Vice President of Business Development at Digital Transit, Charbel Ghossan, the founder and CEO of Digital Transit, Abdulwahab Alzuaby, the CTO of Arcadous and Rafic Farra, the founder of Walleti & Coinsultancy.

Amir Taaki, Founder of Agora DeFi movement, a well-known programmer who rewrote a portion of the Bitcoin code made the closing remarks at the event. In his speech he made a call to action for DeFi