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Blockchain Healthcare Applications for US FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed today its intent to study Blockchain Healthcare Applications.

The American agency who approves and regulates medical products announced its decision in a press release published by IBM Watson Health, that will team together with the FDA.

IBM will study how data from electronic medical records, clinical trials and health data from devices can be better shared and audited by using the distributed ledger.

To do so, it is not clear if IBM and the FDA will use a private blockchain or the Bitcoin one. Details may be published during next months.

Initial tests will be focused on clinical trials and real-world evidence data related to oncological data.

However, the two companies positioned the trial as one that could one day mitigate the potential of patient privacy breaches during electric exchanges.

The official press release revealed:

“By keeping an audit trail of all transactions on an unalterable distributed ledger, blockchain technology establishes accountability and transparency in the data exchange process.”

According to the press release, the IBM and the FDA will work together for a two-years period and their goal is publishing their researches in 2017.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Infographic: Bitcoin in Politics

https://holytransaction.com/page/bitcoin-in-politics

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jorge

Infographic: Who Uses Bitcoin?

https://holytransaction.com/page/who-uses-bitcoin

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jorge

New North Carolina Money Transmitter Bill Could Push Out Bitcoin Companies

How many Bitcoin companies operate in North Carolina? How many will there be? A new piece of legislation making its way through the North Carolina State Senate is attempting to enact further regulations on companies that handle digital currencies such as bitcoin. Originally sponsored by a state representative that also happens to be a vice president at Wells Fargo, the North Carolina legislature has moved forward with H289. H289 has made it through the North Carolina House of Representatives, and has started making its way through their state Senate. Luckily for us, the new senate bill S680 will not be voted on until Spring 2016. S680 is officially drafted by the North Carolina Banking Commission, which specifically mentioned that the proposed legislation is coming about as a result of requests by certain companies seeking clarity about digital currency regulation. It’s pretty easy to figure out which company that is.

The Politician Forgot to Take Off his Banker Hat

Before delving into the implication of this new update to the North Carolina Money Transmitters Act, we should consider the ridiculousness of how it came to be in the first place. The Representative that forgot to take off his hat was none other than Republican Representative Stephen Ross. Officially, his title is Executive Vice President, and he often votes on and sponsors financial industry related bills. Ross has also voted to protect officials that refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies. Such a bill has thus far only seen success in Utah.
A much better example of how to wear two hats can be found in a Virginia Representative. Mark Keam, a vice president for Verizon Communications has vowed to abstain from voting on issues that might present a conflict of interest with his Verizon job. Why this isn’t a basic requirement is still baffling to me. More importantly, Keam committed to not submitting any telecommunications bills during his time on the job. Representative Stephen Ross, from just a state south of Virginia, is truly only representative of the perceived political corruption and rot that fuels the anarchist movement. In a world where people are wearing more hats, both literally and figuratively, better rules to weed out moral hazard and stymie conflicts of interest are needed. More importantly, people who will follow these rules, and not bend them until they break, are also needed.

Coinbase Supports This Bill

As Bitcoin company BitGo’s engineer Jameson Lopp notes in a Medium article, Coinbase is the only Bitcoin company with lobbyists in North Carolina and it is believed that these lobbyists are actively pushing for more regulation of Bitcoin companies. These regulations would benefit companies such as Coinbase but would damage the efficacy of other smaller companies in North Carolina. In fact, Coinbase published a blog post where they praised the proposed legislation out of North Carolina. Coinbase wrote:
We want to thank the NC Bank Commissioner’s office for engaging with industry while modernizing its MTA and working to make NC a welcoming place for tech innovation. Please join us in thanking both Representative Ross and Senator Gunn, who sponsored the legislation in the NC House and Senate, respectively, and in urging the NC Legislature to move quickly in passing the legislation.

