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The State of Blockchain in Healthcare in the UK & Sweden

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An emerging thought leader. A digital health expert. A consultant. And a polyglot with five languages in her repertoire (English, French, Spanish, Swedish, Danish).

In addition to her work as a blockchain and digital health consultant and strategist, Marenco is heavily involved with the Sweden/Nordic Chapter of Government Blockchain Association, The Swedish Blockchain Association, and HIMSS Europe.

We asked Ms Marenco to share some of her observations around blockchain and its impact on healthcare advancements in the UK and Sweden.

Tell us a little about your journey in the health and wellness industry and how you were introduced to blockchain.

I come from an eclectic health and wellness background and have worked in various areas in the field.  Most of my professional career has been focused on the intersection between health and informatics. I am a health care informatician and mental health professional by training as well as a digital health entrepreneur.

Is there a major theme around your thinking?

Being a strong supporter of the importance of holistic care, a critical part of my work involves identifying the best possible ways to deliver good care to our citizens, particularly through the use of assistive technologies. This is how I was introduced to distributed ledger technologies and Blockchain which are now an important part of my  work in educating peers, as well as government and policy makers, of the potential and challenges of the technology and its use in Healthcare. My main focus of late is on blockchain ethics and policy in Healthcare.

Can you share with us a few of the new developments taking place in the U.K. in terms of the intersection between blockchain and healthcare?

London has been one of the top ten Blockchain cities in the world. There are a number of companies currently doing great work here on areas such as counterfeit drug mitigations, facilitation of data exchange for medical records, and genomic research. We are also seeing activity here in the U.K. on a governmental level.

Give us an example?

Yes.  One that’s worth mentioning is the APPG (All Parliamentary Group on Blockchain) that brings the public, private industry and policymakers together. It opens up the floor for collaborative work and education exchange. I hope we will see more initiatives like this taking place in other countries, facilitating the adoption of the technology and fostering innovation that can serve citizens.

Describe the sort of healthcare-related discussions occurring through your involvement with the Sweden/Nordic Government Blockchain Association, HIMSS, and the Swedish Blockchain Association?

Many of these discussions are ongoing in areas involving ethics, policy, security, interoperability, education, AI and Blockchain hybrids, government, digital identity, social impacts, and blockchain research, among others. The list is long!

What are you particularly excited these days in terms of your own work?

I am particularly enthusiastic about the HIMSS Blockchain in Healthcare Task Force, Blockchain Policy, and Ethics Tiger Team (PETT). It is an ad hoc group that formed off of our Task Force to address the need for policy guidance around the technology. The team is reviewing ethical considerations for the use of blockchain in our industry to inform guidance for policymakers, regulators, and implementers exploring the appropriate application of blockchain technology in healthcare.

And the team’s ultimate aim?

Simply to produce educational resources that can promote best practices and guidance around its adoption and implementation in the healthcare field.

How do you see blockchain ultimately contributing to advancements in the field of health informatics? And Mental health?

I think that utilizing blockchain in the area of Mental Health can be helpful when mindfully introduced and implemented. Mental Health is one of the things that all of us can relate to in many ways, yet very little is being done in this area in relation to the global burden and effects of mental health. Privacy concerns and worries of unwanted access to medical records and data is always present in the healthcare industry and are particularly accentuated in relation to mental health records due to the increased social stigmas associated with mental wellness and treatments.

How do you see blockchain contributing to a solution?

Through the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, we could increase privacy, security, and trust of the evolving digital environment, empowering citizens and mental health professionals in proactively monitoring treatments, regardless of the geographical location of the patients or the health care provider. Blockchain not only helps with the uniformity and accessibility of data between primary and secondary health providers and social services but also helps to incentivize healthier behaviors through tokens and cryptocurrencies?

Finally, what 2-3 trends do you believe will emerge over the next 12-18 months in the Blockchain of Healthcare space?

That’s a bit difficult to answer. But I do think we’ll continue to see Smart Contracts, Dapps and Supply Chain Management become more common in the healthcare space.

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Source: https://blockchainhealthcarereview.com/feature-interview-with-maria-marenco-the-state-of-blockchain-in-healthcare-in-the-uk-sweden/

Blockchain

Bitcoin Breaks New 2020 High As Total Market Cap Topped $400 Billion (Market Watch)

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Bitcoin continues with the 2020 records and just a few hours ago marked a fresh high of above $13,350. Most alternative coins followed suit with impressive increases, but the market has calmed since then. The entire cryptocurrency market clocked at above $400 billion.

Bitcoin To Yet Another 2020 High

CryptoPotato reported a few days ago that the primary cryptocurrency exceeded the August 2020 high of about $12,500 and reached $13,200. What followed was a slight retracement to about $13,000 and stagnation yesterday.

Nevertheless, the volatility returned in the past 24 hours, and BTC headed towards new highs. This time, Bitcoin broke above $13,350. In fact, according to data from Bitstamp, BTC’s new 2020 high is at $13,362.

Another sharp rejection followed, and the asset tanked briefly below $13,000. Nevertheless, the bulls have since driven it above the coveted mark, and BTC trades at about $12,940.

A compelling chart recently revealed that Bitcoin is forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern. If it’s to play out, the cryptocurrency could soon skyrocket even further and top its all-time high of $20,000.

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If this scenario is indeed to materialize, Bitcoin would have to break above the resistance lines at $13,420, $13,500, $13,815, and $14,000 before reaching new records.

btcusd_chart
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

Altcoins Follow Up And Calm Down

Most alternative coins experienced similarly increased volatility as Bitcoin. Ethereum surged to a new 7-week high of nearly $420. However, ETH quickly retraced and is now hovering around $409 again.

