Bitgram gets top honors at Karnataka govt’s Blockchain hackathon

Karnataka govt’s Blockchain hackathon on Bitgram is a drop in Bengaluru’s vast and expanding startup ecosystem, but a tech solution pitched by the one-year-old startup at the recent blockchain hackathon, conducted by the IT-BT department, has won the top prize.

Ten startups have shared the four prizes after their prototypes to solve different challenges at the 48-hour event won jury approval. The teams will receive their cash rewards at the Blockchain Conclave, which the IT department is hosting in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The startup, founded by former Oracle techies Priya Randolph (CEO), Rohit Chaturvedi (CTO) and Prasanna Padmanabhan (chief products officer), has highlighted problems in the area of “identity and ownership management” and suggested how blockchain technology could prevent ID thefts and other forms of misuse while, at the same time, limiting the data access to a service provider.

Unique Identity Number (UIN), name, gender, date of birth, parent’s name, address, mobile number and email ID form a person’s biographics. Two irises, face and 10 fingerprints are his or her biometrics, and there have been cases of misuse of biometrics or biographics or both.

Bitgram has come up with three scenarios. In the first case, a fraudster claims and gets the service in the name of another by providing the latter’s details. In the second scenario, a service provider extracts the KYC of a person though the agency requires only his or her biometric authentication. In the third event, a person would want to share only his or her age with a service agency, but cannot do that for want of a firewall.

“The app that we are developing aims to address the above scenarios using a combination of blockchain and IndiaStack. A user can send information through the app to another party on a trusted and secure channel. We will employ data protection and security to ensure the customer data is safe,” said Padmanabhan. This will be a consent-based mechanism aimed at addressing KYC and security-related issues with the current applications.”

Karnataka IT minister Priyank Kharge is happy that they have had a successful event. “This is the first time we held a blockchain hackathon, where we gave startups real-life challenges that government departments are dealing with. We thought that is also the way to encourage startups to get to know the problems around them and work on solving them,” he said.

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