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Op Ed: 10 International Teams to Compete in Blockchain Madness

Blockchain Madness, the annual intercollegiate blockchain game show tournament, is returning this March. The tournament is hosted by the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) and pits university blockchain clubs against each other in an elimination tournament to win one bitcoin, the Blockchain Cup and prestige for their university. This year, BEN has added a third conference for international universities, in addition to one conference for schools in the United States and one for schools in Canada.

So far, there are ten blockchain teams of three student block-stars who have confirmed their participation, including four in each of the American and Canadian conferences and two in the international conference.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California–Berkeley, the University of Florida and the Georgia Institute of Technology are representing the United States. McGill University, the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business, the University of Toronto and the University of Wilfrid Laurier are representing Canada. The National Taiwan Normal University and BEN Netherlands are competing in the international conference.

“Blockchain Madness is a great opportunity to test our blockchain knowledge and also have a chance to connect with other members of the blockchain community around the world, and we are very proud to be one of the first international teams represented in the international conference,” said Jean-Marc Turk, the founder of the blockchain club at the National Taiwan Normal University.

According to Aaron Schwartz, the BEN director of global engagement, there might be more university teams that could still be added to the lineup in the next few days leading up to beginning of the tournament.  

Similar to last year, the tournament a friendly spirit of competition among the leaders of the blockchain clubs.

Blockchain Madness last year was hilarious and super fun. We’re ready to beat Canada this time and Make America Great Again,” said Max Fang, the president of Blockchain at Berkeley, who is competing for the second year in a row.

Stepan Vorobiev, the president of the blockchain team from the University of Toronto, who is also competing in his second tournament, shares this sentiment. “We are glad that BEN is bringing Madness back. The industry grows significantly on a yearly basis and this is a fun way of staying up to date. We hope that this year we bring home the Blockchain Cup to Toronto!”

“Competing with these major universities has brought a lot of excitement out of our community at McGill and it makes me very proud to help provide an avenue for McGill to become as forward thinking as possible,” said Harris Innes-Miller, the founder of the newly created McGill Students’ FinTech Association.

“If you’ve been involved with BEN since its inception, you will know that Blockchain Madness is one of our most exciting events of the year,” said Siddarth Ramesh, the director of operations of the Blockchain Education Network. “At BEN, we’ve always believed that by gamifying blockchain education we can motivate students to push for paradigm shifts in their local communities. Through Blockchain Madness, we’re applying the same model to engage student clubs in competitive learning.”

The format of this year’s tournament will be two head-to-head elimination matches to determine the winning team of the American and Canadian conferences, as well as a single head-to-head match to determine the winner of the international conference. The winning team of each conference will then all compete in a three-way final match to determine the winner.

Each match will be set up to be similar to last year, with four categories of five questions, similar to Jeopardy. Teams choose questions until they get one wrong; then the question is passed to the other team to steal and it becomes the other team’s turn to pick questions. There are two “DISRUPT” tiles that introduce unknown elements into the game to help a losing team catch up or a winning team secure a victory. The last tile is the “Last Change,” where teams are able to wager as many points as they have before they see the question.

MLG Blockchain, an enterprise blockchain development and consulting firm, is the title sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include Unsung, Distributed ID, MicroJasa and Aprisma.

Kirk Brown, CEO of MicroJasa, said, “While in school they don’t teach you to smash existing models and disrupt legacy systems. They don’t teach you how to liberate from private economies that are controlled by institutions against financial autonomy. They don’t teach you not to set your goals by what others deem status quo. They also don’t teach you that banking networks can be innovated using new inventions like blockchain [technology] and cryptocurrencies: decentralized to distributed.”

Each event will be livestreamed to the Blockchain Education Network YouTube channel. Trivia questions will be posted throughout the event to the BEN Twitter page, with a prize awarded to the individual who gets the most answers correct.

This guest post was contributed by Michael Gord, founder and CEO of MLG Blockchain. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Bitcoin Magazine.


Michael Gord

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