Ripple’s highest level came at about $0,26, but XRP has since decreased to below $0.253.

Thus, on a 24-hour scale, most larger-cap altcoins have remained essentially at the same positions as yesterday, despite the brief price jumps. Chainlink and Litecoin have registered the most gains of about 3.6%. LINK trades close to $12.35, and LTC is positioned at $56.3.

heatmap
Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

The most impressive gainer since yesterday is Filecoin. After the recent controversy and continuous price slump, FIL has surged by 45% in the past 24 hours.

Ocean Protocol (18%), Quant (17.5%), THETA (10.2%), Reserve Rights (10.2%), and Ampleforth (10%) have also increased by double-digit percentages.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-breaks-new-2020-high-as-total-market-cap-tops-400-billion-market-watch/

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Ripple Board Member Arrested on Cyberstalking Charges

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  • Ripple board member and a close family friend of US President Donald Trump, Ken Kurson, has been arrested following allegations of cyberstalking.
  • According to the New York Times, Kurson has stalked and harassed a total of five victims, including his ex-wife.
  • He was reportedly most vicious against a friend of his ex-wife, whom he blamed for his divorce. He used pseudonyms to contact the hospital she worked and sent fraudulent emails claiming that she had an affair with her boss. Kurson also initiated a flood of negative Yelp reviews, threatening emails, and anonymous calls and messages to other hospital employees. 
  • The woman claimed that Kurson had used the same tactics against another female victim, who was fired from her job. The criminal complaint also asserted that the second victim is Kurson’s ex-wife.
  • The public corruption unit of the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn is handling the case. A judge released Kurson from custody pending trial. 
  • Kurson is a close friend of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner had previously appointed Kurson as the editor in chief when he owned The New York Observer in 2013. 
  • In 2018, the Trump administration offered Kurson a seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. After a routine background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kurson withdrew from consideration.
  • Kurson joined the board of directors at Ripple in early 2017. The announcement highlighted that Kurson was one of the first investors in the company. 

Featured Image Courtesy of CNBC

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripple-board-member-arrested-on-cyberstalking-charges/

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Analysis: Are CBDCs a Threat For Bitcoin or The Opposite?

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Ever since Facebook announced its plans to create a digital payment currency dubbed Libra, central bankers have tried to counter it with an invention of their own.

While Libra is facing regulatory troubles, a BIS report indicated that over 80% of the world’s central banks are currently developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The idea and purpose of a CBDC are fundamentally different than everything Bitcoin stands for. As such, the community has been speculating on possible consequences for the primary cryptocurrency. Will a government-owned digital currency harm BTC’s role in the online world, or will it simply set the stage for its grand entrance?

Scenario A: CBDCs Are Bad For Bitcoin

The CBDCs will represent the cash bills that we use every day, but, as the name suggests, they will be digital-only. There’re still many unknown factors regarding their developments. Which country will be first, what technology will they use, will CBDCs be for retail payments or not?

These questions will eventually receive their answers. However, most people fear that the introduction of a CBDC will give governments absolute control to track, approve, or suspend all future payment transactions.

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Authorities have justified this potential constant surveillance by claiming that they will be able to reduce and even eliminate illicit activities, such as money-laundering.

On the other hand, concerns have emerged within the community that the inevitable launch of a CBDC will harm the industry and its most-well known representative – Bitcoin.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently predicted that a well-designed CBDC could “become a threat” for the first-ever cryptocurrency. He highlighted that most such currencies will be very centralized and won’t provide the same freedom as Bitcoin.

Consequently, world governments will push their own inventions further while be inclined to reduce the role of something as decentralized as BTC.

Bitcoin’s whitepaper described it as an “electronic peer-to-peer cash system.” However, having tons of competition backed by the world’s superpowers could indeed decrease its role. It could be especially harmful if the CBDCs enable cheaper and faster transactions than BTC.

Additionally, their value won’t fluctuate as much as Bitcoin’s. This may be another reason why people would prefer sending or receiving a currency that won’t lose any value by the time the transaction is complete.

Scenario B: CBDCs Will Help Bitcoin As A Payment Tool

On the other hand, there’s the narrative that when CBDCs arrive, they could only open the door for Bitcoin. Major cryptocurrency manager Grayscale Investment recently argued that when launched, CBDCs may “accentuate Bitcoin’s role in the global digital economy.”

This is partly because people would have to become familiar with the digital payment infrastructure, which hasn’t been necessary so far. By educating themselves on the matter, people would be able to find the significant differences between Bitcoin and the government-owned digital currencies.

“Bitcoin is special not because it is digital, but because Bitcoin is a scarce, uncompromising, apolitical currency that is open for anyone to use.”

Scenario C: CBDCs To Help BTC As A Store Of Value

If one assumes that the first scenario comes into reality and Bitcoin stops serving as an electronic peer-to-peer cash system, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have no value to society.

Instead of being used to transfer funds from one address to another, BTC may become what many others have argued for years – a store of value.

After all, Bitcoin shares several similarities with the most-widely accepted store of value asset – gold, such as scarcity. The two assets’ price performance has also resembled each other lately. The COVID-19 financial crisis only accelerated their increased correlation.

Even the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell compared the two and noted that both are a speculative form of a store of value.

Another believer in this thesis is Fidelity’s cryptocurrency arm – Fidelity Digital Asset. In a report compiled earlier this year, the company named Bitcoin an “inspirational store of value.”

So, If BTC is indeed to fail as an online payment resource because of CBDCs, it’s unique setup could prompt it to another, perhaps even a more critical role in today’s (digital) world.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/analysis-are-cbdcs-a-threat-for-bitcoin-or-the-opposite/

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