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Blockchain Tech: Humanitarian Aid



Refugees have been dealing with the fact that they lose their identities due to the lack of government asistance. That’s where the Blockchain comes in, making it possible for them to get their identities back even with Blockchain debit cards which were recently distributed by the Finnish government.

The Digital Journal recently spoke with Michael Fauscette, CRO of G2 Crowd to talk about aid applications.



Digital Journal: Why is there so much interest in blockchain?

Michael Fauscette: Blockchain is the first method/platform to combine several important features, yet do it in a way that is transparent, very secure and applicable across a rapidly growing number of use cases. The blockchain platform provides a publicly viewable and verifiable ledger of transactions that exists in multiple locations, removes the need for any “middle layer guarantor”, can be completely anonymous, and is a permanent record of the transaction.

DJ: Why can’t the public seem to untangle Blockchain from Bitcoin?

Fauscette: I think there are several reasons that blockchain and Bitcoin seem to be nearly synonymous to the general public. The simple answer is that the best known and first use cases were with cryptocurrencies. Those currencies drew the most attention as well, so as people learned about one, the other was linked in their minds.

As blockchain as a platform becomes more widely used it will, at least for some segment of the public, become more distinct from its origins. In truth though, as with many platforms, knowing it’s there is one level, but understanding it in detail is probably not necessary. People use cloud based applications all the time, but do they know, or need to know, which vendor provides the PaaS or IaaS, or even what either of them do.

DJ: What significance does blockchain have for displaced peoples?

Fauscette: In a civilized world the government of wherever you happen to live provides proof of your identity in several forms. That however is not the case in many countries though, where the ability to have and carry absolute proof of identity is difficult to impossible. But enter your credentials into a blockchain and with a hash at the border (or anywhere) you can retrieve your proof. This works with financial transactions of course, like Bitcoin, but it can work for resumes – education, certifications, employment history, skills etc. – or medical records, or real estate transactions…the list is huge.

DJ: How else is blockchain helping humanitarian aid projects?

Fauscette: From a humanitarian perspective this is a very tangible and important way to help refugees or others that live in difficult and unstable political environments.

DJ: Which industries are similarly affected and disrupted?

Fauscette: As far as other applications the list is growing all the time. Such as, financial systems: any financial transaction ledger can exist in a blockchain. With intellectual property, which is used to establish “ownership” of a physical item, digital entity or an idea. For unregistered copyrightable works or patentable ideas the blockchain provides the creator to record the work or idea in the public ledger with a timestamp as proof for later registration or protection. Once the IP is registered in the blockchain the creator could track all subsequent licenses, sub-licenses and assignments via smart contracts in the ledger. The entire history of the IP could be available in the ledger.

Other uses are proof of ownership; smart contracts; resumes; payroll compliance; and supply chain. And that’s really only scratching the surface. In all the above use cases there are already products either in production or funded and soon to be available. Five years should see a large expansion of the use of the platforms across a diverse set of functions and industries.

DJ: How did you compile your 2018 Digital Trends report?

Fauscette: The Digital Trends report is based on multiple data sources including the approximate 370,000 product reviews (surveys) on G2 Crowd, site metrics like growth of categories, buyer inquiries, new products review growth, etc. and other surveys of the G2 Crowd community conducted throughout 2017.

DJ: Are there any cybersecurity risks with blockchain?

Fauscette: I suppose there is some theoretical risk to any technology that is connected to the Internet. That said though, one of the most useful aspects of the blockchain design is that it is inherently extremely secure.



Profesor Giaglis on Blockchain’s Full Potential




While Blockchain has certainly taken the world by surprise, George Giaglis, a professor and expert in eBusiness at the Athens University of Economics believes that the technology is not even close to its full potential, saying that:

“We have not even scratched the surface of the applications that will be possible in a future world augmented by distributed ledger technology.”

He recently spoke to JAXenter about recent events related to Blockchain technology and the importance of its future applications.

Giaglis Says

JAXenter: You are one of the world’s first blockchain pioneers. Why did you decide to give blockchain a chance? What got you interested in this technology?

George Giaglis: When I first heard about Bitcoin and started reading about it, I quickly saw the tremendous potential of blockchains to create a new Internet layer: one in which value can flow as freely as information does in the current Internet architecture. This is a genuinely revolutionary ability, and I still believe that we have not even scratched the surface of the applications that will be possible in a future world augmented by distributed ledger technology, especially when this is coupled with artificially intelligent economic agents communicating and doing business with each other.

JAXenter: You are also the scientific coordinator of the world’s first open online course on cryptocurrencies and the first academic degree in blockchain. What does this degree mean? What opportunities does it offer for those who want to add blockchain to their skill set?

George Giaglis: Both the MOOC and the MSc in Digital Currency offered by the University of Nicosia are world-first efforts to bridge the widening gap between supply and demand for skills on blockchain analysis, design and systems development. We are really proud to have exposed more than 20,000 students from 85 countries on the workings of Bitcoin and the promises of blockchain applications and to have also educated more than 300 graduates and students of our full MSc degree.

