How blockchain can win war on fake medicine – The Australian

By Mark Toohey      February 20, 2018

Blockchain technology is centred on improving trust and can fix the grim realities of corrupted supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry.

Discovery of the fact that some cancer patients in US hospitals have been given fake chemotherapy was a profound moment for me during my battle with cancer. I know I am alive only because I received genuine chemo. It has already given me seven extra years of life (and hopefully many more).

Luckily at the time, I was in the fortunate position of understanding the power of blockchain technology and I knew that this offshoot of bitcoin’s technical design could provide a solution to this life-threatening fake-medicine industry.

Fake chemo is just one of many outrages. Interpol estimates about one million people — who buy drugs in good faith hoping for a cure — die each year from fake medicine.

More at: How blockchain can win war on fake medicine – The Australian

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IBM bats for greater use of blockchain technology in governance – Techcircle

By Anirban Ghoshal      February 19, 2018

Tech giant IBM has advocated greater use of blockchain technology in US governance processes to help make services more secure.

According to a Business Insider report, IBM’s vice-president of blockchain technology Jerry Cuomo said during his testimony at a Congressional hearing that the US government should employ the digital ledger technology for services such as paying taxes, creating secure identities, tracking food and drug shipments, among other purposes.

“We should focus our efforts on projects that can positively impact US economic competitiveness, citizens, and businesses,” Cuomo was quoted as saying by the Blockchain Caucus, which was launched by US Congressmen to discuss the technology in the context of public policy.

According to Cuomo, it would be preferable to integrate blockchain into existing government projects and programmes rather than creating new projects based on the technology. He feels this will help catalyse adoption of blockchain and keep the US ahead of the curve in terms of implementation.

More at: IBM bats for greater use of blockchain technology in governance – Techcircle

Everything you think you know about blockchain is wrong: 6 common myths – CIO

By Bryon Connolly      February 19, 2018

Corporate activity around blockchain technology is ramping up – big time. In financial services, the Commonwealth Bank hinted at plans to import a ‘commercialised blockchain solution’ it had successfully trialed in South Africa.

ANZ and Westpac have completed a trial of distributed ledger technology for the bank guarantee process used in commercial property leasing. Mastercard is launching its own blockchain network to enable partner banks and merchants to make cross-border payments faster and more securely.

In education, the University of Melbourne joined forces with US-based Learning Machine to pilot a blockchain system to share and verify micro-credentials.

And the list goes on.

There’s obviously value in the blockchain but what are the common myths that many undermine the technology? A group of four Forrester analysts, led by Martha Bennett, laid them out in a new report.

1. The immutability myth

The term ‘immutable’ which in blockchain terms, means ‘can never be changed’ is technically impossible, the researchers said in their report.

There are two main ways changes can be made to the blockchain.

“One is to recompute the chain, either in its entirety or to the point before an undesirable event occurred; this erases and recreates history – in the early days of bitcoin, something like this happened,” they said.

“The other is to fork the chain, which preserves the historical code and transactions, but means the software now works differently. The best known example of this is likely to be the Ethereum fork that was introduced to deal with the DAO disaster.”

More at: Everything you think you know about blockchain is wrong: 6 common myths – CIO

The 5 Big Problems With Blockchain Everyone Should Be Aware Of – Forbes Tech #BigData

By Bernard Marr, Contributor      February 18, 2018

Blockchain is often touted as a world-changing technology and in many ways, it is. However, it isn’t necessarily the cure-all panacea for the world’s problems that many evangelists would have you believe.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the issues with blockchain that anyone thinking of using it should understand. Starting with perhaps the biggest…

  1. Blockchain has an environmental cost

At least, the way it is being used today, it does. Blockchain relies on encryption to provide its security as well as establish consensus over a distributed network. This essentially means that, in order to “prove” that a user has permission to write to the chain, complex algorithms must be run, which in turn require large amounts of computing power. Of course, this comes at a cost. Taking the most widely known and used blockchain as an example – Bitcoin – last year it was claimed that the computing power required to keep the network running consumes as much energy as was used by 159 of the world’s nations.

More at: The 5 Big Problems With Blockchain Everyone Should Be Aware Of – Forbes Tech #BigData