Proposed Changes May Harm Some Bitcoin Companies

Previously, the net worth requirement for receiving a license and being a fully legal Bitcoin company in the state was 100K, now it could be 250K. Depending on the volume your company handles, the surety bond that you need to provide could cost as much as 100K more than the previous $150K amount. The application fee itself has increased from $500 to $1,500 and the annual assessment fee has been raised to $5,000 and also heightens depending on transmission volume.
As Coinbase has settled itself into North Carolina. Other Bitcoin companies, such as Xapo and CoinOutlet, have announced their departure from the state. Jameson Lopp hopes that S680 can suffer a fate similar to AB1326 in the California legislature. He is working with the Chamber of Digital Commerce to create amendments to the bill that would exempt certain types of entities or activities from this legislation, and potentially give some Bitcoin companies some breathing room. However, he notes that the complete defeat of the bill is a preferred outcome.

About the author: Caleb Chen is a cryptocurrency advocate and is a research assistant at the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

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Goodbye For Now, NYC

After carefully considering the recent introduction of the BitLicense, HolyTransaction has decided to suspend its business within the state of New York, until such time that more reasonable regulations are put into law. It is unfortunate that the politics in New York have led to this stifling of innovation. Our community is still new, still growing. To limit the possibilities of this technology now would be akin to cutting a flower before it has bloomed.
For those who do not know, BitLicense is over regulating in a number of unfortunate ways. First, and most often cited, is the cost for a business to obtain the license itself. BitStamp has estimated that they have paid nearly $100,000 to apply, between legal fee’s, time allocation, and maintaining compliance.
What happens when every state in the U.S., or every country in the world, crafts their own BitLicense? Businesses will be expected to pay for separate licenses in every area in which they operate; potentially a multi-million dollar requirement that could shut the lights off at many of crypto companies, leaving standing only those who have chosen to comply with rules set out by the very institutions that Bitcoin has rallied against. Abandoning business in states who insist upon excessive profiteering from unnecessary regulation is our best option for the moment.
Our most significant qualms with the BitLicense are directly related to the implications for our customers and their privacy. Some countries have taken a divisive stance on compliance that has led to outrage and feelings of betrayal amongst many of Bitcoins core users. KYC and AML laws have been forced upon every company in the U.S., for instance, that directly hold or handle their customers money. You may have noticed that wallets, or those who once allowed you to trade cash for coins, have suddenly become very interested in your private information. While it has led many to revile these companies to whom they were once loyal, the truth is that these businesses have no choice. 
BitLicense makes its greatest error though in its premature attempt to define what Bitcoin is. The blockchain is such a new frontier for technology that confining the tools built on top of its framework to the parameters of “money” or “property” would be limiting. The only technology with which Bitcoin compares is the Internet, which was once considered to serve the near-exclusive function of sending super fast, super cheap messages in the form of e-mail. Consider what the Internet would be today if it had not been allowed to grow in its earliest years; if it had instead been listed as a postal technology, and had then been regulated as such. This would have limited its development and, ultimately, it would have never become the open forum of information and discourse that our modern world is reliant upon. You cannot know what a technology will become tomorrow if you insist on defining it today.
The circumstances surrounding our and many other company’s exit from New York are unfortunate, but we are holding out hope that future rulings from other jurisdictions will be more reasonable. To our customers, our friends, and our supporters who are affected by this change, we sincerely hope that you will continue to work alongside us to keep the Blockchain open and free, and that we at HolyTransaction will be able to be of service to you again very soon.

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Shakil Khan: cryptocurrencies are here, embrace them

Whether it’s Bitcoin, or another name, cryptocurrencies are
already disrupting payments and won’t be stopped, serial investor
Shakil
Khan
told the audience at Wired Money 2014. So get on board
with change.

