The University of Arkansas AIS Blockchain Hackathon Challenge



Discussions of blockchain are capturing the news, occupy boardroom discussions, and creating buzz in business, governments, and technology circles around the world. Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the way businesses operate and has potentially wide-ranging applications from banking to finance to healthcare to insurance. The AIS-University of Arkansas Blockchain Hackathon Challenge provides an opportunity for student teams to compete for cash prizes as you explore the possibilities of a future on the blockchain.

Participants can choose from one of the three cases at the following links. Links for resources and information on setting a free your IBM blockchain developer account are below.


JB Hunt



Tips and Links to Blockchain Resources and Development Tools


We recommend that everyone go through the Blockchain Essentials course so that you can familiarize yourself with blockchain in general and Hyperledger Fabric Composer. This is a great introduction provided by IBM and will provide you with a “badge” from IBM that can be used to share with others that you have completed the training.

IBM Developer Resources


Check out this tutorial and video. It will walk you through registering for your free IBM cloud account and setting up the Linux box to use to complete your blockchain development.

Tutorial Documentation:

Windows Connection Tutorial:

Note: If you are using a Windows computer as your personal computer, please see the end of the above video as well as the short connection tutorial for setting up your environment on Windows. Mac and Linux users can follow the video from the beginning.


Watch this video tutorial that will walk you through examining the Fabric Composer development environment, exploring and altering a blockchain business network, and generating a web-based application to interact with the blockchain.

Tutorial Documentation:

These steps will introduce you to the environment and help you setup a development box so that you can practice and get comfortable with the environment. We recommend that at a minimum you go through the above tutorials before getting started so that you can be efficient when working with you team.

Web Links and Resources

IBM Presentations and Labs –

IBM Blockchain Use Case Demos –

U of A Hackathon Blockchain Hackathon Files and Tutorials –

IBM DeveloperWorks Blockchain Educator Guide –

IBM Blockchain 101: Quickstart Guide for Developers –

Hyperledger Community Page –

Hyperledger Wiki for Fabric –

Hyperledger Main Documentation –

Youtube Videos for HyperLedger Fabric Composer – 

Youtube Fabric Composer Tutorial (4 tutorials) – Recommended –

HyperLedger Fabric Composer Documentation –

Integrate your data with the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain –

Tutorials for moving files between a Mac and Linux computer or a Windows and Linux computer.

Mac (scp)

  • Submission Instructions

    • Upload your video to (make sure that you don’t make your video private so we can access it!)
    • Email the following to by the deadline:
      • The report submission as Word or PDF file
      • The blockchain and any other development files
      • Link to your video
      • Names and email addresses of the team members with a corresponding author identified
  • Timeline

    • All preliminary submissions must be received no later than March 2, 2018
    • Finalists will be announced on or around March 12, 2018
    • The winner will be revealed at the Student Chapters Leadership Conference between April 12-14, 2018
  • Prizes

    First place: $2,000

    Second place: $1,000

    Third place: $500


  • The project submissions must entirely be the work of the project team. While faculty and other individuals can help review the submission, they should not contribute to the content of the report or the solution.
  • Incomplete submissions will not be considered, so make sure you have all of your submission deliverables are in the submission package.
  • The contest materials must be submitted by the due dates. Late submissions will not be accepted and no extensions will be given.
  • Teams must be members of an AIS Student Chapter.

Preliminary Round

For the preliminary round the student team must submit a report in a Word or PDF format that contains:

  1. The name of your team and team members with email addresses.
  2. The title of the use case you have selected.
  3. A detailed description of your proposed solution which should include a written description of the solution, diagrams/charts/other visuals that communicate the solution and its components, the solution architecture and platform, etc.
  4. A statement of why you believe that your solution will work and how blockchain provides a new and potentially better approach.
  5. A discussion of the major business aspects and benefits of your blockchain solution.

The team must also submit:

  1. A copy of the in-progress source code for your “alpha” prototype (text file).
  2. A link to a video presentation of your use case solution and demo of any prototyping of the solution that was completed (see video instructions below).
  3. The blockchain file.

In addition to the report, the team must also submit a video that depicts a demo of the mock up or prototype of their solution to YouTube.  The guidelines for this deliverable are:

  1. The video must not be more than 7 minutes in length.
  2. The team should briefly introduce the problem and an overview of the solution in the video, but the focus of the video should be the discussion of how the solution will work, its benefits, and a demo of the mock up or prototype.
  3. All team members must be featured in the video.
Final Round

The top submissions, as scored by the judges, will move on to the final round, to be held at the Student Chapters Leadership Conference.  In this round, the teams will be required to make a 20-minute presentation to present your problem and its blockchain solution.


Problem Significance –
• Does the team clearly address the problem(s) identified in the use case?
• How well do they make the case for their proposed solution?
Solution Description –
• Does the team fully and clearly describe the proposed solution?
• Does the solution that they describe have the potential to solve the problem that they have presented using blockchain?
• Is Blockchain applied and/or implemented correctly?
Innovativeness of Solution –
• Is the solution innovative?
• How is it different than what has already been done?
Business Aspect of Solution –
• Does the team clearly convey the benefits of a blockchain solution in the given context?
• Does the team clearly articulate the business benefits of the solution?
Blockchain Demo –
• Does the team’s solution reflect what was in the report?
• Is it something that can be developed into a feasible technology given enough time?
• How is the quality of the explanation/demo video?