Ian Thompson of Hamburg was one of more than 30 University of Arkansas at Little Rock students who participated in the UA BlockChain Hackathon at the University of Arkansas Sept. 28 and 29.

The hackathon featured 21 teams from Arkansas colleges and universities and was sponsored by nine large businesses such as IBM, Tyson, Heifer International, and J.B. Hunt, who provided challenges focused on using BlockChain technology for teams to present during the competition. Each of the nine sponsors chose a team to advance to the finals where they presented their results against the winners of other challenges.

“BlockChain refers to a distributed database platform that allows for the secure processing and management of transactions across a network,” explained Dr. Liz Pierce, chair of UA Little Rock’s Department of Information Science. “It is the technology behind BitCoin and is also of great interest to companies like J.B. Hunt and Walmart who want to be able to track transactions across many different producers and suppliers.”

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