(Wired) Khan explained how he has seen the growth of Bitcoin from a
much-misunderstood, unstable currency, to a more mature offering
that is finding its place in ecommerce and investor portfolios. So
rather than focus on regulation, which will only delay the
inevitable, the financial sector needs to focus on supervision and
take on the opportunities cryptocurrencies provide.
Khan, interviewed on stage at the Wired conference by editor
David Rowan, has invested in Spotify and YPlan, and advised teen
founder of Summly Nick D’Aloisio. But it was in 2012, when he first
heard about a payment company attempting to tackle the Bitcoin
ecosystem, that the cryptocurrency crossed his path. In the
following years, he found himself becoming a point-of-contact for
investors, suddenly intrigued by a currency that went from $10-25
per Bitcoin in 2012 to $260 in 2013.
“At that stage I got a lot of inbound emails from VCs and
entrepreneurs asking who is this company Mt Gox? Not because I was
the smartest person, but because there was a different wave of
people who weren’t publicly talking about Bitcoin. Morgan Stanley
was phoning me not because we had a relationship, but because
people were calling them and asking advice, and they were coming to
me.”
Most recently, Khan was part of a $510k investment round into peer-to-peer payment solution
BitPay. That’s a lot of hard cash for a currency that dips and
peaks dramatically according to government opinion — for instance
when the FBI referred to it as a currency, Bitcoin became stronger;
when China restricted exchanges and warned it would keep an eye on
the currency, its value tumbled.
“I don’t have the answer to this but no one is asking the
average consumer to participate in this — it’s the same as
stocks,” said Khan. We in the tech industry are more than familiar
with Bitcoin, beyond the Silk Road headlines, and those in the
financial sector have followed suit. But it is not yet something
that is impacting the average banking customer. “Right now, it’s
something that’s not for the faint hearted, just like stock trading
where people make 3 percent gains one day, and 25 percent losses
the day after.”
This kind of threat, is not enough to stall the progress being
made in the cryptocurrency ecosystem — and this is because, as
Khan reiterated onstage, there is a “fundamental problem with
payments”.
“I can sit here and make and send an audio or video message in
three seconds. But if I want to pay someone 200 kroner online it’ll
cost be $32 and might take four days for the payment to arrive.
That makes zero sense, and cryptocurrencies solve this
problem.”
We are seeing the cryptocurrency ecosystem rapidly evolve as a
result of this, says Khan.
“Two years ago the conversation was very much Silk Road and pizza. Now VCs are investing in risk — we have
Andreessen Horowitz, Fred Wilson and Redpoint. This is a sector
everyone knows is going to get disrupted, and they need to be part
of that journey. Companies like Bit Pay were very early, now we
have ecommerce companies starting accepting Bitocin. Amazon has its
own plans on virtual currency.
“People once said the fax machine would never get disrupted,
then we had email. We’ve seen this over and over, and if you have
passion and an appetite for risk, why wouldn’t you? I don’t want to
turn around and five years say why wasn’t I part of this.”
We are seeing this interest in the ecosystem spread, as
evidenced by the stories being published by Khan’s own site
Coindesk, which are picked up by the likes of the Wall Street
Journal
and Dow Jones. “Over the last 12 months it’s
much less of Silk Road, and more of Visa setting up a group looking
into cryptocurrencies and Western Union or Ebay looking into
Bitcoin.”
On the question of the legality, or government discomfort with
Bitcoin, Khan points out that the US $100 note is the chosen
currency of the criminal world — it’s what they’ll find in raids,
and its what the CIA drops in bales of cash into Afghanistan.
“They’re not sending smartphones, they were sending US dollars.”
Recently, the US government sold off the 30,000 Bitcoin it seized
during the Silk Road shutdown. Khan points, “I don’t remember the
US government selling cocaine seized from raids, so you can’t say
it’s illegal and shouldn’t be allowed.”
The government is always going to have some issues because when
you don’t understand something, you get fearful of it.”
The cost those 30,000 bitcoins sold for, is evidence enough that
there is something attractive here for investors — Khan says the
coins, currently priced at $650 each, went for above that
value.
We need to stop holding on to traditional money as though it is
not broken. “I’m guessing there are laser printers out there
devaluing that money quicker than the paper can be printed,” Khan
said.

“We know change is coming. Regulation will not shut this down,
it might just prolong this little a bit. You need to embrace
cryptocurrenices and try to understand why the core technology
could help what you’re doing.”

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One auction bidder claimed all 30,000 Silk Road Bitcoins

The US Marshals Service (USMS) has announced that a single,
undisclosed bidder claimed all of the roughly 30,000 bitcoins seized
from online black market Silk Road and sold in its recent auction.
The winning bidder outbid all other parties for the 10 auction
blocks, according to the USMS. Further, the bitcoins have already been
transferred to the winner, according to Blockchain.
US marhsalsThe USMS previously said that it would begin notifying bidders as to
whether they had secured any of the blocks on 30th June. The auction
took place on Friday, 27th June over a 12-hour span.
In a statement, the USMS said:

“The US Marshals Bitcoin auction resulted in one winning
bidder. The transfer of the bitcoins to the winner was completed today.”

