Dr. Tiffany Gray, is a public health researcher and advisor with over 9 years of experience in the field of public health and behavioral health research. Dr. Gray is a Research and Science Advisor at Axes and Eggs, a blockchain-based think-tank based in DC and Dubai. She also is an advisor for TruDiary, which is a tech-based application focused on improving health and reducing health disparities and inequities among women of color.
Dr. Gray currently serves as Guest Editor for Frontiers Blockchain for Distributed Research, as well as Co-Chair of the Global Health and Disaster Relief subcommittee as part of the UN’s Blockchain for Impact initiative. She is also a Fellow with Blockchain in Healthcare Global/IEEE-ISTO.
Dr. Gray’s areas of research expertise include mental health and wellness, behavioral health, substance use, and examining tobacco use behaviors among vulnerable populations, including youth and young adults, addressing cessation, prevention, and intervention efforts.
Below is a brief interview with Tiffany regarding the intersection between blockchain and public health.
How you were initially introduced to Blockchain?
I first learned about blockchain about 3 years ago. Most of my initial introduction to blockchain was centered around cryptocurrency. Honestly, I didn’t find my fit right away. It seemed very out of reach in regards to my background and field of public health and research.
So it sounds like you were searching to see how it related to the current work you were doing in health and healthcare?
Correct. Also, having been mostly in research and academia, it was a bit out of my wheelhouse. But as I began to become more immersed, attend more blockchain-related events and network and engage with other individuals within the space, I got to learn more about how Blockchain applies to many areas beyond finance and technology.
Can you share more here?
What I discovered is that blockchain technology and its associated principles can and will apply to not just health and healthcare, but also education, philanthropy, as well as the arts and STEM-related fields. The more I began to educate myself and connect with others, I was able to see the intersection between health and technology and how it could be used as a tool and a resource for improving upon the way we currently manage and address health.
Any nuggets of wisdom you can share with others engaged in a similar process?
The main lesson is to break out of your comfort zone and remain open. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out additional opportunities to learn. Doing so can open your mind to other non-traditional paths. This has allowed me to think more creatively in how I approach my research and work in studying and understanding public health and health behaviors. It has also helped me to think of creative solutions and approaches to addressing complex challenges and problems.
Being that you’re located in D.C., what sorts of conversations are taking place there these days around blockchain’s potential contribution to Public Health?
People are beginning to ask more questions, especially those who are not already immersed in the ongoing blockchain conversations. Many individuals, in regards to public health, are sort of where I was a few years ago. They aren’t quite sure what it is or how it relates to their specific areas of expertise. Or again they heavily connect it to cryptocurrency. With events such as a recent panel event I took part in at Georgetown University in May, individuals are genuinely becoming more interested in how we can apply blockchain to improve, for example, the ways in which the population engages and interacts with the health care system.
Can you offer a couple of examples?
There are engaging conversations taking place around how blockchain can be used for example to address the opioid epidemic, using blockchain in social impact bonds and impact investing, as well as how blockchain technology can help to foster collaborative research.
You’re currently involved in a fellowship with Blockchain in Healthcare Global — IEEE ISTO. Can you tell us what you have learned from that experience and how it has informed your thinking around the future of blockchain in healthcare?
Blockchain in Healthcare Global-IEEE ISTO is still growing and developing. So it has been an interesting and valuable experience to be at the beginning stages and helping to be part of the initial stages of development. With Blockchain in Healthcare Global, one of the biggest aims will be to work with those throughout the healthcare industry, as well as identify key stakeholders to gain insight into the main challenges and potential barriers to utilizing and implementing blockchain within existing systems. We are working towards attempting to address and mitigate some of the barriers to adoption of blockchain and other emerging technologies, such as AI and IoMT, specifically within healthcare and healthcare delivery.
So what’s the ultimate aim of this work?
Through this work, we aim to help create a set of industry-wide regulations and standards to ease adoption and implementation. We have some ways to go, but I appreciate being part of a group that’s ensuring that we are fostering early discussions about the best approaches to not only integrate the technology in the most effective and feasible ways possible but also to ensure that we are thinking about the best ways to measure and show impact.
With respect to the theme of Obesity, Nutrition, and Tech, where in your view does blockchain fit into this picture?
Technology is rapidly expanding and changing, which has had an impact on the ways in which individuals interact with the world around them. It has provided convenience, which reduces physical activity, makes unhealthier foods easily accessible, and influences other unhealthy behaviors and habits. It’s so easy these days to park on the couch and binge watch the latest on Netflix while waiting for your local takeout delivery from UberEats or GrubHub. Technology can have both positive or negative impacts on our health.
In what ways do you believe this will inform future developments in blockchain?
It is important to note that blockchain is not a one-size fit all approach. While blockchain can be a useful tool in helping to improve the ways in which individuals can access care or the ways in which they interact with various health care systems, there are still other factors, such as social determinants of health, including environment, education, and policy that play a significant role in improving outcomes.
Are there any specific things that you’re keeping a close eye on as you proceed forward?
My main concern about blockchain and fintech has been to ensure that through these new advancements we aren’t introducing additional disparities and widening existing gaps. While emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and blockchain can be used to reduce costs, improve workflow systems, and make life easier for the end user, it may also have a broader socioeconomic impact. In other words, more technology isn’t necessarily better.
Over the next 12-18 months, what sorts of emerging trends do you believe we’ll see in terms of the broader intersection between blockchain and healthcare?
I think they’ll be more discussions around regulation and ethical standards, the piloting and development of applications in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as telehealth integration in current health organizations and systems. In general, I think there will be continued education and growing interest overall.
