NEM Merdeka Hackathon draws local universities

  • Hackathon’s aim was to educate students on practical applications of Blockchain technology
  • Fourteen public and private universities from around Malaysia participated at the event


First prize winner of NEM Merdeka Hackathon 2018: Team BC-LUL from University of Southampton Malaysia, with (far right) UEM Sunrise Managing Director’s Office deputy senior manager Feng Wai Chia


NEM Malaysia organised its inaugural Merdeka Hackathon for public and private universities and colleges in conjunction with Malaysia’s National Day. Themed “Blockchain The Future”, the hackathon was held on Sept 15 and 16 at the NEM Blockchain Centre (NBC) at GLO Damansara in Kuala Lumpur. NBC is currently the largest blockchain centre of its kind in Asia.

The NEM Merdeka Hackathon is one of NEM’s key initiatives in creating a vibrant Blockchain technology ecosystem in Malaysia and aims to raise awareness among institutions of higher learning about Blockchain and the adoption of this technology in the country. The hackathon matched blockchain use cases and business challenges with potential solutions powered by NEM Blockchain technology.

The winner of the RM5,000 First Prize was Team BC-LUL from University of Southampton Malaysia. Their blockchain solution was a system that allows anyone to invest in the property market through a blockchain token, or digital assets. The solution was to make property investments as easy as online shopping and to solve the problem of unoccupied and unsold properties in Malaysia. This business challenge was posed by UEM Sunrise Bhd, one of Malaysia’s leading property developers.

According to Chia Tze Hank, team leader, Team BC-LUL, “We gained a good amount of experience during the NEM Merdeka Hackathon, especially on the technical aspects. We had a technical problem while working on our hackathon solution and with the coaching of the NEM technical trainers, we managed to move forward. While the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore hackathon we previously took part in gave us a free hand in what we developed, the NEM Merdeka Hackathon actually gave us real world business problems which was a welcome experience on what it's like in an actual business and working situation.”  

Eighty students from 14 universities and colleges from around Malaysia including University of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, University College of Technology Sarawak, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Taylors University (among others), participated in the hackathon, as well companies and sponsors such as UEM Sunrise Bhd, IRIS Corporation Bhd, , AIA Bhd, Morpheus Labs, Parlo Tours and BESC.

The companies presented their use cases and business challenges while students and lecturers of participating educational institutions worked hand-in-hand to solve them with blockchain applications and solutions.

According to Lance Cheang, Southeast Asia project director, NEM Foundation, “Blockchain technology and its innovations are revolutionising how data and information is being managed across many industries including education, financial services, insurance, retail, telecommunications and logistics. The Merdeka Hackathon is one of our key initiatives to educate students and educators on the practical applications of Blockchain technology. Our aim is to support them in their efforts to incorporate it as part of their curriculum and research programmes, to prepare them for a blockchain-enabled world.”

The NEM Merdeka Hackathon 2018 began on Aug 15 with intensive training provided to the participants. The winners were announced during Malaysia Day on Sept 16.

Full list of winners and awards:

1st. prize RM5,000 - Team BC-LUL from University of Southampton Malaysia

2nd prize RM3,000 - Team Quadraplet from Taylor’s University

3rd prize RM2,000 - Team HOTBLOCKS from KDU University College

Most Impactful Solution RM1,000 - Team SquareChain from KDU University College

Most Innovative Solution RM1,000 - Team Dollarchain from University of Malaya

Most Promising Solution RM1,000 - Team Error101 from University of Malaya


Related Stories:

Enterprises, don’t be too sanguine about blockchain: Gartner

Hara helps Indonesian farmers access data with blockchain

NEM Malaysia opens largest Blockchain Centre in Asia


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