Valentine’s day is finally upon us. Dear crypto lover couples, if you’re still struggling to find something extraordinary and unique, then this article is for you. Next, you’ll find the best gift ideas to surprise your significant other and make this Valentine that unforgettable one.
A Sum of Bitcoin
Gift an ever-growing bitcoin as a symbol of your ever-growing love! Even if you can’t purchase a full bitcoin, any amount of it’ll make a great gift. You just need to securely purchase bitcoin and give the private key to your better half. Then both of you’ll share the same excitement towards the bitcoin market. This will surely be something brand new for you two. If you want to buy bitcoin, but you don’t know how, no worries. You can get all the necessary information for easy and safe purchase in our blog post.
“One can never have enough socks.”
― Albus Dumbledore
Gift soft bitcoin socks, keep your person warm and comfortable! Socks are always a good gift idea, but if your second half is a crypto enthusiast, then socks with bitcoin print are much more on point. Your person won’t only feel cozy but also happy just by looking at small bitcoins on the socks.
Hoodies have become a mass trend in the previous years. So consider a bitcoin hoodie for your stylish partner. Comfy, trendy, and with a favorable print. What else do you need?
Your young man is fond of suits and shirts, and you want to complete his look with your gift. Bitcoin cufflinks are what you’re looking for. An elegant, classy and simple gift for those whose love for Bitcoin has no borders.
You can never go wrong with books — another amazing option to make your person happy. If your significant other wants to dive into blockchain and crypto, then don’t miss the opportunity to make their dream come true. Contribute to their self-development.
Here are some of our favorite reads you can consider:
“Blockchain revolution” — Don and Alex Tapscotts
“The Future of Finance” — Henri Arslanian
“Coinstory” — David Stancel
Blockchain Challenger or Solidity Course
Your better half wants to start a career in the blockchain sphere. How can you help them?
We’ve got the best gift solution for you. Nooor has the ideal courses that you can get for your Valentine.
Give them the chance to level up their crypto and blockchain skills and ensure their career growth in this fast-growing sector.
Engrave your true feelings with blockchain! You want to express your love and look for something exceptional. Here’s an awesome way! Perhaps you don’t know that apart from being a digital currency, Bitcoin is also an unerasable message wall. With every crypto transaction you send a message that stays on the platform forever. So this can be the very original way of confession you’ve been looking for. Social media and computers can fail, even the engraved stone can be broken. But on the Bitcoin blockchain, your messages will be absolutely protected. No one can change the confirmed data on Bitcoin; all the content written on it will be on the blockchain forever and become an eternal proof of true love.
Valentine’s day is a chance to make your special somebody feel completely special. So take this chance to show your partner that you care about their interests. Hope you got some cool ideas from this article and already know what to prepare for that beautiful day. Don’t leave everything to the last day!
Wishing you love and a very memorable Valentine’s day!
If you’ve read our previous blogs you’ve surely noticed that the blockchain market has been booming in the recent year more than ever before. So it’s no surprise thatthe most in-demand hard skill of 2020 in the US, the UK, France, Germany, and Australia was blockchain. Many factors increased the interest in the blockchain itself, hence, the demand for blockchain professionals. You can check our previous blogpost for more information about the most exciting moments of crypto in 2020.
Now let’s take a look at one of the fastest-growing job markets in the world. So if you’ve ever considered whether a job in the blockchain industry is for you, this article is for you. You will find information about the existing positions, salaries, hiring companies and, finally, how you can gain the necessary skills.
Blockchain Is Not Only About Crypto
Blockchain was once considered as a technology used only in cryptocurrency. But this time has long been gone and blockchain has emerged into a reliable solution for many business cases. Various prestigious companies worldwide already turn to blockchain to run their processes more efficiently and securely. It is being used in a variety of industries such as healthcare, logistics, aviation, fashion, farming, entertainment and gaming, and everybody needs specialists to realize their projects. The demand for blockchain-related roles in IBM, EY, and Oracle are good evidence of this.
Firstly, let’s understand where you can find a blockchain job. Actually, the hiring scene is changing very fast. Even such legacy players as banks, law and accounting firms that haven’t reacted before are already changing their attitude towards blockchain. Blockchain is developing and expanding, and if they don’t figure out how to use it, they will be out of business in several years.
Next place to look for a blockchain position is the evergreen scene of startups that have been there since the very invention of Bitcoin. Bold ideas need smart heads to realize them, so maybe this is your right place..
Another option could be Tech firms that also try to keep up with the blockchain trends. The thing is that the secret of their overwhelming success has always been based on centralized services. But as decentralized platforms keep growing, users are getting used to them as they are cheaper and provide more benefits. Tech firms have no choice but to adapt in order not to lose customers.
And finally, the potential of the blockchain is so huge that many governments have hired blockchain experts to advise them. For example, in Estonia, blockchain is used to make government agencies fairer and more efficient. The bottomline is that all the organizations mentioned above are creating blockchain jobs every day.
But What Blockchain Positions Do Exist in the Market?
There are various positions like blockchain developer, blockchain solution architect, blockchain project manager, blockchain UX designer, blockchain quality engineer, blockchain legal consultant, and many more. However, as in previous years, engineering roles continue to dominate the blockchain space. Below you can see the distribution of blockchain jobs across roles:
Why Join the Blockchain Industry?
Many reasons can motivate you, first and foremost the sphere is exceedingly popular nowadays and there’s a high demand for professionals. Another factor that may encourage you to become a part of the blockchain space is that it is one of the most intellectually stimulating fields that combines areas such as cryptography, economics, philosophy, finance, software development, etc.
The next thing that deserves your attention is that the blockchain industry shows a strong preference for remote work compared to traditional spheres. That’s why you can come across many blockchain companies that offer remote work from all over the world. It is shown in the following study by AngelList:
You should also pay attention to the fact that blockchain is an emerging technology as companies that use blockchain are still relatively few. So the industry is still developing. There’s a lack of experts, meaning a higher demand and lower competition for you. If this doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what else can do.
Last but not least, Blockchain job salaries are much higher than salaries in other industries. According to AngelList, salaries for both technical and non-technical jobs in the blockchain industry exceed the equivalent roles in non-blockchain companies, highlighting the high demand for blockchain knowledge.
For example, according to jobs site Hired, the average blockchain developer salary is around $150,000 to $175,000 per year. While the average software engineer’s salary is around $137,000 per year. The difference in salaries shows that blockchain skills are highly desirable and demanded in the job market.
Techies and Non-techies in Blockchain
If you’re still not sure whether you can join the blockchain industry or not let me tell you something. All kinds of specialists with blockchain knowledge are needed here. The jobs are usually separated as techies and non-techies in the market. So, if you’re a software developer or an engineer, you need to get acquainted with new coding languages like Ethereum’s Solidity. Then you can already start the next chapter of your working career. But if you’re more of a non-tech type and you’re enthusiastic about blockchain, no worries. There’s also a need for non-technical employees in blockchain. Non-technical roles occupy about 38% of jobs in the blockchain industry. So specialists coming from other spheres such as marketing, law, accounting, public relations are always welcomed. You can see the most popular non-tech roles in blockchain below.
You may be worried about the job duties, but there’s no need. Usually, job responsibilities in the blockchain are similar to traditional ones. You just need to level-up your skills and grasp an understanding of blockchain and crypto.
