Congratulations to our researchers who were once again part of the winning team of the 2022 Infrachain Challenge! On November 29 and 30, Infrachain hosted its third edition of the annual blockchain hackathon, the Infrachain Challenge, sponsored by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Digitalisation.
The winners of this year’s event were the ZeroKnowledge team, comprising researchers from the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), Egor Ermolaev and Johannes Sedlmeir. Both are members of SnT’s Digital Financial Services and Cross-Organisational Digital Transformations (FINATRAX) research group, led by Prof. Gilbert Fridgen. They were joined by researchers from the University of Bayreuth, and from the Fraunhofer FIT. Both Ermolaev and Sedlmeir also participated in the Infrachain Challenge 2021, where they won the second edition of the blockchain hackathon under the team name Let’sFixID.
Their winning project in this year’s event was entitled, Gamification for Reduced Energy Consumption, which is a secure infrastructure to preserve privacy when using energy consumption data. This infrastructure enables individuals and organisations to compete for the lowest electricity consumption. Just like a game, users can earn rewards for winning this competition in an open ecosystem, where anybody can join.
The third edition of the Infrachain Challenge focused on the public sector blockchain developed by the Ministry for Digitalisation, and on accelerating public energy efficiency. The Luxembourgish government has committed itself to reduce energy consumption by 15 % by March 2023, and technologies like blockchain have the potential to support this energy transition. Over two days, six teams had to develop an innovative project based on the public sector blockchain. After 30 hours of coding, designing, and creating a demo, the teams presented their ideas to the jury. With ten minutes each to impress the jury with their project, ZeroKnowledge was declared the 2022 winner.
“It was really challenging to continue working for 30 hours, especially knowing we had strong competition from the other participants. We were fully immersed in the work and so we barely slept over the course of the two days,” said Egor Ermolaev, doctoral researcher at SnT.
The ZeroKnowledge team was awarded €5,000 in price money. Runners up in the competition were Filedgr and EY Luxembourg, who ranked second and third, respectively. Filedgr developed N-Lux, which aims to introduce the Luxembourg public energy saving certificate and implement a financial participation and accreditation model driven by public authorities and the public. EY Luxembourg proposed a project called reSET (Smart Energy Transition), which enables all public administrations to meet in a marketplace and execute Public2Public secured, real-time, audit-trailed energy. The first and second runner-up received €3,500 and €2,000. The Ministry of Digitalisation will review all project ideas and potentially offer individual teams to turn their concept into a public sector blockchain application.
“Our team was comprised of people from across the world. We worked together, everyone contributed equally to the victory, and, most importantly, we all enjoyed the event – that is our main victory,” shared Ermolaev.