When it comes to being ‘smart’ Lancaster students are world beaters - and that’s official.
The University of Lancaster’s Nihir Vedd, Rohan Littler and Will Wilkes won first place at the Atos IT Challenge – beating 76 other student teams from around the world to claim the 10,000 Euros prize and a fast-tracked internship at Atos, a global technology company.
With 77 teams made up of more than 240 students from colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, the 2017 edition of the Atos IT Challenge confirmed the buzz surrounding Blockchain technology worldwide.
The challenge was to create a new idea based on the blockchain – a technology that allows data to be stored in a way that cannot be modified, presenting a publically-verifiable ledger of records.
Lancaster took first place with an application called ‘Quo’ – a web-based application to provide legally-binding contract templates that take minutes to fill out, contrasting with the days and weeks it can currently take with legal documents.
By addressing such a broad audience, the team took on the challenge of widening access to Blockchain.
Rohan said: “The application is designed to provide an extremely easy way to deploy legal contracts, removing barriers to entry for individuals, and businesses, that don’t have the resources to invest in lawyers.
He added: “Using the blockchain, Quo guarantees the authenticity of every contract. We are able to confirm if a user has explicitly entered into a particular contract, and what the original wording of that contract is – therefore preventing wrongful or malicious modifications, should disputes arise.”
The Quo system is also able to offer low-cost payment methods into contracts, including ‘escrow’ (where a third party holds and regulates payment of the funds in a transaction) functionality.