The University of Wyoming's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences is hosting the first annual Hack-a-Thon starting Friday, September 7 in the War Memorial Stadium Fieldhouse. The Hack-a-Thon will continue through the weekend, ending on Sunday, September 9. More than 400 individuals have been registered, surpassing the event's goal of 300.

During the event, several experts in blockchain technology will be giving speeches, including Overstock.com CEO and founder Patrick Byrne, ShapeShift CEO and founder Erik Vorhees, and Wyoming Blockchain Coalition co-founder Caitlin Long. There will also be a competition during the weekend, in which teams will have 48 hours to build their own blockchain. The weekend will culminate with each team giving a three minute presentation about their program and its potential applications for business within the state. Prizes include $12,000 and one year of free office space from the Wyoming Technology Business center.

There will be 12 different challenge categories, including a "Best for Wyoming" category. Gubernatorial candidates Mark Gordon and Mary Throne will be on hand to help judge that contest, and will also give speeches on Sunday. Of the candidates coming together to judge the competition, Long says that it's a "show of strength for Wyoming."

A blockchain is a type of database shared by multiple people. Although the technology is often associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, it can also be used to share documents and programs to anyone with access to the program. Long hopes that this weekend will help individuals learn more about blockchain technology through a series of speeches scheduled throughout the weekend.

 

"The blockchain industry wants to thank Wyoming, and that's why we're bringing this to Laramie" said Long of the event, adding that the goal of the Hack-a-Thon "to keep Wyoming on the map" and to help attract new businesses to the state.

The event is free and open to members of the public who wish to attend the speeches and presentations. A complete schedule of events can be found by clicking this link.