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This Week in Blockchain 03.01.19

Blockchain to aid in clinical trial data

Blockchain is believed to be applicable to numerous industries, but how the reality of the technology plays out remains to be seen. One industry not shy on experimenting with the technology is medical data, however. And now researchers at UC San Francisco have created a proof-of-concept method that could ensure such data is properly and securely stored.

The research, published in Nature Communications, focuses on the utility of blockchain for pharmaceutical companies running clinical trials. The tracing capabilities of blockchain will allow researchers to verify any changes occurring during trials.

Daniel Wong, a PhD candidate in Biological and Medical Informatics at UCSF, built the system to operate through a web portal, so that each time new data is entered on a given trial participant, the sender, receiver, timestamp, and file attachment containing the data, along with the hash of the previous block of data pertaining to that patient, is recorded onto a new block, with its own distinct signature.

This system could be utilized to provide researchers with raw data or to directly provide information to consumers. Given all of the problems our current medical systems face, blockchain could provide a much-needed solution in a life-or-death industry.

Android smartphone that rewards with crypto

An $80 Android smartphone that rewards its users with crypto? That’s what blockchain startup, Electroneum, has just created. With a current market cap of $65M, users will only be able to access its native token, ETN, with returns of “up to $3” per month. Humble beginnings, but a beginning nonetheless.

The inexpensive entry point is designed to appeal to developing nations; the company might even lower the cost to $60. First up, according to founder and CEO Richard Ells, is South Africa.

South Africa was an obvious choice for us. We carried out a large survey in the country and found that 97 percent of those who responded said they would like to use ETN to pay for mobile airtime and data.

Carbon solution

While adults continue to debate whether or not blockchain will have any utility in the future, students aren’t waiting around. One example is the student organization, Blockchain at Berkeley, which is focused on blockchain applications in research, education, design, and consulting.

B@B consultant, Kate Tomlinson, was part of Team Vincurala, which won a recent UCLA Energy Competition. The problem the team addressed was properly tracking carbon emissions saved when using electric vehicles, which they believe blockchain can address.

Vinculara proposed a blockchain-based platform that would provide a more efficient and effective allocation of the state-regulated Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits to electric vehicle fleet owners. The idea came from team member Kate Tomlinson, a business consultant for Blockchain at Berkeley, who is researching the use of blockchain in the energy industry.

How to avoid an ICO scam

A whopping 80 percent of ICOs launched in 2017 turned out to be scams; only 8 percent reached fruition. No wonder so many people are cautious around crypto.

This guide to avoiding ICO scams is useful. To summate, here are the bullet points, but read the full report for context.

  • Begin with the White Paper
  • See other people’s remarks
  • The team is everything

Closing Thought

“Luck favors the persistent.” Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

One thought on “This Week in Blockchain 03.01.19
  1. As technology advances, so does its’ application. Use of blockchain for medical data and in the energy industry can prove to be quite fruitful.

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