The auction was structured into 10 blocks, with the first nine consisting of 3,000 BTC and the last one featuring 2,656.51306529 BTC.

Results trickle in

The news follows an earlier announcement
from the USMS on 30th June, when the agency said that 45 registered
bidders took part in the process. At the time, the federal agency didn’t
have a clear number on the final amount of winning bids.
The USMS released the
auction date and procedural details last month. At the time, the
federal agency outlined how participants could express interest in the
roughly $18 million worth of bitcoin.
Since then, a number of key bidders,
including SecondMarket founder and CEO Barry Silbert, have outlined
their participation in the auction. Silbert later announced via Twitter
that his auction syndicate, which consisted of 42 bidders for a total of
186 bids, was outbid on every bitcoin block.
The syndicate formed just part of a broader pool of known or possible bidders, a number of which were inadvertently released
by the USMS. Other bidders included Pantera Capital and Bitcoin Shop,
both of which have confirmed that they did not enter the winning bid.

Image via Wikipedia

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Family to travel across the US, apending only Bitcoin

(CoinDesk) John Bush and Catherine Bleish began a road trip across the US with
their family of four this week, during which they will only spend
bitcoin.
Beginning in San Marcos, Texas, they drove into
Washington on Friday, the first stop on the “Uncoinventional Living
Tour”, for the Bitcoin in the Beltway conference.
The self-dubbed Blush family will drive for four weeks and 4,400 miles, also stopping in Lancaster, New Hampshire for the 11th
annual Porcupine Freedom Festival and then to Kansas City, Missouri –
Bleish’s hometown – over the Independence Day holiday before returning
back to Texas.
They will shoot five episodes of their reality show “Sovereign Living” during their journey.

Fighting a different way

Bush
and Bleish are both grassroots activists that spent years fighting the
political system in the US. Each helped start local political action
committes that focused on constitutional activism, civil liberties and
anti-police state causes in their hometowns of Austin, Texas and Kansas
City, respectively.
Deciding to build a family brought them to the
realisation that they needed to change their lifestyle choices – opting
instead to look for ways of being self-sufficient and building
communities separate from government influence. Bush told CoinDesk:
“We
started to think that if we really want to change the world to create a
more free society, the first thing we can do is to change the way we
live and start to live more free ourselves, and stop participating in
centralised or coercive institutions … Both of us began to realise that a
lot of work we were doing wasn’t making us more free. In fact, it was
just exhausting us and spending all our energy and our money and our
time.”

The Blush family farm

In aiming to get
off the grid, the family moved just outside of Austin, to start a farm
on which it produces its own food, provides its own source of water and
harvests its own alternative energy.
For the vision of their
lifestyle to be realised, they’ve set goals: to produce 50% of their own
food, store 50% of their own water, and reduce their dependency on the
central energy grid by 50%.
“That’s what the show’s all about,”
said Bush. “Trying to document and educate people about the values of
living a voluntary, natural life.”
Their show intends to document
their lives as they learn each day from their lifestyle, their
communities and themselves, as well as teach others how everyone can be
self-reliant and free from government influence – without fighting.
After they’ve wrapped filming for episodes five and six of “Sovereign
Living” they hope to be able to share it with the world through a media
streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.

Planning ahead

Bleish
mentioned that this is the first time in their bitcoin experience where
they’ve had enough tools and resources to live on bitcoin alone, citing
platforms such as Gyft and eGifter, as well as the recent news by Expedia. Nevertheless, she emphasised the amount of effort it takes to plan a bitcoin-only itinerary:
“It’s
hard, it’s taken a lot of pre-planning. I had to look at every single
stop along the way and see what gas stations they had to make sure that
we were buying the appropriate amount of gift cards for each gas
station.”
For example, she explained that driving to
the northeast of the country, she found Exonn gas stations at each stop,
but that on the drive back home there weren’t any – but there were BP
stations.
Despite the need to “really be on top of things” she
added: “I want the world to know that it is possible to travel the
country using bitcoin only. And it’s not only possible but you can do it
comfortably and take care of a family of four along the way.”
For the full itinerary and updates on the Blush family’s trip you can read their blog.
Image via “Coinboard

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Josh Wise will suit up in the Dogecar two more times this year!

