The key goals of the hackathon were to investigate how blockchain can be used to help those experiencing homelessness and build a trusted digital identity that incorporates document storage and authentication, and help to determin whether blockchain is the best solution for providing permanent storage and maintenance of these important documents and transactions that make up an identity.
Three members of DigitalTown – VP of Global Operations, Frank Robles, plus James Kirk and Jerry Liu – worked leveraging DigitalTown’s APIs to develop a solution to demonstrate how blockchain-based technology can be used today to pay for goods and services, receive money as well as submit and grant access to securely stored documents linked to an individual’s digital identity.
Austin City Chief Innovation Officer, Kerry O’Connor, says: “Our team valued how the solution from DigitalTown helped with the ease of document sharing with QR codes. The development of a physical prototype that incorporated testing feedback resonated with those experiencing homelessness. The evidence we gathered through DigitalTown’s effort is invaluable as we submit our final application to Bloomberg Philanthropies in demonstrating how we might facilitate the point of sharing documents in the overall process of more seamlessly accessing services.”
DigitalTown CTO, Mike Cartwright, comments: “We are very happy with the result. Being up against much larger project teams is no easy feat. The real winner though was the City of Austin, as the Mayor’s staff so rightly said.”
“We have ambitious plans for the future and we are continuously adding new features. If we can achieve such a commendable result with our APIs at this stage in our product development, our global success is within reach. DigitalTown leverages blockchain-powered solutions to build awareness and community around the potential use of blockchain for civic and social good. It is wonderful to see how communities in Central Texas are now able to keep more money in the local economy via Austin.city and the other city platforms that cover Central Texas,” adds Mike.
DigitalTown VP of Global Operations and Austin resident, Frank Robles, adds: “We were deeply touched to witness how our winning solution built using the DigitalTown platform APIs can provide real and immediate benefit to the City’s most vulnerable populations, including persons experiencing homelessness. We delivered an innovative solution that does not require the end user to have a connected device at the time of the transaction and can do any transactions, be they financial or granting access to documents or accepting documents. Often community members simply do not have smart phones and documents or cards can be lost or stolen. Our solution is flexible and accommodates these realities. This is #Techforgood.”
“The feedback we received from the hackathon participants regarding our APIs was extremely encouraging and bodes very well for the future of DigitalTown with its mission to bring the DigitalTown movement to every town, city and village in the world. Our cutting-edge solution will be part of the city of Austin’s response to Bloomberg Philanthropies in an effort to win the $1M or $5M grant to help us deploy the porposed solution,” adds Frank.
Rob Monster, CEO of DigitalTown, says: “We greatly appreciate the initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Office of Mayor Steve Adler, the City of Austin Office of Innovation and Dell Medical School for their courageous efforts to partner with the private sector to co-create meaningful solutions to real problems. We look forward to demonstrating the impact of this work to the rest of the world in the months ahead leading up to the upcoming SXSW Festival in March 2019 in Austin.”
DigitalTown, Inc. (DGTW) powers Smart Cities to succeed in the Digital Age. It provides turn-key hosted solutions to power “Digital Towns”, which improve Quality of Life for residents and visitors through locally owned solutions for economic development, civic engagement and digital inclusion for cities around the world. You can download the DigitalTown App from the App Store, or visit one of our many city sites such as Austin.City to get a feel for how DigitalTown is creating value for cities around the world.
Karen Floyd, Chief Brand Officer +1 512 647 2777; firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer – Forward Looking Statement
Safe Harbor Language: Any statements contained herein related to future events are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. DigitalTown, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update any such statements to reflect actual events.