Where to Start?
Short and sweet, if you’re really interested in this exciting technology and you think this can be your future, just give it a try! Starting your career in the right direction is crucial. So the easiest way to start is to enroll in one of our courses mentioned below.
If you’re new to blockchain and don’t know what’s that all about – “The Blockchain Challenger” course is for you. You’ll learn everything about blockchain technology and what possibilities it has.
After you finish the course, you’ll get certified by Nooor Blockchain Armenia, introduced to the community, and dramatically increase your chances for landing a new job.
Blockchain is a fast-growing sector that creates exceptional opportunities for both tech and non-tech innovative professionals. The amount of industries applying blockchain is increasing day by day. And it’s not a secret anymore that many professions will be out of the job market in 10-15 years. But blockchain is here to stay and ensures success tomorrow. That’s why the blockchain job market is exceedingly successful, and specialists having blockchain skills are much in demand nowadays.
Start your blockchain journey right now and lay the foundation of your bright future.
2020 has been a tough and challenging year that we’ll long remember. Besides the pandemic, a series of major events shook the global economy. A lot happened in the healthcare, finance, banking industries and the crypto and blockchain spheres were no exception. However, anyone who has at least a little understanding of these industries will agree that the market is hotter now than ever before. And if you’ve missed the latest news, don’t worry. We are here with the main crypto highlights of 2020, for you to be ready to catch the wave in 2021.
1.Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
As we all know, DeFi, short for decentralized finance, is the ecosystem of blockchain-based, peer-to-peer networks enabling financial services without centralized middlemen, banks for instance. This new system is a result of the advancement and change in customers’ needs. People want faster and more convenient ways of controlling their finances. You don’t like queuing in a bank or wasting hours on a single deal, right? The DeFi is here to help you out. It enables crypto owners to use traditional services such as borrowing, lending, trading, getting insurance, or investing in a more transparent, rapid and comfortable way. What you need is only an internet connection and a crypto wallet.
There is no doubt that 2020 was the year of DeFi for crypto space. At the beginning of the year, the total value locked (TVL) into the decentralized finance market was approximately $680 million. TVL measures the amount of funds locked in lending smart contracts across all the DeFi projects. At the time of writing, it’s worth more than $16 billion. So it has grown by almost 2300% in 2020. Can you name another industry with a growth rate even close to this?
The DeFi space looks very promising. But as it continues to grow, new challenges emerge towards keeping users’ funds safe. As there is no central authority to be in charge, traditional regulatory approaches don’t work here. As a result, most of the $100 million worth of hacks and thefts from the DeFi platforms in 2020 went unpunished. Several initiatives address this issue to protect the users and mitigate the risks. It seems that unified self-regulated security standards are on the verge. Let’s keep an eye on how things evolve here.
2. Bitcoin Price Breaking Records: All-time-high
You sure know that in 2020 Bitcoin has surpassed all-time highs. As of December 2020, it’s topping $24,000. But many are interested in the cause of this terrific increase. In fact, experts mention various reasons and events that influenced the Bitcoin price in 2020.
We live in times of monetary revolution. And such a disastrous event as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of the revolution this year. The pandemic caused the largest economic damage that the world has experienced in decades.
But while coronavirus had catastrophic effects on economic development, that seems not to be the case for the crypto industry. Moreover, it turned out to be even helpful for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The reason is that the pandemic quickened our advance into a more digital world. And even those who had never tried an online transaction before had no choice but to go for it. Banks were closed, people had to stay at home and the only option was to use online transactions. But this also increased the exposure to financial surveillance and financial fraud. So what options did the people, used to paying with cash have, to protect their privacy? The obvious one is trying the ultimate electronic cash—Bitcoin. So, what might have taken years, has been achieved in months.
But the more palpable explanation could be the unprecedented quantitative easing of almost 3 trillion USD, run by the Federal Reserve. The financial experts received the news as a signal of the upcoming devaluation of the US dollar. So it made sense to move the assets to a safe haven, as is often the case during crises. Historically, gold was the leading haven for money. But this time Bitcoin got a great portion of attention as well. Why? Read the next passage.
Around the same time, the 3rdBitcoin halving in history took place on May 11, 2020. This event happens once every 210,000 blocks or around 4 years. And from that moment on the block reward is cut in half. This time the reward decreased from 12,5 to 6,25 BTC, so now only 900 Bitcoins are being mined every day. If you wonder what’s the big deal, bear with me. Counting for the current circulation of Bitcoins, this makes its inflation rate less than 1.74%, and it’s getting lower. Meanwhile, the inflation rate for gold is more than 2%. So Bitcoin became more scarce than gold after the halving. And naturally, scarce commodities and assets have a higher value when in demand. So it’s a no brainer why so many switched to Bitcoin this time.
And adding to the overall action, in October this year, PayPal announced that it would let its users and merchants buy, send, and receive Bitcoin. After this announcement, the Bitcoin price increased by nearly half. This means that more than 300 million users can have the opportunity to pay for various goods and services via crypto on the platform. It’s a huge move towards the mass adoption of crypto. And of course, people expect higher demand for Bitcoin, so the prices react correspondingly.
3. Ethereum 2.0 Release
Ethereum 2.0 is finally here. Its launch was confirmed just 9 hours before the announced release date of Dec 1. Ethereum 2.0 is the major infrastructure update of the Ethereum blockchain that will improve the network’s speed, scalability, security, and efficiency. The upgrade will be in 3 phases, with the first one expected by the end of 2020.
Most importantly, it will shift from PoW consensus mechanism to PoS, the main advantages of which are its high speed and energy-efficiency. From the scalability side, the network promises 100,000 transactions per second instead of 30. And sharding plays a leading part here.
Phase 0 started with the implementation of the Beacon chain. We will see the integration of stake shard chains in Phase 1 which is due in 2021. In the interim Phase 1,5, the mainnet will fully become a shard and switch to PoS. Finally, in phase 2, which will launch in 2021-2022, the shards will fully-function with smart contracts.
Pretty promising, right? We are excited to see how the upgrade goes and what it will bring in the upcoming years.
4. Libra (Renamed Diem) Launch in January 2021
Yes, you have read it right! Libra will finally go live but now under the name Diem. In mid-2019, Facebook wanted to launch its global cryptocurrency called Libra but didn’t succeed because of the regulatory issues with the financial authorities. In November, the Libra Association (co-founded by Facebook) announced that the project will eventually go live in Jan 2021 but as a stablecoin backed by USD.
A week after the announcement, the association changed its name and the digital currency’s name to Diem, which stands for “day” in Latin. The shift is most probably done to turn a page on Libra’s PR. Diem is designed for only the US and some parts of Latin America. The project will also include the digital wallet Novi (previously called Calibra), from which users can get the stablecoins and operate, for example, on WhatsApp and Messenger. Nevertheless, the project is still waiting for approval from FINMA. Upon the launch, the users will be able to send each other crypto payments as easily as sending messages.
To wrap it up
Many extraordinary events took place in the crypto world in 2020, and many more are to come in 2021. New promising projects launched, DeFi is thriving, the cryptos are booming. Isn’t that enough to convince you that the decentralized future of finance, banking, and money, in general, is an exciting place to be?