Further to our academic offerings, UNIC provides a full range of professional certification courses, aiming to equip today’s professionals with required knowledge or either blockchain business or software development. More information about all our educational products can be found here.

JAXenter: Is there still a global talent shortage for blockchain developers? 

George Giaglis: There is a large, and still growing, such gap. And this should be far from surprising: blockchains are a very recent technology (it was developed in 2008 and did not grasp most of the world’s attention until the mid 2010s), and there is enormous demand for engineering and business expertise without a corresponding base of properly educated engineers, developers, analysts, consultants, regulators, and policymakers.

I think that universities worldwide should make it a priority to bridge this gap by providing relevant programs at all levels (undergraduate/postgraduate teaching and Ph.D./post-doctoral research). The University of Nicosia is working with some partner universities across the globe to help in this direction.

To read more about this interview click here

Little by little, cryptocurrencies receive more criticism and Blockchain recieves more praise as some may say, Bitcoin will die and the Blockchain will survive.

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Diane Abbot Says Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme




According to the Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbot, Bitcoin is currently being used to fund terror and Labour could be moving towards regulation plans.

Abbot on Regulation: Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

She believes that the cryptocurrency is in fact  “a gigantic Ponzi scheme” that could collapse soon due to its high volatility.

Abbott said: “We are looking at the Bitcoin issue. One of the problems with Bitcoin is the extent to which it is just a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

“And if everyone took their Bitcoin money and tried to buy a new car all at once the whole thing would collapse.

“So, we are worried about the extent to which Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme but we are certainly worried about how in the here and now it is being used to fund terrorist activity and that is something we are looking at.

“I think the people best placed to resolve some of the problems around Bitcoin will actually be people in the Treasury and people in the banking sector but I can’t say more than that.”

When asked if Labour would crack down on Bitcoin she responded:

“Labour overall thinks it’s important to have proper regulation of financial services. It was poor regulation of financial services which led to the 2008 crash and obviously regulating Bitcoin would be part of that.

“Generally, we are concerned about sound regulation of financial services.”


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Keith Lim on Blockchain’s Role




The owner of the insurance startup Hearti, Keith Lim has stated that he believes in Blockchain as a technology that will change the way insurance is dealt with in the future.

In a recent interview with Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Thailand, he spoke about his prediction will develop, as well as an important announcement.

Interview: Blockchain’s Role

BCT: Tell me how did you find out about blockchain. Were you skeptical at first, or did you immediately see an enormous potential?

KL: I first found out about blockchain around 2012.  At that time, many blockchain use cases were still in a very early experimental stage.  However, through progressive studies and better understanding of the technology, I see an enormous potential in blockchain and wanted to develop a viable use case for the insurance industry.

BCT: Mr. Lim, you are Head of blockchain-based insurance service. How do you see the prospects of blockchain in insurance? Will the industry be completely blockchain-based in the future, or traditional and blockchain-based services will exist in parallel?

KL: The insurance industry is a huge and traditional one that blockchain will definitely have a positive role in disrupting it.  Insurance companies are starting to do proofs-of-concept on smart contracts, KYC processes and claims management on the blockchain.  Having said that, as there are many traditional stakeholders in the insurance industry such as agents, underwriters, insurers, and reinsurers, I envision that blockchain-based services will co-exist with traditional services for a while.

BCT: Are there many blockchain companies in the insurance industry today? What are the competitive strengths of Hearti?

KL: As there are many potential use cases for blockchain, such as for global payments, logistics etc., not many blockchain companies are focusing on the insurance industry at the moment.  This presents a huge advantage for Hearti as an early mover.  Moreover, Hearti is already serving many insurance customers with our Artificial Intelligent solutions, which strengthens our value propositions to our customers for blockchain.

BCT: What difficulties do the blockchain companies have in Singapore today? What are the main disadvantages of this jurisdiction?

KL: Blockchain technology works best as a decentralized and distributed network of difficult stakeholders.  Therefore, the challenge for any blockchain company in Singapore is to gather sufficient stakeholders in the insurance and related industries within Singapore’s well-connected and technologically advanced marketplace.

BCT: Which are the targeted regions for Hearti? Is Thailand in your area of interest?

KL: Hearti’s targeted region is South East Asia, and we already have offices in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

BCT: You will talk about blockchain trends at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Thailand. Tell us briefly, which trends will you discuss with the audience?

KL: I will be discussing events and use cases that formulated the trend of blockchain in the past few years, and what we can expect in the next few years.  I will be touching on major trends that I see emerging from the recent events, e.g. regulations in countries such as Thailand and China, and how these events can affect blockchain development.

BCT: Please tell us about your expectations for the conference.

KL: I envision the conference to engage in lively discussions about blockchain and bitcoin.  It should also offer excellent opportunities for collaborations and partnerships.


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