Blockchain in Healthcare – The „Future Workshop“ by Jens Spahn

The Federal Ministry of Health is looking for meaningful applications for blockchain technology. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn launched an ideas competition at the end of October. Participants can still submit their proposals until 10 December on how the new technology can improve the German healthcare system.

One of the most legendary quotes from former chancellor Helmut Schmidt is that those who have visions should go to the doctor. Anyone with visions of how to revolutionise doctor visits can turn to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). With an ideas competition, the Federal Ministry of Health is looking for blockchain-based concepts to make the German healthcare system fit for the future. The task is kept very open: „Solutions are sought for applications in the German healthcare system“. As examples of potential areas of application for the blockchain, the Ministry mentions legal and identity management, declarations of consent and the organ and tissue donation register.

Everyone is talking about it – but it is often difficult to find concrete applications, especially beyond Bitcoin code

Spahn said in the announcement video for the ideas competition, in which he calls on (adult) individuals, teams, universities, Bitcoin code start-ups, companies – in short: anyone involved in blockchain technology – to support the Ministry in this search.

Participants can submit their proposals to an independent, interdisciplinary panel of experts by 10 December. The experts will then evaluate the concepts according to their relevance for the German healthcare system, their sustainability, interoperability and data security. The best projects will receive an invitation to the Ministry’s „Future Workshop“ on 27 February 2019. There, the winners of the preselection can present their projects to the panel of experts, which then selects the winners. The winners will receive prize money totalling 30,000 euros. The first prize will be 15,000 euros, the second and third prizes 10,000 and 5,000 euros respectively. The closing date for entries is 10 December 2018.

Sparse details on the Bitcoin code Future Workshop

Further details about the „Zukunftswerkstatt“ are not yet known. „Information will follow“ is the title of the corresponding FAQ under the item „What happens at the Bitcoin code Future Workshop? In June, Spahn was still sceptical about blockchain technology, but recognized the need for action in the area of digitizing the healthcare system. Read more about it: „We have to move faster than before,“ he stated at the Cube Tech Fair in Berlin. There was „a lot of talk and few concrete applications,“ Spahn said at the time. A step towards concrete applications has already been taken with the announcement of the Zukunftswerkstatt. However, it is not without a certain irony if one mocks oneself about the sluggish blockchain adaptation on the one hand and on the other hand does not provide more detailed information about the „Future Workshop“ program even after just one month.

Bitcoin Halving – a sign of doom or bloom?

Bitcoin Halving – do we expect a blessing or a catastrophe? Various voices have been raised about this.

With the upcoming halving of the Mining Reward, many Bitcoin enthusiasts have the hope that this will take Bitcoin’s price to new heights.

But there are also worried voices by Bitcoin trader

A Miner has expressed serious concern that this Bitcoin Halving will trigger a series of events that will inevitably lead to a hard fork. Chandler Guo is the founder of Bitbank, a Chinese company responsible for the world’s largest mining operations. On average, BW is responsible for 10% of the total Hashrate. If Bitcoin’s price does not rise dramatically before or immediately after Bitcoin trader halving, Guo fears that too much hashrate will be lost due to unprofitable mining, which would make it virtually impossible to confirm a transaction by the Bitcoin trader.

„If the price doesn’t rise rapidly by a factor of two, it will lead to the shutdown of many older machines.“

Bitcoin Halving is an event that occurs roughly every four years for the crypto trader

The new generation of Bitcoin is halved. In 2009, when Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, the crypto trader was rewarded at 50 BTC. About four years later, this reward dropped to 25 BTC. This guarantees that Bitcoin is limited. However, the sudden reduction of the reward can cause problems for miners by reducing the margin. According to Guo, miners using less efficient crypto trader hardware will be forced to shut down their machines.

„The 300 Petahash machines and older models will be taken off the grid immediately – machines like the Avalon A3 or Bitminer S3 will simply no longer be worth it, at best they will receive their own electricity costs as a reward.

Difficulty forces Hardfork
The greater the hashing power a Miner has, the greater the probability that he will make a profit on a regular basis.

To prevent this from becoming a self-runner, the Bitcoin protocol specifies that the difficulty of the miner, the difficulty, is calculated every 2916 blocks on the basis of the hashrate of the network. In the last year this difficulty has increased extremely with the amount of powerful hardware in the network.