Success is for the firstcomers. So whether you are coming from traditional industries or you are just a crypto or tech enthusiast, who is doubting whether to take a step or not, this is the right time! And if you don’t know where to start or where to go, Nooor is here to help you out. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to get monthly updates and exclusive offers.
In 2021 Nooor will enlarge its scope of activities, so many new projects are coming soon. Stay tuned!
The world develops at a very fast pace. Technology does too. We are sure you’ve heard a lot about blockchain recently. But what is all that buzz about? Does blockchain really have any good to do to the world? Or is it just a hype that will pass some time later? Should you start investigating that field or not? Should you start learning blockchain?
The short answer will be: no, blockchain is not just hypeand is totally worth learning. To know more, continue reading this post about why blockchain should be your next skill to develop and what are its main advanced features that can be of help to the world.
But before we get to why blockchain deserves your attention, let’s see shortly what blockchain is.
Blockchain is a shared, trusted, public ledger of transactions available to everyone but not controlled by any single identity. The consecutive string of every block ever executed makes up a blockchain. It is a distributed database of chronologically ordered transactions. You can take a look at our Blockchain Glossary for a more thorough explanation.
Now that we know a little more about blockchain let’s get to this article’s main topic!
1. Job opportunities and high salary
Undoubtedly, blockchain has brought a number of new professions to the job market that have become the most demanded ones. In fact, blockchain was announced by LinkedIn as the most in-demand skill of 2020. Some examples of such professions are back-end blockchain developers, smart contract engineers, dApp developers, cryptocurrency analysts, traders, mining technicians, etc.
Since 2017, these occupations’ salaries have risen significantly, and now the annual average is $70K for entry-level to $175K for more experienced professionals. Though it might seem scary to shift your career to the blockchain, it requires very little time and effort in reality. Specialized courses will help you with the process, no matter if you are a beginner or a more experienced specialist. You can learn more about how software developers, particularly, enter the blockchain industry with this article.
2. One of the core technologies of the future
As of 2018, only 0.5% of the world was using blockchain technology. However, it is estimated that in 2024 blockchain will gain mass adoption. Moreover, the blockchain market is expected to climb to over 39 billion U.S. dollars in size by 2025, according to Statista. It is one of the most cutting edge technologies nowadays. Thus if you want to not fall behind the world, you better start learning blockchain already today. Furthermore, as the quote says, “The early bird gets the worm.” The early adopters of the technology will have significant advantages when the rest of the world starts using blockchain.
3. Smarter cryptocurrency investments
The most widespread use cases of blockchain are indeed cryptocurrencies. If you are interested in crypto investments, you have to know the principles of blockchain and DLTs to make better and smarter investments. Moreover, that knowledge will help you better understand the ICOs and master the rules of the crypto world.
4. Blockchain’s impact on other industries
There is a false assumption that blockchain can be used only in the finance sector. Of course, it can bring many advantages to finance and banking; however, other industries can benefit from blockchain as well. Those industries range from real estate to healthcare, from fashion to food, from education to Horeca, and more. Many big companies have already started using blockchain, such as Carrefour, Nestle, Walmart, IBM, Amazon, etc.. Furthermore, blockchain absolutely disrupts the supply chain by making everything faster, lessening the possibilities of fraud, and saving finances by removing intermediaries. So if you think that blockchain won’t get to your industry, we can prove you wrong.
Now let’s have a look at the advanced features of the underlying technology that is totally worth everyone’s attention and can be the solutions to the present-day issues of the world. Below we will introduce a couple of them.
5. Digital identity and Cybersecurity
It’s a well-known fact that a lot of our information is available online and can easily be a matter of hacking and fraud. With blockchain, all the information is fully secured with a strict cryptographic system, which is impossible to hack. And the owner of the data has control over who can get access to it. Moreover, the user’s identity will always stay anonymous. Blockchain enables more secure storage and management of our digital identities by providing an interoperable, tamper-proof, and unified infrastructure.
6. Integration with other systems
Another significant advantage of blockchain is that it offers a universal infrastructure that can be integrated with any technology and system, regardless of whether it is old or new. Besides, the whole concept of blockchain and the DLT system works amazingly with the Internet-of-things (IoT). And very soon, we will witness the remarkable influence of blockchain, AI, and IoTs on our everyday lives.
One thing is certain. In several years blockchain is going to disrupt many industries. In order to go with the development of the world, you would rather start learning it today both for professional and personal purposes. If you don’t know where to start, Nooor is here to help you. Take a look at the courses we provide to beginners and more experienced specialists. If you prefer self-learning, take a look at our Blockchain Glossary with the easy explanations of blockchain terms and Nooor’s quizzes to check your knowledge. Have fun!
We have prepared a short review of the main news and concerns regarding the Bitcoin Halving so that you can have the whole picture of what is going on in the market these days and what to expect afterward.
What is Bitcoin Halving?
Firstly, let’s explain what the Bitcoin Halving is. As we know Bitcoin miners are being rewarded for processing a transaction and every 210,000 blocks, or roughly 4 years, the reward is being halved. In 2009 the reward for the mined block was 50 bitcoins. Then, after the very first halving it became 25, then 12.5, and today on May 11, in just several hours from the time of writing, it will become 6.25 Bitcoins per block.
It’s important to note that Bitcoin forks halve a month before the main chain (BTC) does. Here is the chronological order of the events.
The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) block halving occurred on April 8, so consequently, the event decreased block rewards for miners from 12.5 to 6.25 for each block.
The first halving of Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV), which was forked from BCH in 2018, took place on April 10. By the way, both BSV and BCH have 21 million coin supplies, as Bitcoin (BTC) has.
Finally, Bitcoin Gold (BTG), has been the next fork which halved after BSV on April 18.
Now let’s move on to bitcoin price predictions and how the market will respond. In fact, halving takes too much attention because people believe that it will increase the bitcoin price and that’s why many traders have already started betting for the future price of Bitcoin. Here is the list of some predictions from experts.
TradeBlock, a blockchain analyst company, predicted that the price per Bitcoin will be $12,500 after the halving.
Salah-Eddine Bouhmidi, the financial market analyst at DailyFX, told Cointelegraph: “After the halving, I can imagine a new attack on the $14,000 by 2021. Of course, not only the halving plays a role here — but other external factors can also lead to positive effects on the cryptocurrency market.”
Paolo Ardoino, the CFO of Bitfinex, said: “By the end of 2020, I think the Bitcoin price will be at least $20,000.”
Fundstrat’s Tom Lee believes Bitcoin could reach $27,000 by August of 2020.
Rekt Capital took the most optimistic position by writing on Twitter: “Price of one $BTC will be $385,000–$400,000.”
PlanB, a pseudonymous analyst, says he expects the halving will lead to a considerable rise in the price over the next few years. He thinks if BTC doesn’t strike $70,000 by May of 2022, the stock to flow model will be invalidated.
What experts think
So now you have the picture of what Bitcoin Halving is, let us also see what kind of ideas the industry leaders share and very soon we will see if the buzz created around the event is just a hype or this is something that will bring a real change to the industry.
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex said, “I don’t expect Bitcoin to drop below $6,000. We might see some FUD before the Bitcoin halving. By the end of 2020, I think the Bitcoin price will be at least $20,000.”
Robert Schwertner, Founder & CEO of CryptoRobby commented, “Can I predict the Bitcoin price at the end of 2020? Sure, to the third decimal place! 7,000 euros — plus/minus 5,000 euros. I see no future for Bitcoin. It is not suitable as a means of payment — who wants to spend 10 minutes at the checkout in the supermarket for verification…”
“Historically, we have seen a price surge in the 1.5 years after the halving, so it’s highly possible we’ll see new entrants in the market,” said Dave Ripley, COO of Kraken.
Lennix Lai, OKEx’s director of financial markets, noted, that bitcoin halving could be understood as “quantitative tightening” on crypto.
Other exchanges said bitcoin halving could be an insignificant event if the COVID-19 continues.
Seems everyone is too concerned about the Bitcoin Halving event and many of them want a drastic change in the price. The good news is today is THE DAY of the historic event and we can witness the reaction of the market and see who has been closer to reality.
Working in the tech industry tends to become more challenging after the COVID-19 outbreak… feeling the weight of responsibility on how we can direct the technological capacity to “stitch” the world together.
Our team works on different projects and initiatives related to blockchain mostly inspired by the idea to make this world a better place to live in. And here is the question: how fast is changing the place that we want to improve and where we can put our effort to save what we have today and to reshape the outcomes we plan for the future.
One thing is certain, the technological revolution is “obliged” to happen now: we are witnessing a restructuring of the global economic order that could lead to an entirely new civilization where technological advancement is the new normal.
In my previous article on the blockchain role in the healthcare industry, we have explored a number of interesting projects that plan to disrupt the space and provide the user with more secure, transparent and decentralized solutions. We didn’t expect plan changes, so in this article, I would like to reflect on some ideas on the role of blockchain during and after the COVID-19 outbreak when we are in the cusp of digital transformation and socio-economic crisis.
So let’s figure out what this pandemic brings to the table for blockchain?
Disruption of supply chains in the healthcare industry
Counterfeit facemasks and medical devices, substandard hand sanitizers, and unauthorized antiviral medication… you definitely can continue the list.
Bringing some numbers here: under the Operation Pangea XIII (3 – 10 March 2020) potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals worth more than USD 14 million, as well as 37,000 unauthorized and counterfeit medical devices were seized by the authorities of involved countries. As pharmaceutical and medical device supply chains are intricate enough including a number of activities that happen at the same place, the coronavirus outbreak paves the platform for the criminals to flourish their businesses and initiatives. A pure opportunity to welcome counterfeit and defective products in the markets, when everyone is focused on saving lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every part of supply chains within the healthcare industry, once again exposing the vulnerabilities of many organizations.
Urte Jakimaviciute, MSc, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData states: “Lack of supply chain efficiency, transparency and authenticity has been an ongoing issue and the root of many challenges faced by the healthcare companies. While most organizations have supply chain risk management strategies in place, the current outbreak is not a typical event. The COVID-19 crisis is a huge stress test for the industry once again reiterating the need for change.”
It is obvious that transparency is a necessity for each point of the supply chain because, at this crucial moment when each resource counts, we do not want to face counterfeit or faulty products to enter our markets. While the companies rethink their risk management policies and plan to reshape their supply chains, we see the rise of blockchain technology that is designed to improve the traceability, to ensure the authenticity of the products and to enhance the efficiency of supply chain processes. Blockchain applications have a lot to perform here. Although we witness a number of challenges with real implications of the technology in this industry, there are many promising solutions that grant us with a ray of hope.
Odds and ends of data privacy and the game our governments play
Yes! Our society has never been this equipped with the novelties of surveillance and data sourcing. Outrage for a failing healthcare system at global proportions, misinformation, biased data interpretations have created the perfect context for governments to implement mass surveillance programs, hand in hand with tech companies. The “perfect narrative” of COVID-19 justifies all the means and strategies undertaken by the governments to prevent the society from the reverse impact of the pandemic.
Governments respond to the pandemic in different ways, but one thing is certain: urgent adoption of mass surveillance programs to track the sensitive personally identifiable information (medical records, identity, location) is one of the essential issues that we need to cope with.
When talking about mass surveillance, we can imagine the techniques in the sci-fi movies, but now it is a pure reality: making use of AI, facial recognition, tracking devices, a database of tracked data, identity authentication. This became the modus operandi for most of the countries that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. You imagine China, but the other democratic countries are not an exception by implementing surveillance techniques overnight, mostly relying on GPS data, cell phone tracking and tracing, etc.
These so-called contact-tracing apps help public health officials get ahead of the spread of COVID-19, which may in turn allow an easing of social distancing requirements.
One of the important questions to discuss is whether privacy will survive the coronavirus. More than ever before our personal data is under attack and the security programs do not fully prevent data breaches and ensure us from the usage of our personal data for other purposes.
In the times of transformation of the geopolitical and regulatory landscape, we look again into the eyes of the technology that can solve the issue of data confidentiality, data integrity, authentication, validation, and much more.
There are a number of interesting solutions in this regard which provide the expected outcomes through cryptographic protocols. The application of smart contracts and storage of the collected information on the blockchain can become the remedy for the privacy issue. Below you can see some projects developed by the giants like IBM, WHO, MIT, so the hope gets bigger that the attention of the core players is in the right direction.
MIT’s PrivateKit – the app will enable users to match the personal diary of location data on their smartphones with anonymized, redacted, and blurred location history of infected patients. The digital contact tracing uses overlapped GPS and Bluetooth trails that allow an individual to check if they have crossed paths with someone who was later diagnosed positive for the virus.
SafeTrace – Tor Bair’s Enigma, a data encryption firm, has developed a platform to facilitate privacy-preserving contact tracing for COVID-19. SafeTrace lets users share sensitive location and health data with other users and officials, without compromising the privacy of that data. This service enables users to safely and privately share location data and their infection status. The objective of this tool is to help track social infection vectors.
MiPasa is utilizing data analytics and privacy tools that were previously only available to elite financial institutions and adapted them for a public health context
Becoming that cashless society
People tend to change their behavior slowly – but the pandemic can serve as a catalyst to adjust to the new reality. Let’s get some ideas on how crypto can serve for good in the “era of COVID-19”.
When the world is locked down and most of the countries need support, sending donations and payments becomes critical. Here is where blockchain shines above all else and we become the spectators of some very nice use cases.
In a bid to accentuate the relief process for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian and Dutch Red Cross society is increasing its modes of accepting payment, with the latest development introducing support for the premier cryptocurrency – Bitcoin. Hopefully, very soon this will become a norm.
The pandemic created a base for many projects to upvoice their initiatives and be noticed by the community. For example, I came across the Helperbit platform, which offers to raise money for charitable causes. COVID-19 was not an exception.
Another very important aspect comes to be donation tracking. Alipay, the payment processing platform managed by Alibaba, introduced a solution that runs on blockchain in order to allow donors and charitable organizations to better cooperate in a more transparent manner.
Crypto as a payment mean
The traditional payments ecosystem exposes countless people to the risk of a COVID-19 infection (paper money, ATMs, credit cards, POS terminals, you name the next one). With this in mind, are we ready to finally adopt the digital wallets? It seems to me, the answer is obvious. Moreover, as the traditional financial system weakens, the role of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, crypto assets, stablecoins, and the emerging DeFi platforms rises day after day, with the mission to provide consumers with credible alternatives to existing financial services.
On the other hand with the burdens attached to traditional cashless payments, such as high transaction fees, slow settlement times, and increased cybersecurity risks, there will be an increased demand for alternative solutions. And through the power of decentralized blockchain systems, crypto payments may be the answer.
We need to do what it takes to grasp the opportunity of wide adoption of blockchain technology and crypto. The reality is we are on the outfall of digitalization and lots of challenges are coming on our way. The COVID-19 brought to the stage the issues that were evident but many refused to see. There is no option for putting band-aids on the problems that our society fights against every day, we better utilize the technology to find the real solutions.
The technological disruption changes our lives drastically and we don’t even manage to notice how we face the necessity of tech solutions in each and every aspect of our life. We seek better customer care, we look for the most qualified doctors, the fastest medical support, and of course, we all need that at the very moment, immediately. The healthcare system has gone through a long journey to become what it is now and through the time we have advanced in almost everything, disruptive innovations for operations, the development of biomedics, genomics, which transfer the reality that we have today, the transformation of the pharma industry and much more, so why do we need that? To put it in one word: to save more lives, to defeat the horror diseases, to create better conditions for people all over the globe and yes, technology has its say here.
It is difficult to find a concise definition of Digital Health. Its scope is very wide. There are a number of definitions that may describe the e-health concept outlining the whole complexity. Simply saying, Digital Health refers to the information and processes, and technologies and systems that enable a person to make informed choices about their own health, take action to improve it, and monitor their progress to realize what works for them and what doesn’t. By contributing their own biological and behavioral data to the health system, people can give permission to carefully selected organizations and people in the system to anticipate and respond to their health and care needs, help good things happen, and, where possible, prevent bad things from happening.
Digital healthcare trends are largely driven by the need for better patient care, faster and more accurate analysis, and on-demand access to medical data. The pace of innovation in digital healthcare began gaining momentum with artificial intelligence (AI), and it is set to further accelerate as the industry turns to blockchain technology.
Global blockchain technology complements healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) — based marketplace offerings and is expected to cross $500 million by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of 61.4 percent, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report.
What is wrong about the digital health system? Do we need some “blockchain magic powder”? Let us dive into the industry challenges to find out where the blockchain applications can be of use.
Patient data management
Currently, the HIE (health electronic exchange) serves as the intermediary that facilitates the peer-to-peer exchange of electronic health records (EHR) among member participants. The system also acts as a ledger that tracks what data was exchanged. However, the model has little incentive to offer except the fact that it’s a state-designated body. With blockchain, members or healthcare industry participants have the opportunity to benefit from a distributed ledger to securely access and exchange electronic healthcare information without having to deal with a rather complex system of brokered trust. Another major problem is concerned with the master-patient index (MPI). It involves linking the health records and transactions of patients with their varied “identities” as they interact with various healthcare providers and other entities. The challenge is only becoming more complex and expensive with every passing day. This is also why patient data integrity remains a key concern, as it may become subject to risks such as data selling, data leakage, and fraudulent mismanagement.
To alleviate these limitations and risks, a blockchain-based approach could leverage cryptography to validate patient identity and strengthen data probity, too. Blockchain records can be shared among licensed participants who can add to — but not delete or alter — the transaction logs. The blockchain ensures all the transactions are encrypted and must be verified by the network. It also allows for introducing standardization in building an MPI-like list. For example, instead of allowing multiple ways to input data, the blockchain makes it certain that every participant enters/adds data in a specified way. Blockchain would thus provide much stronger data security and integrity of records and a highly standardized method to maintain data.
Use cases to check
BurstIQ — The company uses blockchain to improve the way medical data is shared and used
Factom — Factom employs blockchain technology to securely store digital health records
MedicalChain — Medicalchain’s blockchain-based platform maintains a record of the origin and protects the patient identity
Unlike the existing central system that fails to see significant volumes of transactions, thereby staying expensive, the use of blockchain would enable an evident reduction in overhead costs, giving participating groups greater incentive for a sustainable business case. Moreover, with near-real-time processing of requests, a platform underpinned by blockchain would facilitate much faster, more secure, and more efficient transitions/exchanges of health records between related parties.
The application of smart contracts in digital health projects will create a new level for the no-intermediary system. The healthcare system today is fraught with excess overhead costs, bureaucracy, and third-party intermediaries — all of which add to cost and complexity. The existing centralized system used to facilitate interoperability and transactions among participants also suffers from inconsistent rules and permissions, which makes it difficult for the member health organization to access the right patient data at the right time. Blockchain enables increased trust among participating parties. By making available smart contracts, the technology helps members to solely rely on contracts that are automatically enforced when certain security conditions are met.
Moreover, by empowering member health organizations to buy, sell and transfer value (e.g., medical claims data, cryptocurrency payments, intellectual property, etc.) without an intermediary or third-party companies, blockchain would facilitate much-needed transparency between pharmacies, insurers, health payers, hospitals, physicians health plans and the overall healthcare ecosystem in general.
Use cases to check
SimplyVital Health — SimplyVital uses blockchain to create an open-source database so healthcare providers can access patient information and coordinate care
Robomed — combines AI and blockchain to offer patients a single point of care. The company deploys chatbots, wearable diagnostic tools, and telemedicine sessions to gather patient information and share it with the patient’s medical team
Patientory — Patientory’s end-to-end encryption ensures that patient data is shared safely and efficiently. Patientory helps the healthcare industry to move more quickly by housing all patient information under one roof.
Pharmacy — stopping drug counterfeit
Blockchains can provide a reliable method for tracking pharmaceuticals through the entire manufacturing and distribution process, thus cutting down on the widespread problem of drug counterfeiting. In conjunction with IoT devices used to measure factors such as temperature, blockchain technology could also be used to verify proper storage and shipping conditions or to authenticate drug quality. However, since each participant of the supply chain i.e. the manufacturer, the logistics company, the stores, and the pharmacies, etc, maintain their own separate ledger, a problem within any particular segment of the supply chain is difficult to track. Blockchain technology provides the pharmaceutical supply chain a better way to add compliance and governance within the supply chain.
Due to its inherent transparency, immutability, and distributed nature, Blockchain technology provides a mechanism that allows any participant in the supply chain to ensure that the supply chain logistics and transportation guidelines (including handling and storage conditions of the drugs), were adhered to.
Additionally, smart contracts can be programmed that automatically execute when compliance conditions are not met, thereby alerting the relevant parties in the supply chain.
Use cases to check
FarmaTrust — FarmaTrust provides future-proof blockchain and AI-based provenance systems for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector
Chronicled — The networks help pharma companies make sure their medicines arrive efficiently, and they enable law enforcement to review any suspicious activity — like drug trafficking
Blockpharma — By scanning the supply chain and verifying all points of shipment, the company’s app lets patients know if they are taking falsified medicines With the help of a blockchain-based SCM system, Blockpharma weeds out the 15% of all medicines in the world that are fake.
Insurance fraud protection
Blockchain could also be used to combat medical insurance fraud, a problem that is estimated to cost the American healthcare system around $68 billion each year. Immutable records stored on blockchains and shared with an insurance provider can prevent some of the most common types of fraud, including billing for procedures that never took place and charging for unnecessary services.
