Category Archives: BIS

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Crypto Could Break Internet: Is the Bank for International Settlements Mistaken?

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has released a paper titled ‘Cryptocurrencies: looking beyond the hype’., in which it lists scaling concerns over widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, including possibly bringing “the internet to a halt” due to the tremendous amount of data that would be transferred by millions of users downloading swollen blockchains.

Essentially, BIS concludes that blockchains might work well for relatively small transaction frequencies but if they become a primary means for payments globally, then blockchain sizes would quickly grow to terabytes, using up too much internet bandwidth. The paper believes that if cryptocurrency processed as many transactions as other retail payment systems like Visa and MasterCard, then the blockchain would be too big to store in a smartphone within days, too big for a personal computer within weeks, and too big for a server within months.

BIS foresees that only supercomputers would be able to download and process the entire blockchain, but even then users would be transferring so much data and using so much bandwidth that it could congest the internet.

It appears to be an exaggeration, considering that the entire Bitcoin blockchain is 170 GB, and this includes all of the transactions over the last nine years since Bitcoin launched in 2009. This is easily downloadable by a personal computer.

Even so, the paper does not seem to recognize, however, that users do not necessarily need to use full node clients that download the entire blockchains, with lightweight clients such as simplified payment verification (SPV) wallets sufficient to perform transactions. It also does not consider second-layer networks currently in development, such as Bitcoin’s Lightning Network that would take transactions off-chain, possibly surpassing Visa’s transactional speed and capacity, without the data bloat.

BIS brought up other downsides, saying cryptocurrency is slow and consumes lots of energy. Again, this is not necessarily true, and it appears that some data used by BIS is outdated, leaving out recent scaling developments in major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Despite the mostly negative content of the report, BIS said the underlying blockchain-based distributed ledger technology showed promise for other applications like cross-border payments and faster settlement execution via smart contracts.

 

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Science Research Marketplace to Use Blockchain for Pharmaceutical Data Security

Scientist.com, the popular online marketplace for research services, has revealed that is about introduce a blockchain-powered platform designed to track and protect pharmaceutical data.

The new program, Data Smart, will be the site’s first foray into using blockchain applications which provide tracking and protection of medical data. It is a sector which is beginning to entice companies looking to apply blockchain as a replacement for current systems which are fast becoming outmoded.

Online market researcher BIS Research estimates that blockchain in healthcare will reach over USD 5.6 billion by 2025, and some of the biggest beneficiaries of this technology will be pharmaceutical companies, which lose an estimated USD 200 billion to counterfeit drugs each year.

Data from Statista.com shows that in 2017, only 15% of healthcare applications stated their intent to adopt blockchain for commercial deployment, although 50% were still undecided.

Companies such as Pfizer, BlockRx, and Genetech now use the technology to improve security, while more recently, DHL and Accenture have linked to create their own blockchain-based prototype in March to “track pharmaceuticals across the supply chain”.

Data Smart will do exactly this, ensuring “the integrity of information”, stated Scientist in their press release, “In biopharma research, we need blockchain technology to verify and validate the supply chain and to ensure the integrity of research data.”

Another hurdle that Data Smart will overcome is the cost and time adhering to current regulations, which will now be overcome by validating the integrity of the supply chain. Scientist maintains that the application will help to reduce the current pressure being put on biopharma businesses, due to strict US data regulations.

Currently, a number of healthcare institutions are successfully using blockchain technology around the world, ranging from constant tracking in clinical trials, healthcare information, and pharma supply chain solutions.

Dr Christina Czeschik, a physician and specialist in medical informatics argues that there are “few other industries in which so many different viewpoints and agendas need to be reconciled to achieve a common goal” – which, in this case, is good patient care.

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/pill-capsule-flying-many-horde-1884777/ – qimino

 

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