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HackCU IV - Labor Log

Description:

HackCU episode 4 was an MLH "Major-League-Hacking" sanctioned event put on by CU Boulder in Boulder, CO. This was my very first hackathon, and it was definitely a lot of fun. The organizers did a great job putting the event together. I didn't have a team before going into the event. Instead, I met 3 other individuals that were also looking for a team, and we forged our own idea: Labor Log.
The goal of Labor Log was to create a blockchain database of psuedo-biometric information about a person that wishes to work in a different country. The database would be controlled by the person's home country government, and the worker issued an RFID fob and pin number. Airports and workplaces and other important venues that a worker visits would be equipped with check-in kiosks. When the worker scans their RFID chip and enters their pin, the blockchain database would be updated with their latest location. The home country government is then able to see that the worker is alive and well, and also being paid properly. The ultimate goal of the project is to hold corporations accountable with visible payments and end modern-day slavery.

Execution:

As a demonstration of the technology, our group set up two prototypes. We used an RFID scanner connected to an arduino microprocessor to log the name and location of a person. We also used neo-blockchain repositories to start a simulated, 4-node blockchain in an AWS (amazon web services) EC2 virtual machine instance. The next step would have been to create a Smart-Contract for updating the block chain with transactions and also use the package neon-js to create a front-end for home governments to interact with and manage. However, we ran out of time.

Conclusion:

The hackathon experience was amazing. I'm thankful to have been a part of it and had a great team. We came a long way in 24 hours. At the start of the hackathon, the only thing we knew about blockchain was that it is used for bitcoin. At the end of the 24 hours, we had our own simulated blockchain running and were able gather information from an RFID chip. The only piece missing was the interaction between the two technologies. I would definitely recommend hackathons, they're a fantastic experience for learning and are tons of fun. I would also reccomend HackCU specifically because the organiers did a great job putting it together!

Media:

Picture of our "hacked-together" poster board: