Coinbase is excited to launch our first open innovation challenge!
The goals of this challenge are to: 1) identify innovative new uses for blockchain technology and 2) to raise awareness of blockchain’s unique capabilities.
We are interested in new ways to use blockchain technology that address critical global issues such as environmental sustainability, healthcare, education or financial inclusion. Or you may prefer to target something of personal interest. Whether your problem is big or small, global or local, we would love to hear your ideas for how to use blockchain’s unique capabilities to build a better world. Submissions must include an outline of the issue that needs to be addressed, an explanation on why blockchain technology is appropriate, and an action plan for implementation.
Detailed knowledge of blockchain technology is not necessary to enter this challenge.
Winning submissions may be considered for further development and possible implementation by Coinbase. Certain prize winners could also be offered the opportunity to work with Coinbase on their solution or attend blockchain training sessions. To this end, up to 11 competitors with the most compelling ideas will be invited to a virtual pitch session where solutions are presented directly to the Coinbase team.
Finalists and Additional Entries Selected by the Judges will Receive a Coinbase Innovation Challenge Non-Fungible Token!
Blockchain technology is the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. But blockchain can offer countless other benefits to areas beyond finance. Blockchain technology is used to electronically secure and record information using a system that is transparent, trustworthy, and decentralized, making it difficult to hack.
A blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computers on the blockchain. Each block in the chain contains several transactions, and every time a new transaction occurs, a record of that transaction is added to every participant’s ledger. This means if one block in one chain was changed, it would be immediately apparent that an unauthorised change had occurred. Furthermore, if hackers wanted to alter a blockchain system, they would have to simultaneously change every block in the chain, across all the distributed versions of the chain.
If you are new to blockchain, the articles and tutorials in the Resources tab provide plenty of information to help you formulate a successful entry. Furthermore, these resources are incredibly interesting and educational, whether you enter the challenge or not! You’ve definitely come to the right place to learn about blockchain, digital ledgers and cryptocurrency.
Coinbase wants to raise awareness about blockchain and its unique capabilities. Why not sign-up for a free account and complete the ‘learn and earn’* interactive tutorials on their website to earn some cryptocurrency as a reward? As well as learning about earning crypto, these tutorials may give you inspiration for the challenge as well. Blockchain technology is revolutionizing our world and has the power to make our lives better. Tell your friends and help spread the message!
*Limited while supplies last and amounts offered for each quiz may vary. Must verify ID to be eligible and complete quiz to earn. Customers may only earn once per quiz. Coinbase reserves the right to cancel the Earn offer at anytime.
Purpose of the Challenge
We want to raise awareness about blockchain, and make it more inclusive and accessible to everyone! The purpose of this challenge is to seek innovative ideas for how the unique attributes of blockchain technology could solve some of our world’s current problems. Solvers will need to first identify a problem and then explain why blockchain is an appropriate solution. Finally, an action plan is required that articulates how the blockchain-based solution could be implemented. Coinbase is interested in proposals where blockchain technology could deliver successful solutions and innovations across different industries, not just finance and digital markets. All proposed solutions must be legal in the USA and adhere to Coinbase’s ethical values and standards.
Some examples of where blockchain is used in sectors outside finance include:
Supply chain management where stock itemization, movements and transfers are recorded on the blockchain.
Qualification and credential controls where personnel records are secured confidentially through blockchain.
Notarisation of critical records where a file is given a unique identifier and stored on the blockchain.
Safety critical task ledgers where records of actions and decisions are secured via blockchain technology.
Evidence chains where confidentiality of the contents is maintained but the detail on administration control is secured publically on the blockchain.
Prizes and Incentives
This is a tough challenge and consequently the prize purse and winner bonuses reflect this. There are also some special category prizes to encourage really unusual and different approaches. All finalists and any additional entries recognized by the judges will receive an exclusive Coinbase Innovation Challenge Non-Fungible Token (NFT) to recognize their valuable contribution to this important work. Furthermore, up to eleven winners will receive awards in a cryptocurrency of their choice through a Coinbase account. Winners may also be offered the opportunity to work with Coinbase to develop their ideas further. Please note that prizes must be paid into Coinbase accounts so make sure you sign-up and meet the requirements stated in the challenge.
To help the judges determine the winners and special category prizes, up to eleven competitors will be invited to a virtual pitch session where they will have 3-5 minutes to pitch their ideas and 10 minutes to answer questions from the Coinbase team. After these pitch sessions conclude, the judging panel will determine their final rankings and award the challenge prizes.