Clinical Trials recruiting
Since the passage of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act in 1992 (which allowed the FDA to receive funding from pharmaceutical companies), the FDA has collected $7.67 billion in user fees from pharmaceutical manufacturers. This trend of annual funding to the FDA from drug manufacturers is expected to continue to increase.
Patients and physicians have begun to question the current standards for Clinical Trial funding, leading to growing concerns due to the conflict of interest and the high stakes involved.
With this, we can also discuss how blockchain can improve the quality and effectiveness of clinical trials. Medical data on blockchains could be used by trial recruiters to identify patients who could benefit from the drugs being tested. Such a recruitment system could greatly improve clinical trial enrollment, as many patients are never made aware of relevant drug trials and therefore are never given an opportunity to participate in them. While trials are conducted, blockchains can be used to ensure the integrity of the data being collected.
Use cases to check
Exochain — this pharma startup manages secure storage of patient health information on the blockchain. Exochain allows individuals to control how clinical trial researchers may interact with their medical data
The transformation we haven’t noticed. What to expect?
There is no doubt in stating that blockchain represents and promises a revolutionary future of healthcare and medicine. Moreover, we can clearly see the ties that the representatives of future tech have together: the combined applications of blockchain, AI, and IoT will bring the development of digital health to the next level.
With all these positive aspects, there are still some limitations that do not allow the industry to scale. Let us name some of them.
Do the projects really comply with existing regulations?
The startups and companies who are trying to excel in their new product development process meet the biggest challenge of compliance in terms of data regulation, standards, and requirements that each and every country and region has. There are a number of projects implemented by EU countries
Blockchain is costly, guys!
On the provider end, blockchain solutions are likely to involve a high initial investment, a fact that certainly prevents wider adoption. In addition, distributed systems tend to be significantly slower than centralized ones in terms of transactions per second. A big blockchain network, with numerous nodes, would probably need more time to transmit and synchronize data when compared to centralized systems. This is especially concerning for huge databases that would eventually need to store and track information of millions of patients. The problem would be even worse for large-sized image files, such as computed tomography or MRI scans.
Potential investors in the tech industry should take a closer look at Armenia. The country has a flourishing tech sector and has been making some noise because of its enormous expertise in the IT sector. This development has attracted a new wave of potential investors. Therefore, it is no surprise that the World Congress on Information Technology is taking place in Armenia.
Blockchain R&D Hub Armenia
Through its reputation as an innovation hub, the country earned the nickname “Silicon Valley of the ex-Soviet Union”. Actually, the country has a long history of technology. Before 1990, 40 percent of mainframe computers were produced for the Soviet military.
Apart from that, the country convinces many investors with its geographical condition. Armenia has many well educated and highly skilled workers. The capital Yerevan even has a secret building in which computer research is conducted. Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia has managed very well to focus on its competitive advantage regarding software development, IT and more.
The IT sector is making up a big part of the nation’s economy, more than 7% of its GDP. Those numbers are not bad when considering the fact that the small country has only 3 million people of which 18,000 of them are working in the tech sector. Currently, over 7,000 students are enrolled in higher education institutions to study advanced technologies.
Thus, it is no surprise that the global network for R&D is using Armenia’s talents to create a global source for blockchain facilitation.
In fact, the prime minister of Armenia claimed that the future of the country is in technology. He also said that it is necessary to determine how science, education and the country can benefit from each other to foster growth and increase In fact, the government intends to finance projects that advance and accelerate Armenia’s economic development.
Since the country has a need to transform traditional approaches, reshape business and reduce levels of corruption, it can be concluded that Armenia has the best requirements to adopt blockchain technology.
The important role of the Nooor Blockchain Armenia
The mission of the Nooor Blockchain Armenia is to develop and promote blockchain technology in Armenia. Further, the organization partners with more than 40 countriesand is accelerating the development and integration of blockchain-based projects. Thus, Nooor will promote Armenia to become a global hub and center of blockchain expertise.
According to Viktoria Khechumyan, COO of the Nooor Blockchain Armenia, blockchain technology can improve government services and increase transparency. At the same time, blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the healthcare industry.
People with an interest in building tech and blockchain-based startups are welcome to become a member of the Nooor blockchain community. The organization not only educates but also provides legal and strategic support to blockchain-powered companies or to those that intend to transform Armenia with blockchain technology.
Furthermore, Nooor can help interested people in the following ways:
Organizing community meetups: Educating blockchain enthusiasts by organizing meetups and events.
Educating and inspiring: Proving educational programs to students, executives, and managers.
Cooperating with governments: Liaising with the government and encouraging transparency to create business environments that foster growth.
Providing strategic support: Providing support to blockchain-powered companies, startups, and entrepreneurs.
Assisting companies in tokenization: Assisting companies in the process of tokenization and providing consulting for cryptocurrencies and smart contracts.
Fostering networks: Growing a strong network of experts, enthusiasts, and developers to share knowledge through training, special events, and conferences.
The organization has developed some tailored solutions to help users that have an interest in learning more about this new technology. Those are demonstrated as follows:
This year Nooor Blockchain Armenia was hosting ChainPoint 19, which is an international blockchain conference and is held annually. The international conference proved that Armenia is becoming a global hub for blockchain expertise.
Moreover, the minister has always emphasized the importance of strengthening the Armenian tech ecosystem. A conference like ChainPoint 19 contributes significantly to the development of the national tech ecosystem.
At ChainPoint 19, investors were able to explore business opportunities of the regional tech ecosystem. The conference hosted 50 speakers and 500 attendees from 30 countries.
The key outcome
Armenia is fulfilling the requirements to become the next global blockchain hub. The government has explicitly stated that disruptions in technology are prerequisites to modernize infrastructure and improve quality of life. Nooor Blockchain Armenia has become the main engine in Armenia for developing and implementing blockchain technology in society. As a result, research is increased and more blockchain-based startups are emerging.
We are in an era where everything develops too quickly. So we are going to tell you about the Blockchain in the HR sector and before starting the main part let’s discuss: What is blockchain technology?
The blockchain is a unique technology for storing data. The information is stored on the devices of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. Blockchain has two core advantages: publicity, reliability and security. Decentralized data storage, virtually unhackable due to the algorithm. With blockchain, it is impossible to collect all the information from different accounts into one place. It is decentralized, and only you are the king of your data.
Addressing HR pain-points
Let’s figure out what are the business processes that HR goes through that are painful, and involve lots of people, shared data, time, and risk? Four areas of greatest impact for blockchain include:
cross-border payments and mobility;
talent sourcing and management;
Today HR specialists have to deal with the uncertainty in resumes, the reliability of recommendation letters and the overall problem with the trustworthiness of candidates. This situation has to change, and blockchain has the potential to create a new ecosystem where achievements can speak for themselves.
Blockchain absolutely has the power to create disruption in the HR space. In fact, it might just revolutionize the ways in which HR pros approach many of their daily tasks.
1. Blockchain Can Protect HR from Cyber Criminals
When a Boeing HR employee sent a work-related spreadsheet to his spouse in November 2016, he just wanted formatting advice. But he had also endangered the identities of nearly 36,000 Boeing employees in four states — 8,000 had their data stolen.