Managing Editor Michael Scott is a renowned blockchain journalist with a strong passion for the new digital economy. Prior to his career in media, he spent 10+ years serving leadership posts in healthcare, including UC Davis Medical Center institutional review board. Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The Ohio State University and a Master of Public Administration in Health Services Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Binance Might Delist Many Low-Volume Coins Soon, CZ Hints
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by means of daily trading volumes. In the few short years since its launch, the venue went on to become a leading company in the industry.
In fact, launching coins up for trade on the exchange has created the so-called “Binance Effect.” In short, when a cryptocurrency is selected and launched for trading on the platform, its price usually undergoes a substantial surge.
Now, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has hinted that it may start delisting low-volume coins.
Low-Volume Coins May Kiss Binance Goodbye
In an interesting Twitter thread, a popular cryptocurrency analyst and trader RookieXBT suggested delisting all coins on Binance that “do less than 10 BTC of daily volume.”
Expectedly or not, the CEO of the exchange engaged in the thread, providing a hint that they might consider doing so.
“I think it is a good idea. If you are on Binance and still have no volume, then…” – Said CZ, perhaps hinting that there’s something inherently wrong with coins listed on Binance and failing to generate big daily volume.
Naturally, there are two sides to this debate. Some users think that the merits of a coin shouldn’t be valued based on the volumes it generates on cryptocurrency exchanges. People argue that they hold a coin for the long-term and don’t really care about the daily volume.
This is most definitely true. The inherent merits of a cryptocurrency are most definitely not associated with it being listed on a certain exchange, be it Binance. So, a logical question pops – why would someone care if the coin is listed or not, presuming they are “in it for the technology”? And this is where things take a twist.
The Other Side of the Story
At this point, it becomes rather clear that this particular narrative doesn’t stand on solid ground because people are obviously concerned about the price, perhaps even more so than the technology itself.
If an investor is holding a cryptocurrency for the long run, it being listed on Binance shouldn’t make a difference. But that’s usually not the case – people are rarely “in it for the technology” despite what they might claim.
The main concern is that if Binance decides to delist low-volume cryptocurrencies en-masse, this might cause a larger upset in the market because of the “Binance Effect.”
As we mentioned before, when a cryptocurrency is listed on Binance, it usually goes through a substantial increase. However, the opposite is also true. Last year, the exchange delisted Bitcoin SV, and it tanked more than 10% on the news. That’s just one example.
In any case, there’s no formal confirmation, and it remains interesting to see whether the exchange will really start delisting coins based on low volumes.
Featured image courtesy of Medium
Fidelity’s Crypto Subsidiary Targets Asian Investors To Buy Bitcoin
- Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS) has partnered with Stack Funds to enable Asian investors to purchase and store cryptocurrency assets more freely and securely.
- Based in Singapore, Stack Funds is a regulated fund manager focusing on Bitcoin and other digital assets.
- According to the Bloomberg report, Stack Funds will make Fidelity’s secure custody services available to its clients, primarily based in Asia. The company outlined that the Asian market has been continuously growing in demand towards the cryptocurrency industry, especially from high-net-worth investors and family offices.
- Stack further explained that all assets under its management will be audited monthly. The firm will provide insurance coverage, weekly contributions, and redemptions to enhance capital security.
- Stack’s co-founder, Michael Collett, said that Fidelity’s involvement will enable its company to attract even more investors from the region.
- On the other hand, Christopher Tyrer, head of Fidelity Digital Assets Europe, believes that “there’s a critical need for platforms which have a deep understanding of what local and regional investors are looking for.” However, he admitted that the digital asset space has “historically lacked” such platforms.
- After its success in the US, Fidelity Digital Assets expanded its cryptocurrency services to Europe last year. The company aims at entering the Asian market as well now with the Stack Funds partnership.
Hacked? Crypto Lending Platform Cred Suspends Deposits And Withdrawals While Cooperating With Authorities
The popular cryptocurrency lending service Cred has announced that it has temporarily suspended all funds inflows and outflows. Without disclosing many details, the platform said it’s cooperating with law enforcement authorities to investigate an incident.
Cred Suspends Deposits And Withdrawals
The United States-based crypto lending platform, which recently announced joining Visa’s fast track program, updated its customers on Twitter regarding the latest troubling developments with a brief message.
“Unfortunately, we are unable to comment further at this time, but we will undertake to provide an update within the next two weeks. During this period, all inflows and outflows of funds will be suspended.” – read the statement.
Staying true to its fashion, the cryptocurrency community lashed out at Cred and its lack of details about what’s going on. This reaction prompted the lending protocol to comment once again. Firstly, Cred apologized for the concerns and inconveniences it has caused while it’s assessing the “business impact connected with a recent fraudulent incident.”
Furthermore, the post explained that Cred is currently cooperating with law enforcement authorities. However, it provided some reassurances claiming that “no client personal data or account information was compromised.”
It’s worth noting that Cred’s website reads that the platform works with “trusted security and insurance providers Fireblocks and Lockton to ensure that our customers’ digital assets have enterprise-grade security.” Nevertheless, several community members have questioned the state of their holdings on the platform, as they weren’t satisfied with Cred’s brief updates.
A Dissolved Partnership Saw This Coming?
Although it’s still unconfirmed if the so-called “incident” is indeed a hack, it seems that the issues have been transpiring for a while now. Days before Cred suspended deposits and withdrawals, one of its partners ended its relationship with the lending protocol.
The cryptocurrency wallet and trading platform, Uphold, announced on Sunday that users could no longer link their Uphold wallets to the third-party crypto lending provider Cred.
At the time of this writing, neither Uphold nor Cred have disclosed why their partnership agreement ended.
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