Unlock the Block

Blockchain Hackathon 2018

Proudly hosted by Linum Labs and the University of Cape Town


Unlock the Power of Blockchain

Unlock the Block is a 10-day blockchain event hosted by Linum Labs and the University of Cape Town. Designed as an entry point into the dynamic world of Ethereum and blockchain technology participants learn how to develop blockchain applications in minimum time.

In a 5 day digital bootcamp participants are trained by industry experts and professionals in overarching Fintech trends, as well as blockchain tools required to develop decentralized applications and protocols. This is designed as a hands on event – deep dive into the decentralized digital world of blockchain!

Leading South African and international businesses act as sponsors and thought leaders for the event, supplying use case ideas, case studies, data sets and the chance to offer opportunities to work with some of the most exciting companies in the space.

In a 72 hour live hackathon participants will build a prototype blockchain application that will be presented and judged on the final day of the event.

Build a Decentralized Future.

Applications for 2018 have now closed.

2018 Winning Teams

The top 4 winning teams of the 2018 Unlock the Block Blockchain Hackathon

Team Yuna

Proof of Steak

Tied for first place, Yuna created an innovative peer to peer lending network that uses non-fungible tokens, backed by physical assets, as collateral.

Team Yuna consists of 3 members from Cape Town South Africa.
Kungela Mzuku
Kyle Roos
Una Singo

Team WhenMoon?


Tied for first place, Team WhenMoon? created the blockchain-based application, blockPoll - a pseudo-anonymous, online, blockchain-based voting tool, used to facilitate organisational-based proxy voting and polling mechanisms for a wide array of uses.

The team of 4 originate from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Brandon Kenley Verkerk
Christopher Maree
Iordan Tchaparov
Kavilan Nair

Team Sudo Tesla

Liquid Money

Winners of the innovation prize is Team Sudo Tesla.

The project aims to provide an alternative means to manage water resources in a crisis by representing water as tokens. Tokens are used to represent the total available water from the municipality in a month and are distributed amongst the users in the system. The tokens can be used to redeem water from prepaid meters or alternatively low consumption users can trade their tokens to other users in exchange for ether. During an exchange a percentage of tokens are “burned” reducing the overall water consumption. As a result 3 parties are satisfied: the water token issuer(hard upper cap on overall consumption), the excess water users(additional water through exchange) and the water savers(additional income for saving water).

The teams four members include:
Alvin Reabow
Edwin Samuels
Michael Sanne
Shaheen Karodia



Team EWAN from Berlin created Pool.ac a curation markets for sponsoring creatives.

Four Members from Berlin:
Alan Woo
Everett Williams
Nicolas Kort
William Rennekamp


  • Applications are now closed for 2018
  • An opportunity to build something that matters
  • Resources and mentors will help you to prepare
  • Starting 22 January 2018 in Cape Town South Africa
  • 22 Jan: Bootcamp phase, a week of intensive FinTech and Blockchain training
  • 29 Jan: 72 Hours of coding competition Hackathon
  • Awards ceremony and winners are announced on 1 February 2018
  • See Schedule for more details

Why Enter?

  • 2 days FinTech training from industry leading professionals
  • 3 days of all inclusive intensive blockchain training
  • 10 days of access to top-level industry experts, instructors and mentors in beautiful Cape Town
  • Connect with a network of people trying to make a positive impact on the world
  • Opportunity to be head hunted, receive internship offers or build a prototype that might be adopted by a sponsor.
  • *Terms and Conditions Apply

Our Sponsors


AIFMRM focusses on Risk Management and Quantitative Finance. AIFMRM is part of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town where it conducts research and delivers postgraduate education and training. The Institute was launched in January 2014 and is funded by corporate partners in the banking and insurance sectors.

The Institute aims to

Build capacity and deepen skills and capabilities in the financial industry;
Diversify the body of financial practitioners and open the fields of risk management and quantitative finance to people from a range of backgrounds;
Drive research, shape discussion and promote enquiry;
Advance scholarship and develop the next generation of African academics dedicated to rigorous, industry-specific research;
Develop and deliver postgraduate programmes that are relevant, intensive and effective;


Status is an open source messaging platform and mobile interface to interact with decentralized applications that run on the Ethereum Network.

RMB Foundery

RMB FOUNDeRY is a division of RMB, launched to create a space for innovation & disruption in the Fintech space. Our mandate is to research and develop innovative tech solutions that could change the way wholesale banking works in the future with an obsessive focus on client needs and experience. Through our equation of Possibility Thinking we become pathfinders of digital disruption.


The ConsenSys “hub” coordinates, incubates, accelerates and spawns “spoke” ventures through development, resource sharing, acquisitions, investments and the formation of joint ventures. These spokes benefit from foundational components built by ConsenSys that enable new services and business models to be built on the blockchain. In addition to the development of internal projects and consulting work, ConsenSys is interested in the identification, development and acquisition of talent and projects on an ongoing basis.



Through its global network of connected sites in seven of the world’s top FinTech ecosystems, Rise delivers numerous programmes that facilitate rapid engagement between Barclays and the Rise community in order to solve some of the biggest challenges facing financial services. These programmes foster long-term mutually beneficial relationships, designed to scale early prototypes and new business models into live products and services. By collaborating with Barclays, our members receive advice and mentorship from some of the world’s leading experts in financial services, as well as having access to a new global customer.

With a global network of talent, world-class innovation programmes and workspaces, Rise is a curated community where the best and brightest can develop, collaborate, and scale together.

Old Mutual

Old Mutual is the largest and most trusted financial services provider in Southern Africa. Our prominent position in the industry is reflected in our strong operating performance across all our businesses, our good balance sheet position, strong financial flexibility with demonstrated access to international capital markets and diversity of business.

University of Cape Town

UCT is one of the leading higher education institutions on the African continent and has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected worldwide.

Situated on spectacular Devil’s Peak, it is Africa’s oldest and foremost university. Three worldwide rankings have placed UCT among the world’s top 200 institutions, the only African university to have achieved this distinction. UCT is research-led; the premier academic meeting point between South Africa, the continent and the world, and committed to addressing the key issues of our natural world.

Taking advantage of expanding global networks and UCT’s distinct vantage point in Africa, the university is committed, through innovative research and scholarship, to grapple with the key issues of our natural and social worlds. UCT aims to produce graduates whose qualifications are internationally recognised and locally applicable, underpinned by values of engaged citizenship and social justice. UCT will promote diversity and transformation within our institution and beyond, including growing the next generation of academics.

Hackathon In The News

Press and News surrounding #UnlockTheBlock2018

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Paul Kohlhaas

Managing Director | Linum Labs

Simon De La Rouviere

Full-Stack  Developer | ConsenSys

Andrew Tudhope

Lead Architect | Linum Labs

Co-Pierre George

Associate Professor | African Institute of Financial Markets

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Cash prizes for teams that get placed first or second!

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