Human resources management involves dealing with a lot of very sensitive personal and financial data like this. HR departments may receive and store information relating to pay, health insurance, finance and banking, disciplinary records, and more. All of this is at risk of being exploited. With blockchain, the ability of criminals to gain access to that data is reduced. In many cases, it’s virtually eliminated. Because records stored on the blockchain are decentralized, there’s no single place where hackers to access and corrupt data. In addition to this, any changes that are made must be authorized and verified.
Companies Trying to Solve This Problem
Chronobank — Speeding up HR processes while reducing risk by leveraging blockchain
Fourdx — Blockchain secured eDelivery and document exchange
2. The Recruiting and Hiring Process Will Be Transformed by Blockchain
Standard methods of seeking out candidates, determining whether or not they are worth pursuing, conducting the pre-hire verification process can be painfully slow. Potential hires may tweak their resumes according to the requirements of each job that interests them. Hiring managers may wait days before hearing back from references, and some companies are reluctant to provide any detailed information on past employees due to liability purposes.
Now, imagine if employee records were stored on the blockchain. Applicants could provide potential employers with permission to access their blockchain-based employment data. This could include employment history, letters of recommendation, educational records, and more.
Companies Trying to Solve This Problem
Recruit Tech — Vietnam based project building recruitment solutions on the blockchain
3. Employee Life-Cycle
The whole employee life-cycle would be disrupted by the implementation of blockchain technology as the current procedure to hire and onboard a new recruit can be lengthy. From conducting the interviews, checking qualifications, validating work background and gathering references, or applying for the necessary security checks — it all takes time.
This process continues throughout employment (for example, if the role changes, further qualifications are obtained or different management is assigned during a handover) until eventually the employee exits the company. Then you may be requested to forward some of this data to potential new employers for their checks on that individual and alongside this the whole process renews again. As blockchain would already hold all of this validated information, it would significantly reduce the time and energy spent on this process, simplifying the whole HR experience.
4. Companies Can pay workers in cryptocurrencies
According to DistruptorDaily in America, 54 percent of employers stated their current payroll processes have room for improvement. A reported one-third of small business owners pay at least $500 per month in payroll service fees. That seems a bit high for such a routine process. Payroll services could see a new layer of automation and convenience by implementing cryptocurrency technology.
However, with businesses that hire on a global scale, paying in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies can make sense. Workers want to be able to access their money, move it, and use it to buy goods and services with ease. For someone who lives in a nation where the currency is devalued, banking systems are untrustworthy, or the government has caused other roadblocks, this isn’t the case. By offering crypto-based payroll systems that are backed by blockchain technology, businesses can attract more workers on a global scale.
4th Pillar — Full-service HR solutions on the blockchain
5. Automate taxes & mitigate the strain of audits
Taxation plays a critical role in the life of a business or an individual. For HR professionals, constantly evolving tax laws and regulations across jurisdictions ensure they often have their hands full properly issuing taxes. Payroll taxes are then only further complicated by other factors like bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, back pay, accumulated sick time pay, human resources expenses, and beyond.
Blockchain’s keen ability to record and update employee tax considerations and provisions automatically is catching the attention of the HR industry. By wielding the capability to streamline and secure the taxation process, it is likely that blockchain-powered platforms will become the record of choice for HR departments around the globe.
Speaking of taxes, no business wants to be hit with an audit but it does happen. Audits are so daunting that it has actually held back countless businesses that only feel comfortable maintaining physical record systems, despite the time, energy, and money they require to properly upkeep.
The blockchain makes it easier for a business to sustain an audit because it can securely share its records with regulators in near real-time. The time and cost spent for document collection is subsequently reduced drastically.
Now is the time to sum up how really blockchain will be beneficial for HRM. It will help:
Employees with a perfect reputation to find work faster.
Companies save time and money by hiring employees.
Quickly assess the competence and professionalism of people.
In this case, such a system has to meet the following conditions:
Data transparency. Anytime any participant can have access to the initial data to make sure that they are right.
Data reliability. Not any company or person can change the data to their advantage.
Automation of processes. The system should work on mathematical algorithms without intermediaries to exclude or reduce to a minimum the human factor.
Independence. Do not belong to any company to maintain objectivity.
“The blockchain does one thing: It replaces third-party trust with mathematical proof that something happened. — Adam Draper“
Airplanes. Airports. Cities. Countries.
Being a young girl with a fueled imagination I used to think that there is some kind of magic, which leads those huge metal birds into the air.
Spending a summer vacays in motherland may become impossible for a diaspora kid growing up in another country without those special buildings with distinct and entangled metamorphoses going around in it.
Growing up, understanding that under “magic” there is a much more likely a constructive explanation I’ve started to look closer every time I’ve got an opportunity to came back to the airports always buzzing with noises, goodbyes and serious people in ties.
On my way of becoming older with a constant appearings in the buildings, I’ve started to notice much more ways of the improvement of this special place
Working in an IT company, involved in the progress of the blockchain technology for more than a year, I’ve started to wonder, how DLT can change the efficiency of the Airport and make the traveling for people even more transparent, safe and easy.
So, please, fasten your seatbelt, dear reader, we are going on an adventure in the future of aviation!
Saying NO to the Overbooking
When Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from his seat and dragged off of a United Airlines flight in April 2017, it was easy to blame the three Chicago police officers who did it as the primary culprits. The video was horrific, and the three officers eventually lost their jobs later that year. But was it really their fault, or were they simply doing their jobs? After all, it was United Airlines that overbooked the flight, not the police officers. After the investigation, it was found that the ticket was overbooked by 4 passengers.
Smart contracts and tokenized tickets may help ensure that a truly fixed number of tickets are issued. Airlines will often sell an excess number of tickets, banking on late cancellations, passengers missing their flights, or any other number of possibilities that could result in a plane flying at less than capacity. An empty seat is lost revenue for the airline, but when everybody shows up, someone’s plans have to change. Currently, airlines can feign ignorance as to why or how the flight was overbooked, but with tokenized ticket-issuance systems, more advanced features like flight-delay insurance and ticket bidding can help ensure that all parties make out economically without the need to overbook a flight.
Companies willing to make a change:
Volantio — Helping airlines protect passengers from overbooking challenges.
Fizzy — Decentralized “smart travel insurance contracts” to protect passengers when airlines don’t.
Flight Records Systems Security
“What the aerospace industry doesn’t know about its planes is costing it serious money.”
When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March 2014, it immediately became one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. With 239 people on board, a bizarre change in the flight pattern, and still no indication of where the wreckage may actually be, countless friends and family members still don’t know what happened. Even though one of the men on board was an IBM executive, and another was an actor cast in Netflix’s Marco Polo, the lack of solid information surrounding the flight continues to astound.
In the wake of the disappearance, Malaysia’s official response was slammed as “inaccurate, or at least incomplete” by a Chinese media organization, and it’s difficult to argue with the assessment. The lack of details about where the flight was headed and where it maybe is a prime example that better oversight systems for such critical information are still needed.