This is your chance to be at the heart of the blockchain revolution and to help solve problems that really matter. Only new and innovative concepts are likely to succeed, so ingenuity and creativity will be key. The deadline for entries is Dec 14, 2021 at 11:59PM EST. Don’t miss out!
We encourage entries from individuals and teams that work in all sectors. Health professionals, teachers, environmentalists, social workers, artists, the creative industries, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, students, and anyone eager to contribute, should jump into this challenge and share their ideas. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert in blockchain technology or cryptocurrency! We’ve got you covered with tutorials, primers and other educational material (see the Resources tab) to help you gain an understanding of the concepts and technology behind blockchain.
Up to eleven prizes (totaling $10,000) are available as follows and will be awarded as either Bitcoin or Ethereum, depending on the winner’s choice:
$3,500 in cryptocurrency
$2,500 in cryptocurrency
$1,500 in cryptocurrency
$750 in cryptocurrency
$500 in cryptocurrency
$250 in cryptocurrency
Coinbase Giving Special Awards (for submissions outside the Top 6)
Best submission related to healthcare
$200 in cryptocurrency
Best submission related to education
$200 in cryptocurrency
Best submission related to financial inclusion
$200 in cryptocurrency
Best submission related to environmental sustainability
$200 in cryptocurrency
Most original submission
$200 in cryptocurrency
Total Prize Purse
$10,000 in cryptocurrency
Selected Individuals and Teams
The opportunity to work with Coinbase.
All finalists and selected entries noted by the judges.
An official Coinbase Innovation Challenge NFT.
October 7, 2021
December 14, 2021
February 1, 2021
Virtual pitch session
week of February 14, 2022
February 24, 2022
How do I win?
To be eligible for an award, your proposal must, at minimum:
● Satisfy the Judging Criteria requirements
● Thoughtfully address the Submission Form questions
Solvers must explain the targeted problem clearly and precisely. It is crucial that the critical elements are identified so judges can determine the impact of the problem and the benefits of any potential solution.
Appropriate use of Blockchain Technology
The judges will be looking for something that is uniquely suited to blockchain and will base their scores on whether the technology is an appropriate solution to the problem. Not all problems can be fixed with blockchain! Make sure you explain why blockchain is the best route to success for your specific issue.
It is important to present a plan that articulates objectives, the resources required, the necessary budget and the timeline used for implementing your solution. Judges will be looking for a sound plan backed up where necessary with reasoned arguments and evidence.
Judges will make a call on whether all the key risks and complexities have been identified and the necessary mitigations provided. Please don't be put off from submitting something radical; just make sure you think through implementation!
Innovation is important and judges will be looking for new and exciting concepts that have not previously been explored or established techniques being used in a different way.
Scores in this section will be based on how big a positive impact the solution will deliver.
Official Challenge Rules
NO PURCHASE, PAYMENT, OR TRADE OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
ELIGIBILITY: The Blockchain Breakthroughs for a Better World Challenge (the “Challenge”) is open to (i) individuals who are legal residents of the United States (including the District of Columbia but excluding Hawaii), Canada, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Argentina, and Sweden (“Eligible Countries”); (ii) individuals who are the age of majority or older in his or her state or country of residence at the time of entry.Employees, temporary workers, interns, officers, and directors of Coinbase, Inc., the Center for Innovation and Education, HeroX, their affiliated companies, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, any and all other entities, directly associated with this Challenge (“Released Parties”), and the immediate family members and members of the same residing in the household of any of the above are not eligible to enter or win. Employees or officials of any government entity are not eligible to enter or win a prize. Failure to meet the eligibility requirements will result in an entry being invalid and forfeiture of any prize.
AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES: By participating, individual entrants or a team of no more than five (5) eligible individuals (collectively “Entrants”) agree to abide by and be bound by these official rules. Winning a prize (as defined below) is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
ENTRY PERIOD: The Challenge begins at 12:00 AM ET on October 7th, 2021 and ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 14th, 2021 (“Entry Period”).
HOW TO ENTER: Eligible Entrants may enter the Challenge by (i) signing-up and registering for a HeroX account, and (ii) submit your solution on the URL: https://www.herox.com/BlockchainBreakthroughs (“Website”) within the Entry Period.
