The government of the United Arab Emirates is sponsoring a virtual hackathon dedicated to blockchain, with $140,000 in prizes up for grabs.

Organized by AngelHack and featuring technical support from ethereum startup ConsenSys, the Blockchain Virtual GovHack is aimed at spotlighting innovations that could reshape how local and national governance can be enhanced. The hackathon dovetails with the World Government Summit, an annual gathering in Dubai set to take place in February.

Those backing the hackathon are seeking applications in areas like digitized government, e-identity and connected cities – concepts that Dubai has been pushing toward as part of its own research into blockchain. The Dubai Future Foundation, a technology initiative backed by the emirate’s government, has said that it wants to support blockchain startup activity as well.

First-prize winners are set to take home $100,000, as well as an all-expenses trip for three to attend the World Government Summit. Second and third prize winners will receive $30,000 and $10,000, respectively, along with passes for those teams to the Summit.

The event is also perhaps a reflection of the rising tide of blockchain hackathons around the world. Both nascent and established startups have leveraged hackathons as a way to both refine their ideas and connect with major companies along the way.

Registration for the UAE hackathon closes on 12th December. The hackathon begins on the 15th once approved teams are notified, with final submissions due by 8th January. Entries will be judged by an as-yet-unnamed panel of experts, with points awarded in the areas of creativity, design, execution and impact.

Finalists will be notified on 13th January, with the winners being announced during the World Government Summit in February.

Image via Shutterstock

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