Data pertaining to a given flight — manifests, baggage onboarding, flight path, and the like — carry varying degrees of importance. Some information may save serious time and effort, like tracking down a lost bag more efficiently. Other information — like who was on a flight, where they sat, and where the flight was headed — could be the key to solving mysteries in the unfortunate event that a flight doesn’t reach its destination. Regardless of a piece of information’s use or relative importance, securing all flight-related intel remotely on a blockchain backup record would be an added measure of security to the centralized systems of today.
In the airline sector, forging identities of individuals comes with serious threats, including the possibility of terrorist activity at airports or on flights. The adoption of blockchain in aviation will eliminate the pain and hassle of passengers waiting for long hours to verify their documents.
Passenger details like biometric data, required documents, and the ticket will be stored on a blockchain network. People while entering the airport can enter the unique code, for verifying themselves. The airport authorities, who are a member of the network, will be able to enter the check-in details for passenger’s further references.
The introduction of smart contracts automates paper-based airline operations, allowing airport authorities to take up other roles. As a result of this, increased productivity, accuracy, and efficiency will be achieved.
Companies willing to make a change:
Vchain — a patented blockchain SaaS solution for digital identity management.
Every baggage will comprise of a unique code, which will be encrypted and stored on a blockchain network. During the check-in process, the luggage will be scanned and the location of it will be updated to the system in real-time. Every detail about the baggage, ranging from its unique code to the current location, will be updated on the blockchain network. The authorities and passengers can easily locate their luggage if gone missing.
Companies willing to make a change:
BagX — a neutral blockchain platform for baggage handling developed by a Swiss-port team. This will make the process completely documentable and transparent across all the involved stakeholders.
Whether you own one plane or an entire airline, aircraft maintenance is neither cheap nor easy. The average hangar cost is $275 per month, plus an additional $100 for tie-downs. Annual inspections can cost as much as $1,200 for small aircraft, and far more for commercial airliners (which must be inspected far more frequently). Then there are factors such as gas and oil, part depreciation, and insurance to consider. Airliners have much steeper costs associated with them, an average of $1,430 in maintenance per flight hour. Supply chain costs related to aircraft maintenance accounted for 80% of direct maintenance spending in 2009 and is likely higher now.
We’ve all experienced the dreaded “creeping delay” at the airport. It seems to get longer and longer due to some unspecified maintenance issues. These delays cost countless amounts of money and are responsible for much of airline travel’s poor reputation. Between June 2015 and June 2016, more than 1 million flights were delayed, with those delays chewing up approximately 64 million minutes worth of their passengers’ time. About 50% of those delays are due to controllable factors, like aircraft maintenance.
Several industry leaders are in the works developing systems by which maintenance issues can be more easily foreseen and dealt with using blockchain distributed ledger technology. Tracing individual parts to gauge their fitness for flight and anticipate declines in their quality is one use of the technology, as is providing a more connected record for maintenance-related departments to rely upon. These uses could cut down on the one thing that gives airlines and passengers the most consistent trouble: delays.
Companies willing to make a change:
Accenture — Prototype for aviation manufacturing and parts provenance.
Aeron — Better data traceability and management for aviation firms.
Lufthansa — Launched blockchain innovation challenge to tackle transparency issues.
500labs — a decentralized data network for the global aviation industry to mitigate the effects of flight delays, among other things.
Airline Alliance Revenue Sharing
The first airline alliance was established over 21 years ago, and while the nature of revenue sharing between partnered airlines has evolved over the years, it remains an integral part of the commercial aviation sector. Today, there are three major airline alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld.
Star Alliance was founded by member airlines United, Scandinavian, Thai, Lufthansa, and Air Canada, and has expanded to a roster of 27 airlines, covering 18,800 daily flights to 1,300 destinations across 193 countries. SkyTeam is the newest of the alliances, founded in 2000 by Delta, Aeromexico, Air France, and Korea Air, totaling 20 members with a reach not far off of Star’s. Last but not least, Oneworld, founded by American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Canadian Airlines, teamed up in 1999 to provide a more intelligent revenue-sharing model and a greater array of connection options for passengers of its airlines. These alliances have necessitated revenue-sharing algorithms, but they remain flawed. They lack measures to prevent inter-airline squabbles and time delays that defeat the purpose of cooperation among member airlines.
Cooperation among airlines can make sense economically, especially in terms of the less quantifiable PR aspect. When a flight is cancelled or international connections run thin, the ability to tap into partner airlines to accommodate passengers is invaluable, both in terms of preserving revenue for the airline and ensuring that passengers don’t miss critical plans or meetings. That said, revenue sharing systems remain complex and fragmented. The ability to rely upon a unified system that could use algorithms to immediately settle predetermined revenue shares among cooperating airlines would reduce costs, improve timeliness, and result in more customers reaching their destinations in a reasonably timely manner.
Streamlined Frequent Flyer Programs
Many airlines have frequent flyer programs (FFPs) that allow airlines customers to accumulate points that can then be redeemed for air travel. Members of loyalty programs that travel with a partner airline may want to have their points or miles reconciled at their customer account which can be a time-consuming and error-prone process.
One way that airlines could take better advantage of customer loyalty is to merge alliance member airlines to provide a more appealing frequent flyer package. This would foster a greater likelihood that passengers would actually redeem their accrued miles, therefore being incentivized to earn them in the first place. With a wider array of airlines to choose from, frequent flyer programs could become more appealing than they already are, and the blockchain could serve as a platform to seamlessly integrate revenue sharing and automated point redemption in a cost-effective manner.
Sweetbridge: a virtual blockchain-based marketplace with a scalable solution for multi-vendor loyalty programs.
Multi-Tier Oversight in Private and Commercial Flights
Fortunately, flight, and commercial aviation especially, has become a safe proposition. According to many metrics, 2017 was the safest year in the history of commercial air travel. When hijackings, suicide, and sabotage are accounted for, 59 people died worldwide as a result of commercial aircraft accidents or malfunctions, which is a modest number considering the sheer volume of daily flights spanning the world.
However, these statistics, though low, cannot be assessed lightly — each life is a life, after all. No story brings that fact to life quite like the case of the Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team, who were on their way to an unlikely championship match when their plane crashed into a mountainside in Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 of the 77 passengers. The pilot had chosen not to refuel in an effort to save money — precisely the sort of decision that should be taken out of the hands of humans with an inordinate financial stake in such choices.
One of blockchain technology’s primary benefits is the ability for several parties to access the ledger, regardless of their location. This decentralized facet could set in place a system of checks and balances that would regulate pilots and owners of private airlines, who may otherwise be tempted to cut corners in order to save money. Whether this involves regulatory agencies, specific airports, or organizations will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but if blockchain can help prevent another Chapecoense, it is a cause well worth pursuing.
Companies willing to make a change:
Avinoc — a freely available, transparent database for the coordination of private business flights — without a third party intermediary.
14bls — Supply Tracking a blockchain technology that allows the supply chain of aircraft components to be documented thoroughly and with absolute transparency.
Sorablocks — a blockchain-based platform for the aviation industry, which brings transparency to the management of kerosene across all airlines and airports.
Skyy network — a blockchain-based solution that consolidates the aviation management of drones in a decentralized and clearly regulated system, enabling the rule-based and automated operations of drones.
I would like to conclude with the stress of your attention to the research made by IATA (The International Air Transport Association). The document explores blockchain, its potential, and the challenges, though the focus is on public blockchains. It outlines a substantial vision in both breadth and depth.