The International Blockchain Olympiad (IBCOL) is specially organized every year for the young generation. The much-anticipated Olympiad, which started in Hong Kong, is going to be held in Bangladesh for the first time outside of Hong Kong. The Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) of the ICT Division organized a press conference on Wednesday, 6th October 2021 at the BCC Auditorium, ICT Tower, Agargaon, Dhaka on “International Blockchain Olympiad 2021”.

The Hon’ble State Minister for ICT Division of Bangladesh Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP briefed the journalists of print, online and electronic media at the press conference regarding the program. The Executive Director and Additional Secretary of BCC Dr. Md Abdul Mannan, PAA was present at the event. The Additional Secretary of ICT Division Dr. Khandoker Azizul Islam, Dr. Lawrence Ma, President, Hong Kong Blockchain Society; Professor Dr. Mohammad Kaykobad, Convener, BCOLBD, Mr. Habibibullah N Karim, Chairman, IBCOL 2021 OC also spoke at the press conference of IBCOL 2021.

The Hon’ble State Minister for ICT Division Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP said, “Digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream, it is a reality now. Each of these outcomes can be enjoyed by approx. 17 crore people in Bangladesh. In the last 12 years, the four pillars of the “ICT sector” have stood on a solid foundation under the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Honorable Adviser Mr. Sajeeb Wazed. Mentioning that internet connectivity has reached the unions in the country, Palak said that there are 6.5 lakh freelancers in the country who are earning more than 500 million dollars. Around 1.5 million young people across the country are contributing to the ICT industry by working in the software, hardware and BPO sectors. He added that it has been possible to create employment for 1.5 million youths in the last 12 years. 52,000 government websites are providing 15,000 services. The ICT industry has grown from just 26 million dollars 12 years ago to 1.3 billion today.

“We want to build a middle-income country in 2021, a high-middle-income country in 2031 and a developed Bangladesh in 2041,” Palak said. The specific target set by the people’s leader Sheikh Hasina is that now the GDP size of three hundred and a half billion dollars will be 700 billion dollars in 2031 and 1 trillion dollars in 2041. Now, with the income from our garment industry, the income of our expatriate workers, agriculture and all the other labor-dependent industries, Sheikh Hasina wants to build a knowledge-based society and a technology-based economy. And we have far-reaching plans for all of this. And as part of that plan, we chose “blockchain technology.” He added that startups in our country have been very successful and have brought in over 500 million in foreign investment in the last five years. Blockchain can be one of the investment sectors in Bangladesh. He said universities and educational institutions need to come forward to encourage blockchain and include blockchain in their curriculum. We are going to set up more than 5,000 new Sheikh Russell Digital Labs so that the teenagers of this country can know about a futuristic technology like blockchain and there are 10,000 more plans in the next phase.

He further said that a state-of-the-art Sheikh Russell Digital Lab is being set up in the country to empower the present and future generations of children and adolescents in future technology. The country has already set up 8,000 “Sheikh Russell Digital Labs”. More than 5,000 “Sheikh Russell Digital Labs” and 300 “Schools of the Future” are being set up. There are also plans to set up 10,000 more “Sheikh Russell Digital Labs” in the future and another 5,000 Sheikh Russell Digital Labs at an early stage. Through which millions of students are being educated in information technology. Palak said that today’s children will be the leaders of 2041. They will lead in every sector. The way we will build today’s child generation, the knowledge-based Bangladesh of 2041 will be built in the same way.

The Additional Secretary of ICT Division Dr. Khandoker Azizul Islam said that digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream, it is a reality. It is no longer city-centric but rural as well and many are getting used to using digital platforms.

Professor Dr. Mohammad Kaykobad, Convener, BCOLBD said that the 12 winning teams of Bangladesh from the National Blockchain Olympiad are participating in the international stage of this event which is a matter of pride and success for us.

The Executive Director and Additional Secretary of BCC Dr. Md Abdul Mannan, PAA said that International Blockchain Olympiad is a global competition. It is very honorable for us to organize it. He thanked all the participants in this event.

Dr. Lawrence Ma, President, Hong Kong Blockchain Society thanked Bangladesh for successfully hosting the International Blockchain Olympiad (IBCOL). He hopes that through this arrangement, it is possible to find advanced technological solutions through the use of blockchain technology.

Mr. Habibibullah N Karim, Chairman, IBCOL 2021 OC and Founder and CEO of Technohaven Company Limited, thanked everyone including the organizers for their support. To keep pace with the rapid development and spread of blockchain technology in the world, this event is held internationally every year. He thanked and wished all the participants of the event.

The theme of the program is “Inspiring Empowerment and Innovation”. It is one of the platforms where they can compete with different countries. The 12 winning teams of “Blockchain Olympiad Bangladesh 2021” are participating in the international stage of the event from Bangladesh.

Students from all over the world are participating in this global contest to become winners. Prizes figuring more than 40,000US dollars have been awarded to the winners. Many national and international blockchain experts will join as judges and speakers at the event. Total 12 countries are participating in this global competition: China, Hongkong, Vietnam, Philippines, UAE, Iran, Indonesia, Netherland, Nepal, Mongolia, Srilanka and Bangladesh are the participating countries with 50 teams in total. To know in details anyone can visit the following link- https://ibcol2021.com/ .

The “International Blockchain Olympiad 2021” will start on Friday, October 8, 2021 with an inaugural program. The 3-day Olympiad will run until Sunday, October 10, 2021. This year, besides other events, a total of 4 seminars are being organized. 

Seminars with programs will be open to all participants and visitors from around the world at IBCOL’s website https://ibcol2021.com.

The Olympiad is jointly organized by the ICT Division, Bangladesh Computer Council, Blockchain Olympiad Bangladesh (BCOLBD) and Technohaven Company Ltd. Other partners are FBCCI, BASIS, IBA, ACI Ltd., BRAC University, Youth Policy Forum and Ekattor TV.  

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