by Eliot Harkin
This has been a big week for business and blockchain announcements around the world. Two new alliances were formed in Asia: ChinaLedger Alliance in China and the Blockchain Collaborative Consoritium in Japan. The U.K. is looking into using blockchain tech to make government more efficient. And in the world of medical record keeping, there were several big breakthroughs.
Compiled from contributions by Christie Harkin, Nigel Dollentas, Diana Ngo, James Ryan Moreau and Michael Scott.
Bai Shuo, former chief engineer of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, announced the first general assembly of the ChinaLedger Alliance, a non-profit institution that aims to promote the use of distributed ledger technology in China.
According to a statement, “The primary task of the ChinaLedger Alliance is to research and develop distributed ledger technology solutions with the specific parameters of Chinese regulatory framework in mind.”
Jeff Garzik, Bitcoin core developer and Co-Founder & CEO of Bloq; and Anthony Di Iorio, Chief Digital Officer of Toronto Stock Exchange, CEO & Founder of Decentral, and Co-Founder of Ethereum commented on the ground China has gained in the Bitcoin mining industry, and the advancements they have made in research and development.
Minister for Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock, delivered a speech on April 26, 2016, discussing the potential for blockchain technology to transform the ways that government works. As part of this same speech, the government announced that it would begin integrating blockchain technology into managing research grants, and branch out from there. The British government has a history of striving for innovation in a digital world, including when they transformed hundreds of government websites into GOV.UK with the Government Digital Service. The next step to building “government as a platform,” as they call it, includes looking at the blockchain and its possible implications.
In Japan, 34 companies have teamed up to launch the Blockchain Collaborative Consortium (BCCC), a new coalition aimed at educating the public and raising awareness about blockchain technology. The formation of BCCC comes at a time when blockchain technology is increasing in popularity in Japan with several banks and financial institutions either expressing interest in the tech or trialing blockchain-enabled systems in hopes of streamlining processes and cutting costs.
In an interview with BTCMANAGER, Aurélien Menant, CEO of Gatecoin, explained his enthusiasm for Ethereum and where he sees the future of crypto-tokens heading. He also delves into the topics of regulation and compliance.
Menant was particularly enthusiastic about the potential for dapps like Slock.it, as part of the new “sharing economy,” to redefine the role of tokens.
Healthcare is widely recognized among global leaders as a key policy issue. Yet health information and medical records technologies which are pivotal to the access and delivery of quality, cost-effective care to millions across the globe remain mired in a slow state of advancement. This inadequacy has sparked questions about the potential role of blockchain technology as a digital record-keeping system, all with the hopes of accelerating the progress of electronic medical records (EMR) innovation.
In this commentary, Michael Scott examines the root problems of legacy medical record-keeping systems, and gives an overview of how some innovative blockchain companies are helpng to solve them.
Further evidence of growing interest in blockchain tech came this week when Tierion, a startup that turns the blockchain into a global platform for verifying any data, file, or business process, announced that it had raised $1 million in a seed funding round led by Blockchain Capital and Fenbushi Capital, with participation from Digital Currency Group as well.
Tierion was the first blockchain company to partner with Philips Blockchain Lab to use blockchain technology to secure patient data and medical records; many medical records are still mostly paper, and the electronic management systems that do exist are antiquated and inadequate. This week, Philips announced that it was also partnering with Gem to launch Gem Health.