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New York governor Cuomo reveals COVID-19 pilot built on IBM blockchain

Republished by Plato

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A sense of relief has begun to emerge as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be administered across the world. While hopeful, a new challenge remains: distinguishing between individuals vaccinated and those unvaccinated. 

Various statistics claim that very little of the world’s population has been fully vaccinated as of the start of March 2021. While this number is still low, some regions like Texas have optimistically begun lifting mask mandates in hopes of resuming normal lifestyles. Other states across America, however, have started taking safer precautions to ensure normalcy following the COVID-19 vaccination rollouts.

For example, New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a pilot program to trial the “Excelsior Pass,” a solution based on IBM’s Digital Health Pass powered by blockchain technology. According to the New York State blog post, “the Excelsior Pass will confirm an individual’s vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test through a confidential data transfer” between businesses in accordance with New York State guidelines.

Blockchain enables secure data sharing

Jason Kelley, the general manager for IBM Services, told Cointelegraph that New York has customized the app to meet the state’s specific needs. “Modifications are being made to address those requirements. The underlying technology is the same as IBM Digital Health Pass,” said Kelley.

The Excelsior Pass was initially tested during the Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on Feb. 27. The app was piloted once again during the New York Rangers game on March 2 at Madison Square Garden. While results from these pilots are yet to be revealed, Kelley explained that the Excelsior Pass functions similarly to that of a mobile airline boarding pass:

“Individuals will be able to either print out their health pass or store it on their smartphones. A QR code is used to inform the venue if a pass is valid or invalid. The aim is to give residents the ability to digitally confirm in a simple, voluntary and secure way their proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or certification of vaccination.”

Blockchain plays an important role in ensuring user data remains private when shared with organizations that require a verified health pass. Eric Piscini, vice president of blockchain for IBM Watson Health, previously told Cointelegraph that the Digital Health Pass platform specifically uses blockchain to establish self-sovereign identity, along with verifiable credentials.

Kelley further mentioned that IBM’s Digital Health Pass runs on open standards, enabling easy interoperability with other solutions, along with access to details regarding the technology being used in the application: “IBM has built the solution using open architecture so that other states can choose to join the effort,” further stating: “This could provide the foundation for a secure and interwoven ecosystem enabling governments, businesses and people nationwide to power a safer, trusted transition to a post-pandemic reality.”

Will other regions choose blockchain as a solution?

Kelley mentioned that the goal of the Excelsior Pass is to provide New York residents with a simple, voluntary and secure method for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or certification of vaccination. It’s also important to note that the pass allows New York State residents to voluntarily share their health status on their own terms without ever revealing underlying personal data used to generate those credentials.

As such, a blockchain solution could very well be the missing link to COVID-19 vaccination management offerings moving forward. It’s notable that the American pharmaceutical company Moderna recently announced plans to partner with IBM to learn how emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid cloud, could help support more efficient COVID-19 vaccine management efforts. Moderna will be looking at how the Digital Health Pass can be utilized throughout the United States as a vaccine management solution.

In addition to IBM’s Digital Health Pass, United Kingdom-based asset-tracking provider Everyware is using a distributed ledger solution from Hedera Hashgraph to manage vaccine storage and administration. The Hedera base layer provides a verifiable timestamp and ordering of events across the vaccine supply chain, also allowing healthcare providers to share data with other parties involved in the delivery chain. In addition, this storage solution leverages hardware to monitor the distribution and administration of vaccines.

Brazil is also using a blockchain-based system to track individuals who have received a vaccine. Known as the National Health Data Network, this solution is powered by Hyperledger Fabric and uploads data to the blockchain once individuals receive vaccinations.

Although the use of blockchain for vaccination management is impressive, regulations may create challenges for certain regions looking to leverage such solutions.

Brian Platz, co-CEO of Fluree — a blockchain-based data management platform — told Cointelegraph that regulatory issues regarding data sharing are always subject to the specifics in implementation and infrastructure choices. However, Platz noted that verifiable credentials technologies, such as the one developed by IBM, are generally privacy-enhancing and more compliant than traditional systems:

“In many ways, verifiable credentials are better ways to accomplish data privacy because they move control over sensitive data, such as medical information, closer to the owner of that information.”

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/new-york-governor-cuomo-reveals-covid-19-pilot-built-on-ibm-blockchain

Blockchain

Bitcoin Bull Mike Novogratz Predicts Existential Crisis Unless the US Creates a Digital Dollar

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Mike Novogratz, a veteran investor, and a huge Bitcoin supporter noted the U.S. is currently in a good economic position. Still, the nation can face a major competitive disadvantage unless it engineers a digital dollar soon.

The Importance Of An E-Dollar

Novogratz, chief executive of digital merchant bank Galaxy Digital GLXY, underlined the value that a digital dollar could bring to the US. In a Friday interview with MarketWatch, he stated:

”To me it is an existential crisis, we need a digital dollar.”

Furthermore, the investor expressed his view over the current COVID pandemic and the negative impact on the U.S. market and the world, in general. He referred to the trillions of dollars of monetary and fiscal spending done to help eliminate the worst of the economic aftershocks the disease caused:

”If our fiscal and monetary policy starts looking like it’s from a Banana Republic…you are going to run into some Minsky moment where confidence breaks down.”

With his statement, Mike Novogratz referenced Hyman Minsky, who exposed a view in the recent past that a period of distortions in the financial system eventually ends very badly.


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The existence of a digital dollar sounds even more important after some stock-market investors have been warning about a surge in US inflation in the past weeks.