This time set in the protocol to recalculate the difficulty is the reason for Guo’s worries. Taking a significant part of the hashing power from the system would lead to a dramatic slowdown of the network – which in turn would result in a long delay in recalculating the difficulty.

„Without adjusting the difficulty, a dramatic reduction in the hashrate will not create a new block – so if Bitcoin’s price does not go up after Bitcoin halving, but even drops, the blockchain will come to a standstill.

In the worst case, this would lead to an extreme loss of trust in Bitcoin, which could lead to a digital equivalent of the bank run: People would try to trade in their Bitcoin as quickly as possible, pushing the price down. The falling Bitcoin price could in turn lead to a further exit of other miners from the net and thus to a vicious circle.

According to Guo it will need a hard fork to reset this difficulty.

„The hard fork will come and the price of Bitcoin will fall again,“ says Guo.

Bitcoin Halving – but hotter cooked than eaten?
Not everyone sees the future as pessimistic as Guo. In the eyes of the optimists, this Bitcoin Halving will also end positively – after all, Bitcoin has gone through the same thing before without suffering any damage.

Eric Lombrozo, one of the contributors to the Bitcoin Core dev team and founder of Ciphrex said:

„In my opinion, the Bitcoin Halving will not have the dramatic impact some people think it has. We’ve had Bitcoin halving before and have experienced abrupt price falls in the Bitcoin before – in both cases this has resulted in less profit for the miners. There was no dramatic reduction in the hashrate in either case.“

People like Lombrozo, who don’t link the end of Bitcoin or the arrival of a hard fork to the Bitcoin halving, claim that the miners have enough financial reserves to cope with an abrupt drop in profits and bridge the time when the market wants to set a new value for Bitcoin.

Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, agrees with Guo that there will be a decline in the Hashrate, but does not think it will be as dramatic as Guo fears.

„Probably the hash rate will drop by five to ten percent, in the worst case perhaps up to 30%.

Limited money supply vs. infinite money supply: No more bank bailouts because of Bitcoin?

Due to the way Bitcoin creates money, its maximum money supply is set at 21 million Bitcoin from the outset. This naturally entails stability and there is no danger of a loss of purchasing power through an expansion of the money supply. However, no large amounts of money can be created out of nothing. Should there be shortages in the money supply, the economy could not be supported by the creation of new funds. Rescuing banks and the euro would no longer be an option. However, since this type of money supply is mostly based on debt, massive indebtedness could be prevented through money creation as applied at Bitcoin.

Can the Bitcoin news trader review end the sovereign debt crisis?

In particular, the creation of girl money presents itself as problematic: If a large part of euro money is put into circulation through loans, almost all euros in circulation are based on debt. Sooner or later, these debts will have to be repaid. As soon as this would happen, however, there would be practically no euros in circulation. The sum of the whole money corresponds thus in approximately the sum of the Bitcoin news trader review debts. Therefore one speaks here also of a zero sum game: If one offsets all Euros with all debts in the euro currency area, one arrives at the sum zero.

In practice, however, things look somewhat different: Since all credits are lent with interest and compound interest, there are even more debts than money in circulation. So the debts can never be repaid – except by taking on new debts with new interest rates. This can have devastating consequences, as it puts the economy under constant pressure to grow in order to service the constantly growing interest rates.

Does the Bitcoin news trader scam inhibit the economy?

The Bitcoin news trader scam is not created by debt, so it can be described as a plus-sum game. The problem mentioned therefore does not arise with the Bitcoin. On the contrary, if the Bitcoin news trader scam is accepted worldwide, it could even help to end the global sovereign debt crisis. One could, for example, service the debts that one would otherwise never be able to repay due to the way the euro was created, now in the form of Bitcoins.

The individual investor is of course happy about money, which is becoming increasingly valuable, as is the case with Bitcoin due to its artificial shortage to 21 million units. Whether this is beneficial as a macroeconomic currency, however, is another matter. Because money that is always worth more is spent less and hoarded more. And, of course, the economy depends on a steady flow of financial resources. The euro, with its slightly inflationary tendency, tends to invite spending and could therefore make more sense in macroeconomic terms as a means of payment.

It also makes sense for central banks to take a closer look at the advantages of crypto currencies in order to adopt possible advantages in a reform of the monetary system. It is not for nothing that there are always ideas as to how state crypto money could be implemented.

Perhaps these can make a valuable contribution to combining the advantages of both systems in crypto money.

