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Vantiv & Voatz Team Up To Win Blockchain Hackathon!

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Some of you may remember Nimit Sawhney from his recent win of the Vantiv challenge at the Money 20/20 hackathon in 2016. Nimit is the founder of the next generation voting platform, Voatz, built using blockchain technology. This past weekend, engineers from Vantiv, and Voatz teamed up to win 3rd place in the Distributed Markets Blockchain Hackathon!

The inspiration for this hackathon project came to us from an interview with a Central American coffee grower who complained that FairTrade coffee movement was not working for him, and only benefited the middle men.  With blockchain technology, it is possible to level the playing field between farmers, the supply chain ecosystem, and even enable the consumer to invest in the future of his or her favorite products!

By using blockchain technology we created a proof of concept decentralized supply chain for coffee allowing for complete transparency into the movement of coffee beans from grower all the way to consumer, and then created an opportunity for the consumer to directly invest in the future crops of the coffee grower.

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 10.58.26 AM.pngOur consumer portal

Our proof of concept was built on top of the Linux Foundations Hyperledger Fabric blockchain implementation.​  We created an SMS interface that allowed the farmer to enter his beans into the supply chain blockchain, and receive alerts as his beans moved through the supply chain.

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We also created an iOS app, that allowed the consumer to scan a QR code on a cup of coffee, and find out the origin of the beans and also make an investment in the future crops.

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Coffee Chain

Decentralized Trading & Finance Network built on Hyperledger Fabric

Creating efficient commodity markets and opportunities for direct investment in future production

Farmers benefit:

  • Getting better price on crops
  • Tracking product every step of the way through the supply chain
  • Receive investment in future crops from participants in the network including consumers

Consumer benefit:

  • Visibility into origin of products
  • Opportunity to invest

Check out our post for this project on devpost

Check out this tweet announcing the prize

About the team

Nimit Sawhney

Co-Founder of the company Voatz, and winner of the Vantiv Challenge at Money 20/20 Hackathon 2016

Lynx Rose

Founder of the Terra Nova High School Coding Club

Tony Rose

Years at Vantiv: 2

Roles at Vantiv: Product Development, Emerging Technologies

Technical Skills (programming language): Linux administration, Perl, HTML, pseudocode, small amounts of Node, Javascript, Java, C, C++, objective C, Swift

Interest in Blockchain: Love being at the forefront of new technological innovations, exploring use cases, business models, and team building

How you think Blockchain is/will be important to Vantiv: Within 10 years it will be an integral part of business operations

Reason for participating in hackathon: To work with a team to explore possibilities and better understand the potential and timeline of this new technology

Dan Ourada

Years at Vantiv: ~12

Roles at Vantiv: software dev, product, technology evangelist

Technical Skills (programming language): foundation in Microsoft technologies, but also love to branch out into the unknown!

Interest in Blockchain: I enjoy the social experiment aspect of Blockchain and the holistic view, there's something in Blockchain for everyone: economists, cryptographers, computer scientists, statisticians, sociologists.  It's a grand mashup of people and technology and the initial chapters are still in progress.

How you think Blockchain is/will be important to Vantiv: Too early to tell.  One day I feel Blockchain is going to take over the world and the next I feel it's all hype.  The only way to know for sure is to take a deep dive, understand the technology and how it might fit into the Vantiv ecosystem.

Reason for participating in hackathon: Connect with other like-minded souls for a deep immersion into Blockchain....and fun!

Josh Mather

Years at Vantiv: 1

Role at Vantiv: Technology Evangelist

Technical Skills (programming language): Node.js, Python, PHP, some GO and lots of old legacy languages

Interest in Blocchain: Love It! I truly believe this is going to revolutionize parts of the world and so I follow this closely.

How you think Blockchain is/will be important to Vantiv: At some point, financial services will be just software and Blockchain technology is going to automate things that institutions and people handle today. For that reason, I want to help Vantiv be a fast follower.

Reason for participating in hackathon: I love to code on new technologies and I have great interest in how blockchain can change the future of society and how Vantiv can help shape that future

Andrew Harris

Years at Vantiv: 5

Roles at Vantiv: Inbound Customer Support, Technical Support, Developer Integrations, Software, UX for Product Development

Technical Skills (programming language): Dinks daily - HTML, CSS, ~JS, understands limits of particular programs and platforms, dabbles on occasion in PHP, Obj-C, AngularJS, C#, while actively learning, Node.js Vue.js,. Ember.js, and animating SVG polygons.

User Experience and User Interface Design: Drinks daily - Strategy/Content, Wireframing/Prototyping, Visual Design, Metrics/Analytics

Interest in blockchain: Grew up with EDI, dislike XML, so I am interested in understanding more about MDLs (mutual distributed ledgers) – from an app perspective diving into no UI and common patterns using asynchronous messaging (text bots) to work with blockchain keeps me up at night. Information is growing exponentially and attention is limited by human factors. Will blockchain help solve?

How you think blockchain is/will be important to Vantiv: A Vantiv blockchain could potentially be an awesome way to manage partner relationships, or provide insight into the merchants data. It could replace old-school standards for security and help thwart fraud. Not just at the cash register, but in the back office.

Reason for participating in hackathon: Anything to further propel payments and be a part of the future, It is always a thrill to be around smart people and learn something new.


Arriving at the Hackathon Saturday morning, fresh and ready to hack!


Getting excited to win a bunch of bitcoins!


This is Sunday at 6 AM, still hacking away!


Taking a late night break with some fellow hackers


BEN, the Blockchain Education Network, show up in astronaut outfits

About the Author
I'm a Product Manager with a technical background. I graduated from the Computer Science program at UC Berkeley in 1998 and have been involved in the start-up community in the Bay Area ever since. It's been a lot of fun! I enjoy working with emerging technology and being around smart and fun people! You can find more details about my background at Linked In.