Blockchain hackathon with project Piggybank

Last weekend Anchormen participated in the Dutch Blockchain Hackathon 2017. The aim of the hackathon was to boost innovation around blockchain technology using 5 tracks, each with around 10 teams from all over the world. There were teams from Singapore, the USA, Germany and more. Team Anchormen participated in the Reinventing Government track with a team of engineers and data scientists, working on a case from the municipality of Utrecht. The team dubbed it “Project Piggybank”.

The aim of the project is to help financially unstable households to get a grip on their expenses. Apart from making bad decisions, these households often must deal with ad-hoc cash flows coming from benefits. This makes the matter of paying bills more complicated, leading to worse decisions, and a vicious cycle ensues.

By using Blockchain technology combined with a financial buffer (the piggy bank), it is possible to give more structure to a household’s cash flow. The creditors (utility companies, phone companies etc.) of the household are intended to be part of the project. For them, being able to validate the transaction process themselves and knowing they get their money on time is very valuable. People in debt cost the whole of society a lot of money, and these big organisations are often willing to give a discount to these households if they pay on time. These discounts flow back into the piggy bank, building up the buffer. The resulting system, eventually, will be self-sufficient.

Team Anchormen created an Ethereum based solution, with a backend in Node.js and a progressive web-app using Angular 2. Parallel to the implementation, team Anchormen also came up with privacy concept using additive homeomorphic encryption, which hides the details of people’s transactions, while still allowing for all parties involved to validate the logic. This gives the households involved more privacy.

Apart from the good cause, the team also had a lot of fun hacking away during those 56 hours. We laughed and learned a lot, and I want to thank everyone involved for such a great weekend!