(NewsBTC) Shibes: get ready to start your engines. That’s right, Josh Wise will
suit up in the Dogecar two more times this year, it’s being reported.
One of those times will be in Sonoma, California, Wise’s home state.
That race will take place Sunday, June 22.

For all of the people who make fun of NASCAR for only having left
turns, Sonoma will be sporting right turns in addition to some left
ones. That means things might get a little crazy so you should watch.

Josh Wise

 Josh then announced it.

Josh Wise Tweet

The race god (dogecar backwards) has raced twice in the dogecar this year. Once was at Talladega and the other time was in North Carolina for the Sprint All-Star race, which Wise was voted in as the Sprint Fan Vote winner. Wise finished 20th and 15th in those respective races.

Wise will also race in the dogecar at Talladega for the last known time this year on October 19.

The reasons are obvious. Since Josh’s announcement of the dogecoin
partnership his fan base has grown tremendously. Wise’s twitter
followers have grown by about 20% in the last three months and the
partnership has also helped dogecoin get noticed since the news was
featured on several major media outlets.

Dogecoin supporters can only hope this will boost the coins price
since another halving day is coming up in 31 days. Usually a lot of
miners leave as the rewards lessen, but this comes at a time when scrypt
asics are hitting the market. One thing for sure is that the community
is on dogecoins side. The community is on their side and CoinGecko ranks dogecoin #2 by its metrics which include community.

Josh Wise Twitter

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Former US Mint Chief: Bitcoin a serious challenge to government money

(CoinDesk) Edmund C. Moy, the former director of the US Mint — the government
body responsible for producing the country’s physical coins, made waves
in the bitcoin community this week when he took to Twitter to voice his
enthusiasm for digital currencies.
Moy’s comments were issued in response to the most recent $2.6bn Credit Suisse settlement, in which the Switzerland-based banking giant pleaded guilty to helping clients evade taxes.
In light of this news, the 38th Director of the US Mint went so far as to suggest that digital currency could provide the answer to current problems in the financial system, writing:

However, Moy didn’t stop there. The former member of the Department of Homeland Security took to his blog on 23rd May to issue an entire post on how bitcoin is leading to “a revolution in payment systems”.

Moy wrote:

“Bitcoin,
and the ideas behind it, will be a disruptor to the traditional notions
of currency. In the end, currency will be better for it.”

The
full post lightheartedly addressed bitcoin and its strengths and
weaknesses, with Moy offering a perhaps surprisingly optimistic
assessment of how the technology will impact the global financial
marketplace.

Bitcoin removes government monopolies

Perhaps
most notably, Moy suggested that digital currencies can even help
prevent some of the more severe drawbacks associated with fiat
currencies. In particular, he predicts it will eliminate what he views
as the government monopoly on money, writing:

“It has a
low risk of collapse unlike a sovereign government’s currency (just ask
the Greeks or more broadly, the European Union).”

Moy acknowledged this as a positive, even if he realized the innovation would likely threaten his former employer.
He added: “You can mine your own bitcoins. No mint needed!”

Bitcoin an innovative means of exchange

Moy was also enthusiastic about bitcoin’s potential to offer a new way for global consumers to transact, stating:

“As
a medium of exchange, bitcoin offers several unique innovations to
currency: global nature, infinite divisibility and easy to carry.”

Calling
today’s transaction systems “archaic”, he argued that bitcoin’s ability
to divide effortlessly would allow for new methods of monetization via
micropayments, and that it could eliminate existing barriers to global
markets.

Bitcoin will be a safe store of value

Moy was equally positive about bitcoin as a store of value, saying that he believes bitcoin’s price will become more stable as it’s adopted by mainstream consumers.
However,
he took aim at critics of the idea who believe that government-backed
alternatives are perhaps more secure, saying that the US dollar is
driven mostly by market demand.
As an added benefit, he theorized
bitcoin could even allow governments the ability to dedicate more time
to monetary policy that could positively impact their economies should
it reach its full potential.
To read Moy’s full remarks, read his full post.

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