What does it mean for a society to go cashless? That’s what we’ll be exploring today at Uncharted. Thirty employees across seven cross-functional teams will spend the next eight hours or so brainstorming, designing and developing projects that illustrate the benefits and drawbacks of such a shift.
There are many aspects of a cashless society to analyze: automated banking, peer-to-peer money transfers, mobile payments, cryptocurrency and blockchain, crowdfunding, and microloans, to name a few. Our teams will gather data from these spaces and apply the latest tech—be it deep learning systems or augmented reality—to visualize and explain the impacts.
Whatever they choose to focus on, we’re encouraging everyone to think through all the implications, good or ill. How could cashless technology help or hurt underserved communities like the homeless or the elderly? What are the privacy or transparency concerns? What is the potential for fraud? Can we improve the way we direct funds to the needy? A great hackathon project will not only showcase the team’s technological prowess, but also highlight something worthy of exploration by society at large. Along the way, our participants will pick up some new skills and maybe even uncover techniques that could contribute to future Uncharted projects.
As is tradition, the winners will be feted with gold: the Uncharted Hackathon Championship belt. Will last year’s top contenders repeat, or will a new set of challengers emerge victorious?