All required information must be provided to enter and to be eligible to win. Incomplete entries will be disqualified and void.
JUDGING: All eligible submissions will be judged by a panel of judges based on the judging criteria for both Rounds One and Two as list on the Website
Round One: Up to eleven (11) Eligible Entrants with the highest scores will be selected as a finalist (each individual or team a “Finalist”). The judging and final determination of the Finalists will be in the sole discretion of the judges. Finalists may be required to provide additional information at any time to remain eligible, as requested by The Released Parties.
Round Two: The Finalists selected in Round One will then present their solution submitted during the Contest Period via a live three (3) to five (5) minute presentation and an opportunity to answer questions from the same panel of judges as Round One for approximately ten (10) minutes. The judging and final determination of the winner(s) will be in the sole discretion of the judges. The Released Parties also reserve the right to award other prizes, including related to stated categories, at their discretion.
In the event of a tie in either Round One or Round Two, the tied Entrant or Finalist with the higher score in the Appropriate Use of Blockchain Technology criterion will be the winner. In the event of any conflict between the criteria stated on the Website and the criteria stated above in these official rules, the criteria on the Website shall control.
Limit one (1) entry per person or if a team entry, limit one (1) entry per team; a team may consist of up to five (5) people, all of whom must be Eligible Entrants. In no event shall more than one person, whether on a team or as an individual, submit more than one (1) entry. Any person or email address, or person who is on more than one team, that submits more than one entry will be disqualified. The Released Parties are not responsible for: lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, illegible, misdirected entries.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: All Intellectual Property (IP) in Entrants’ submission remains the property of Entrants. Entrants may choose to enter into a separate IP License agreement at the point of winner selection.
Entrants agree that: (1) their submission contains content created by Entrants and does not incorporate any unlicensed third party intellectual property; (2) Released Parties may use or redistribute the submissions for any purpose and in any way on an unrestricted basis in connection with the Challenge; (3) there is no obligation to keep any submission confidential.
Entrants understand that nothing in this Agreement will impair the Released Parties’ rights to develop, acquire, license, market, promote, sell, or distribute products, technologies, or services that compete with your submission and/or perform the same or similar functions as your submission.
WINNER SELECTION NOTIFICATION: All potential prize winners with the highest score will be selected in accordance with the Judging Criteria among all eligible entries received by Sponsor, whose decisions are final and binding. The potential prize winners selection will be on or about February 24th, 2022. Prize winners need not be present to win. All prize winners may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release of Liability, IP License and Publicity Release form, unless prohibited by law, prior to accepting a prize. Failure to comply with any of the requirements set forth in these official rules may result in disqualification or forfeiture of the prize.
PRIZE & PRIZE CONDITIONS: All prizes and each prize’s approximate retail value (“ARV”) are displayed on the Website. Total ARV of Prizes awarded in this Challenge: $10,000 USD. Odds of winningdepend upon the number of eligible entrants who enter the Challenge. Winners are subject to all applicable terms and conditions associated with the prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for lost or stolen prize elements. Winners will receive their prizes within 90 days of the winner selection.
The winner(s) will be required to create a Coinbase account if they do not already hold a Coinbase account; if the winner is a team, the winning team’s captain shall create the Coinbase account and is responsible for distributing the prize to its respective winning teammates. In no event shall the Released Parties be liable to any winning team member for all or a portion of a prize if the Released Parties was received by the winning team’s captain. A potential winner that does not create a new Coinbase account, or provide details of their existing Coinbase account, within the time specified in their prize notification, will forfeit the prize. A potential winner that does not create a Coinbase account and/or if their Coinbase account is not validated and in good-standing as determined by Coinbase, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified.
AN ENTRANT IS NOT A WINNER OF ANY PRIZE UNLESS AND UNTIL THAT ENTRANT’S ELIGIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE WITH ALL REQUIREMENTS TO CLAIM A PRIZE HAVE BEEN VERIFIED AND FULFILLED, AND THE ENTRANT HAS BEEN NOTIFIED THAT VERIFICATION IS COMPLETE.
The prize(s) will be fulfilled via an upload of either Bitcoin or Ethereum to the confirmed winner’s Coinbase account. Restrictions may apply. Fees apply when you buy and sell digital currency on the Coinbase site. Cryptocurrency conversions from Bitcoin or Ethereum to local currency are treated as cryptocurrency “sales”, and all the forgoing transactions are charged a spread and a Coinbase Fee as described in the Coinbase pricing and fee disclosures at https://help.coinbase.com/en/coinbase/trading-and-funding/pricing-and-fees/fees.html. Value of the prize(s) is determined by Coinbase’s set rate on a date and time selected by Coinbase at its discretion prior to upload of prize to a winner’s Coinbase account. If there is any restriction to receiving the prize offered in the country of the winner, an alternate prize may be provided.
DISCLOSURE: THE VALUE OF BITCOIN AND ETHEREUM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE, IT CAN GO UP OR DOWN AND THERE CAN BE A SUBSTANTIAL RISK THAT THE PRIZE COULD LOSE VALUE (POSSIBLY ALL VALUE) AS A RESULT OF BUYING, SELLING, OR HOLDING BITCOIN.
ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL TAXES ARE SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS. Winners may be required to complete required tax forms or other documents requested within the time period stipulated by the Released Parties. Any difference between the stated estimated value of the prize and its actual value will not be awarded. Winner agrees to accept the prize “as is.”
No substitution or transfer of prize will be permitted. The Released Parties reserve the right at their sole discretion to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value. If there are less eligible submissions than the number of prizes, the Released Parties may modify the distribution of prizes at its sole discretion.
If a prize or prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to the prize winner(s), if the prize winner(s) cannot be reached by the Released Parties within fourteen (14) calendar days from the first notification attempt, if the prize Winner(s) does not comply with the prize acceptance instructions within seven (7) calendar days from the first notification attempt, or the prize winner(s) is not in compliance with these official rules, then such person shall be disqualified and, at the Released Parties’ sole discretion, alternate prize winners may be selected for the prize at issue.
RELEASE AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: By participating in the Challenge and/or accepting a prize, Entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Released Parties from and against any claim, action, injury, loss, damage or cause of action arising out of or relating to participation in the Challenge, acceptance or receipt of any prize, use or misuse of any prize, or participation in any prize-related activity. Released Parties assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Except where prohibited by local law, Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Released Parties’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest, and in no event shall the Released Parties be liable for attorney’s fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.
GENERAL CONDITIONS: If for any reason the operation or administration of this Contest is impaired or incapable of running as planned for any reason, including but not limited to (a) infection by computer virus, bugs, (b) tampering, unauthorized intervention, (c) fraud, (d) technical failures, or (e) any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest in whole or in part, at any time, without notice and award the Prizes (defined below) using all non-suspect eligible entries received as of, or after (if applicable) this cancellation, termination, modification or suspension date, or in any manner that is fair and equitable and best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules. Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual deemed to be (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest website; or (b) acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: By entering, each Entrant agrees their submission: (i) must not include any personal information; (ii) must be in English; (iii) must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity, copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights; (iv) must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene hateful, defamatory, slanderous, or libelous; (v) must not contain anything that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age; and (vi) must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where Entry is created.
PUBLICITY: By accepting a prize, where permitted by law, the prize winners grant to the Released Parties and those acting pursuant to the authority of the Released Parties, the right to print, publish, broadcast and use worldwide in all media without limitation at any time a prize winner’s name, image, photograph, portrait, voice, and likeness for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further payment or additional consideration, and without review, approval or notification.
USE OF DATA: All information submitted by Entrants will be treated according to HeroXs Privacy Statement, available at https://www.herox.com/privacy-policy.
DISPUTES: As a condition of participating in the Challenge, and except as modified herein, Entrant agrees that the following disputes, claims, and causes of action arising among the Released Parties shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, by following the Dispute Resolution Process (including binding arbitration) specified in Section 8 of the Coinbase User Agreement, which are incorporated herein by reference and available at https://www.coinbase.com/legal/user_agreement/united_states:
Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or related to this Promotion, including any dispute, claim, or cause of action relating to any prizes awarded in this Promotion; and,
any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or related to the interpretation or application of this arbitration provision, including the enforceability, revocability, scope, or validity of this arbitration provision.
Notwithstanding this arbitration agreement, Entrants or the Released Parties retain the right to (1) elect to have any claims heard in small claims court on an individual basis for disputes and actions within the scope of said court’s jurisdiction; and (2) seek equitable relief in court for infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights (including but not limited to trademarks, trade dress, domain names, trade secrets, copyrights, and patents).