The Competition With China

During the interview, Novgorotz claimed that while in the U.S., the development of an e-dollar is still under question and researches, China has fired the first salvo on the digital currency front.

The biggest economy in Asia conveys great support to its digital yuan. According to some experts in the field, its new currency is a weapon that the country can use to compete with the U.S. and other developed economies.

As CryptoPotato recently reported, PayPal CEO Peter Thiel said that Bitcoin could be used as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.

In the meantime, Novogratz said that there is ”zero evidence of the Chinese government buying Bitcoin” much less weaponizing it, referring to the comments made by Peter Thiel:

”Sometimes he likes to say things that are provocative.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-bull-mike-novogratz-predicts-existential-crisis-unless-the-us-creates-a-digital-dollar/

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Blockchain

Ripple becomes tidal wave, leads weekend pump and notches legal victories

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Amid a weekend pump carrying multiple cryptocurrencies higher, Ripple’s XRP looks to be leading the way with a push as high as 30% on the daily — carried on the back of a string of legal victories and rumors of relisting at some exchanges. 

Where Bitcoin and Ethereum are up merely 2.7% and 3.4% respectively on the day, XRP climbed to $1.36 before retreating to $1.32, where it sits at the time of publication. The digital currency is now up 111% on a 7 day basis, and a staggering 544% on the year. The recent push has also buoyed XRP back into the top 10 cryptocurrencies by marketcap, behind only BTC, ETH, and BNB at #4.

The rally flies in the face of a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which charges that XRP’s $1.3 billion ICO was an “unregistered securities offering.” The news led multiple exchanges to delist the currency, and XRP lost its place as the 3rd largest currency by marketcap, at time looking as if it would even fall out of the top ten. 

The bad news for XRP didn’t stop with the SEC, either. In March Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced that the company would be “winding down” its relationship with Moneygram — a once highly-touted partnership that investors often pointed to as proof of the digital currency being on a path towards becoming “the standard” for payments and settlement.

Despite the deluge of negative headlines, it appears all buyers needed was a small ray of hope to jump back in — and they’ve gotten exactly that. Ripple lawyers have notched two victories in their legal battle against the SEC, including winning access to internal SEC discussion history regarding cryptocurrencies, and a court denied the SEC the ability to disclose the financial records of two Ripple execs, including Garlinghouse.

Ripple executives themselves seem heartened by the news, with CTO David Schwartz saying the US isn’t “prepared” to regulate cryptocurrencies (a possible dig at the ongoing legal proceedings).

All in all, it’s just another week for one of the most controversial cryptocurrencies in the space.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/ripple-becomes-tidal-wave-leads-weekend-pump-and-notches-legal-victories

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Blockchain

Why this OlympusDAO’s product could be amongst DeFi most lucrative

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Taking the market by storm, OlympusDAO’s native OHM is up 95.8% this week alone and 31.1% in the past two weeks. At the time of writing, OHM is trading at $812,76 with 7.3% profits in the 24-hour chart.

With a market cap of just $68 million, OlympusDAO might have gone unnoticed by many investors. However, it has a mechanism called Bonds which promises to be one most important and lucrative in the DeFi sector.

According to research firm Messari, this protocol is attempting to create a stable currency backing every OHM with DAI and OHM-DAI. The objective is to maintain a “fundamental check on inflation” and a currency with an undiluted purchasing power.

Unlike Tether and other stablecoins, OHM is not pegged to any other asset. Its stability is achieved via the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) when it alters variables to obtain more profitability for stakers.

This is done via the sales contract connected to the protocol’s treasury and a liquidity pool (OMH-DAI) on decentralized exchange Sushiswap, as shown below. Messari explains:

When OHM trades above 1 DAI, the protocol mints and sells new OHM. When OHM trades below 1 DAI, the protocol buys back and burns OHM. In each case the protocol makes a profit. Olympus DAO distributes these profits 90% to OHM stakers pro rata and 10% to a DAO.

OlympusDAO OHM
Source: Messari

How OlympusDAO’s bonds operate

The Bonds are a treasury component to get liquidity with it users can trade Stake Liquidity Provider tokens to get OHM directly with the protocol, as an OlympusDAO developer explained.

Once the trade is completed there is a vesting schedule of 5 days. During this time, the user can redeem the tokens but has incentives to get them at a discount. The latter is determined by the number of bonds in the protocol, more bonds are equal to a lower discount.

Via this mechanism, as the developer said, OlympusDAO restrains its own growth, to have become “steadier”.

The liquidity from a bond is locked in the treasury and used to back new $OHM. That liquidity now belongs to the market and, by extension, the token holders. The more liquidity the protocol builds up, the more confident holders can feel.

The users are basically contributing to OlympusDAO by adding liquidity. In retribution, the user gets a reward in OHM at a much cheaper price during a specific period. That way, both the user and the protocol can benefit.

OlympusDAO offers LP a variety of strategies around OHM which they can leverage to obtain a bigger profit than on the spot market. The developer claims:

All of this serves to create a long-term, sustainable bootstrapping mechanism for the protocol, with participants as the main beneficiaries. A good system shouldn’t offer one opportunity to “make it”; it should offer them in perpetuity with diminishing returns. This is how you produce wealth; slowly, through compounding gains.

Ethereum is trading at $2096,58 with a 1.2% profit in the 24-hour chart, after dropping from its ATH at $2,198.

OlympusDAO OHM Ethereum ETHUSD
ETH with small profits in the 24-hour chart. Source: ETHUSD Tradingview

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/why-this-olympusdaos-product-could-be-amongst-defi-most-lucrative/

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