FinHub: New SEC branch office for Bitcoin regulation

Bitcoin, regulation and the SEC: The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced the launch of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology on 18 October. The so-called FinHub is an outsourcing of some internal departments at the SEC, which is to be relieved.

Bitcoin, crypto currencies, blockchain technology and regulation are a pair that is still struggling. New information about Bitcoin’s regulation is constantly being added to the news columns. However, a final agreement is still not in sight. A new department of the SEC is therefore to take some countermeasures in the future.

The tasks of the new Bitcoin formula review

In future, the Securities and Exchange Commission will outsource part of its work as seen here The authority, which among other things deals with regulatory issues relating to Bitcoin formula review, will be relieved of its responsibilities by the FinHub. Its tasks are:

Provision of a portal for industry and the public on which it will be possible to discuss innovative ideas and technological developments directly with SEC staff;
Provide information on the SEC’s activities and initiatives with FinTech;
Inform the public through publications and events. (Including a FinTech Forum focusing on distributed ledgers and digital assets).
To act as a platform and clearing house for SEC staff to acquire and disseminate information and FinTech-related knowledge within the Agency.
To serve as a liaison with other national and international regulatory authorities regarding new technologies in financial, regulatory and supervisory systems.
Bitcoin regulation to become more centralised in the future

Rejoicing the Bitcoin trader scam

Valerie A. Szczepanik will head the SEC’s FinHub. In addition the chairman of the SEC says about the Bitcoin trader scam: „The SEC is committed to working with investors and market participants on new approaches to capital formation, market structure and financial services to improve investor protection and not reduce it in any way. The FinHub is a key focus for our efforts to monitor and promote innovation in securities markets that are promising, but also require a flexible and rapid response from regulators to fulfill our mission.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

This will make the regulation of Bitcoin and Co. somewhat more centralised in the future. Further information can be found in the official press release and on the FinHub homepage.

Phillip HorchPhillip Horch is head of the BTC-ECHO service and responsible for the structuring and planning of editorial content. He gained several years of editorial experience during his studies and then worked as a freelance journalist before joining BTC-ECHO as an editor in January 2018. Phillip holds a Master’s degree in Literature, Art and Media Studies from the University of Konstanz and the Universidad de Valparaíso.

Waste-free thanks to Blockchain

The Philippine authorities want to use blockchain technology in water protection. Their goal is to free the Pasig, which flows through the capital Manila, from plastic waste. For this purpose, the responsible authority Philippines‘ Pasig River Rehabilitation Council (PRRC) has entered into a partnership with the blockchain companies CypherOdin and BOTcoin. Together they now want to work out a pilot project. If the project is successful, the developers want to pass on their knowledge. Follow-on candidates for similar projects are already waiting in line worldwide.

Philippines want to use Blockchain for water protection

Nile, Ganges, Amazon, Yangtze – the largest rivers in the world are also the ones that suffer most from pollution. A little-known, shorter watercourse, which has also been overflowing with plastic waste for years, is the Philippine Pasig. A cooperation of the local authorities with the blockchain companies CypherOdin and BOTcoin is now supposed to make the difference and clean the capital river.

The developers want to network river courses and banks directly with the Internet and thus continuously evaluate water quality, water levels and other data relevant for the preservation of the river. In addition, drones should help to locate the places most heavily polluted by plastic waste. Direct countermeasures are to be derived from this. CypherOdin and BOTcoin Managing Director Mariano Villafuerte describes how the technology will help:

„We will collect and evaluate data from our Internet of Things stations. This will allow us to obtain comprehensive information about where the plastic and garbage come from and, among other things, what patterns of movement they take. This allows us to develop recommendations to rid the river [the rivers] of waste.“

Preventing rivers as landfills

In addition to working directly with the water itself, the project aims to target the authors of the pollution. A comprehensive information campaign is to raise awareness of environmental pollution among the inhabitants of the river. BOTcoin wants to reward these people for collecting plastic waste with its own crypto currency.

If the project succeeds, the developers want to pass on their knowledge and rid more rivers of dirt, explains Villafuerte. In addition to other projects in the Philippines, which are plagued by plastic waste, there are probably numerous candidates for this worldwide.

Many people around the world regard rivers as a quick and easy solution for disposing of their waste. This makes them the main arteries of waste. As a result, it often ends up unhindered in the sea, polluting not only beaches but the oceans themselves.