This Week in Blockchain 01.11.19

Blockchain Resources

The Enterprisers Project reached out to eleven blockchain leaders to find out where the public can discover important resources for understanding this technology. There are great suggestions for Open edX courses, a paper by the Technology Policy Institute, and a number of books and podcasts.

Nikao Yang, COO of Lucidity, suggests this primer from Goldman Sachs, which is one of my favorite explanations I’ve seen.

This web resource from financial giant Goldman Sachs offers a slick crash course in blockchain for beginners, including what it is, how it works, and more. Yang’s own company, part of a growing number of startups working on blockchain’s potentially significant applications in the digital advertising industry, also offers a Blockchain 101 primer.

Health Care On-chain

In Stewart Southey’s article on Forbes, “Are blockchains good for your health?” the doctor presents a justifiably skeptical look at blockchain’s role in health care. Scalability and especially security are of utmost importance concerning medical records; your health details in public purview can mean life or death when, say, you order a specific medication and your file has been hacked. You don’t want an enemy to discover the details of your DNA, much less the necessity of statins or blood thinners.

Blockchain is about removing intermediaries and sharing common trust-brokering infrastructure. This is fundamentally different from deploying an IT solution from a competitor and requires large-scale adoption of coopetition models. Blockchain is about a sharing economy – where all participants own and enable the network.

While I can’t vouch for many of the well-intentioned (we hope) projects out there, I recall my interview with another physician, Ali Chaudhary, one of the founders of Inkrypt. Their blockchain-based platform is providing censorship-resistant web hosting, an especially pertinent necessity for the company’s founders, who all come from nations with oppressive governments that restricted the flow of information.

Is blockchain good for health care? It certainly can be. Time will tell which projects fulfill their promises. Given how hard Inkrypt and Translo are working on creating a solution, perhaps at least a little of the bureaucracy will soon be dissolved.

Hot Water

A new analysis, published in the journal Science, discovered that oceans are warming 40 percent faster than predicted five years ago. Warmer water occupies more space than cooler water, which does not bode well for coastal cities around the world.

Scientists say the world’s oceans are warming far more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change because almost all the excess heat absorbed by the planet ends up stored in their waters.

RChain was founded with the intention of creating social coordination technologies to help people network when climate change forces new migration patterns. Storing your assets—money, records, data—in a secure, non-centralized manner will prove essential now that the upending of societies and cities is on the horizon. Tragically, that horizon is getting closer faster than anyone had predicted.

While taking individual responsibility for decreasing your carbon footprint is morally good, the novelist and essayist, Amitav Ghosh, argues that until corporations are reigned in through regulations there will be no widespread change. Now a new Fast Company article is making the same argument.

Climate change is a planetary-scale threat and, as such, requires planetary-scale reforms that can only be implemented by the world’s governments. Individuals can at most be responsible for their own behavior, but governments have the power to implement legislation that compels industries and individuals to act sustainably.

So yes, do your part, but more importantly, vote in legislators that will put in place the regulations we need to reduce the damage our species is causing. It’s too late to pretend that this will all just get better, but we can limit the destruction, provided we take real action—the action of stopping the real offenders.

Even Hotter Water

As if warming oceans weren’t bad enough, how about hacked waters? This week’s RCast features cybersecurity company, Rubica, discussing the necessity of taking your privacy and security seriously. As CEO Frances Dewing says, “Security is the one thing you should never sacrifice.”

We all know our computers, phones, and other devices are prime for hacking. But our hot tub? Turns out that yes, if you control it through your phone then someone in the neighborhood can surprise you.

Talk about a rude awakening.

Closing Thought

“You will make your impact by uniting those you seek to serve.” — Seth Godin, This is Marketing

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