Announcing the Blockchain Challenge

UPDATE: The Blockchain winners have been announced. Take a look at the 15 white papers

The "Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-Related Research" Ideation Challenge solicits white papers on the topic of Blockchain technology and the potential use in health IT to address privacy, security, and scalability challenges of managing electronic health records and resources. 

Up to 15 winners will be awarded a cash prize and up to 8 winners may be invited to present their papers at an upcoming industry-wide workshop co-hosted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), September 26-27, 2016, at the NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD.

Visit the Blockchain Challenge Web site directly, or go to and click the Blockchain link.


  • 12-15 white papers will be awarded a cash prize in the range of $1,500 - $5,000
  • Up to 8 winners may be given the opportunity to present their paper at a Blockchain & Healthcare Workshop hosted at NIST
  • Inclusion of the white papers in the Blockchain workshop proceedings.


An informational webinar will be held on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. Register here for the webinar


Subject of Challenge:

A Blockchain is a data structure that can be timed-stamped and signed using a private key to prevent tampering. There are generally three types of Blockchain: public, private and consortium. Potential uses include:

Digitally sign information,
Computable enforcement of policies and contracts (smart contracts),
Management of Internet of Things (IoT) devices,
Distributed encrypted storage, and
Distributed trust.
This Ideation Challenge solicits White Papers on the topic of Blockchain Technology and the Potential for Its Use in Health IT and/or Healthcare Related Research Data. This nationwide call may be addressed by an individual investigator or an investigator team.

Interested parties should submit a White Paper no longer than 10 pages describing the proposed subject. Investigators or co-investigators may only participate in one Submission. Up to 15 of these Submissions will be selected as winners. The selection of a White Paper may also result in an invitation to present at an upcoming industry-wide workshop on September 26th-27th at NIST Headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. 


The goal of this Ideation Challenge is to solicit White Papers that investigate the relationship between Blockchain technology and its use in Health IT and/or health-related research. The paper should discuss the cryptography and underlying fundamentals of Blockchain technology, examine how the use of Blockchain can advance industry interoperability needs expressed in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC) Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, as well as for Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), delivery system reform, and other healthcare delivery needs, as well as provide recommendations for Blockchain's implementation. In addition to a monetary award, winners may also have the opportunity to present their White Papers at an industry-wide "Blockchain & Healthcare Workshop" co- hosted by ONC and NIST.

Challenge Timeline

Submission period begins:        July 7, 2016

Submission period ends:           August 8, 2016

Evaluation begins:                     August 9, 2016

Evaluation ends:                        August 19, 2016

Winners notified:                       August 22, 2016

Winners Announced:                  August 29, 2016

Winner Presentation:                  September 26-27, 2016