To increase the efficiency of administration and resolution of arbitrations, Entrants and the Released Parties agree that in the event that there are one hundred (100) or more individual arbitrations of a substantially similar nature filed against us by or with the assistance of the same law firm, group of law firms or organizations within a thirty (30) day period (or otherwise in close proximity), the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) (1) will administer the arbitration demands in batches of 100 arbitration demands per batch (plus, to the extent there are less than 100 arbitration demands left over after the batching described above, a final batch consisting of the remaining arbitration demands); (2) appoint one arbitrator for each batch; and (3) provide for the resolution of each batch as a single consolidated arbitration with one set of filing and administrative fees due per side per batch, one procedural calendar, one hearing (if any) in a place to be determined by the arbitrator, and one final award. Entrants and the Released Parties agree that arbitration demands are of a “substantially similar nature” if they arise out of the same event or factual scenario and raise the same or similar legal issues and seek the same or similar relief. Entrants and the Released Parties agree to cooperate in good faith with AAA to implement the batch arbitration approach.
The arbitrator may award declaratory or injunctive relief only in favor of the individual party seeking relief and only to the extent necessary to provide relief warranted by the party's individual claim. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Challenge, if a court decides by means of a final decision, not subject to any further appeal or recourse, that the limitations of this paragraph or the class action waiver are invalid or unenforceable as to a particular claim or request for relief (such as a request for public injunctive relief), Entrants and the Released Parties agree that that particular claim or request for relief (and only that particular claim or request for relief) shall be severed from the arbitration and may litigated in the federal courts located in the State of California. All other disputes shall be arbitrated. This paragraph does not prevent the parties from participating in a class-wide settlement of claims.
Entrants agree that the laws of the State of California, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern the Challenge and any dispute, claim, or cause of action arising out of or related to the Challenge, except to the extent governed by United States federal law. This Challenge evidences a transaction involving interstate commerce and notwithstanding any other provision herein with respect to the applicable substantive law, the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §1 et seq. (“FAA”) will govern the interpretation and enforcement of this dispute resolution process and any arbitration proceedings.
● By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to adhere to the HeroX Intellectual Integrity Policy and promises to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
● All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
● All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
● No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
Have you thought about forming a team to compete in the Blockchain Breakthroughs for a Better World?
At this point in the challenge, it’s normal to start feeling a bit overwhelmed. Perhaps you’ve hit a roadblock, or you’re noticing the gaps in your own skillset. Forming a team is a great way to overcome these hurdles.
It will take time to form a team, so start reaching out to people now. You can connect with people in the forum, or you can browse the whole HeroX community by specialization at https://herox.com/crowdsourcing-community.
Why form a team?
Keep each other accountable
We all know that deadlines are tough, and it’s especially difficult to commit to a schedule by yourself. Creating checkpoints and milestones with your team members will help you keep each other on track.
Everyone’s got a different set of skills. Have a great idea for a project, but need someone to help make it a reality? Got an innovative technical idea, but need help pulling it into an overall project? You need a team!
You can share expertise and specialized knowledge with your teammates. You’ll learn a ton, and your project will be all the better for it.
Reduce the workload
Why do all the work yourself? Divide and conquer the workload to save time and ease burnout. If you have an off week, your team can pick up the slack — and vice versa.
Make it fun
Your team will be by your side through all the highs and lows of the process, and they will make it all the more fun. This is also a great way to meet people with a shared set of interests. Just think, these may be your new best buds.
We are just 1 month away from our submission deadline for Tuesday, December the 14th!
This message is to remind you to complete and finalize your submission before the deadline on Tuesday, December the 14th at Midnight ET Eastern Time (New York/USA). The HeroX platform is automated so your submission must be finalized before that date and time for it to be considered for the judging stage.
View a how-to video on completing your submission here.
If you have any questions regarding the competition, please don’t hesitate to ask us directly or leave a comment on the forum.
If you encounter any technical issues, please contact
Feeling stuck? Have questions, thoughts, or ideas about the challenge so far, and need a place to take them? That’s what the Blockchain Breakthroughs for a Better World forum is for.
The forum is a great way to gain insights and generate ideas about different aspects of the challenge. Use the forum to ask questions, help out your fellow innovators, and maybe even make a few friends along the way.
You can browse through the forum to see what people have already been saying. To ask a question, click “New Topic” and write out your message.
HeroX checks the forum regularly, so it’s a good way to touch base with us directly.