How the technology that powers crypto is being used for more than money4 min read
From powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to digital belongings like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it looks as although the blockchain technology is everywhere.
Blockchain is a decentralized electronic ledger that shops and information data, and is finest regarded for facilitating transactions for digital currencies this sort of as bitcoin.
It also has numerous people hoping to get wealthy, by investing in digital assets like GIFs and artworks — some of which provide for tens of millions, like the digital art Everydays: the Very first 5,000 Days by American artist Beeple, which sold for $69.3 million U.S. in 2021. The technologies has also been criticized for its harmful environmental affect.
But buyers and superstars are not the only ones investing in the technology or the cryptocurrencies that blockchain enables.
In B.C., Indigenous artists are leveraging blockchain to protected their artwork, whilst researchers are learning how the technology can improved defend personal overall health information.
Indigenous NFT artwork
In an ethereal studio in Burnaby, B.C., artist David Fierro of the Okanagan Nation generates drums using traditional hides, like those people of elk, and acrylic paint that would seem to occur alive below black gentle.
But the drums, portion of the 400 Drums task, aren’t made to be sold as they are. The moment performed, the instrument is photographed and sold as a non-fungible token or NFT.
An NFT is a digital asset that ordinarily exists on the Ethereum blockchain, and stores unique data that includes a document of ownership and transactions. NFTs are not able to be replicated, and as opposed to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, each and every NFT has a unique worth.
That unique nature is one of the factors NFTs appeal to Indigenous artists like Fierro, as the theft, replication and income of inauthentic Indigenous art continues to be a important trouble, even at major galleries.
The potential to record and validate the authenticity of an artwork through blockchain is also attractive to Tamara Goddard, Fierro’s business partner. Goddard is the head of 400 Drums, a campaign supporting Indigenous creators harnessing online platforms to share teachings and tales.
Fierro and Goddard prepare to sell the NFTs on the OpenSea platform for 1 ether — the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain — which is roughly equivalent to $4,200.
The funds will support initiatives for Indigenous youth and artists, like media coaching and workshops for commencing their personal NFT assignments.
“Our art is our value, our art is our authorized society. We sense that as Indigenous peoples, we will need to enter this house to preserve the authentic mother nature of artwork as a value, art as dollars,” said Goddard, who is of the Saulteau To start with Country.
“It’s a very superior match for us due to the fact we imagine that the NFT, even however it is a electronic asset that you might be keeping, will just take on a financial value and expand in worth as does all of our Indigenous art.”
Securing health and fitness knowledge
At the College of British Columbia’s school of details, investigate is also currently being performed on how the technological innovation can support guard health details.
Victoria Lemieux, associate professor of archival science and a single of the several females in the earth leading a study lab targeted on blockchain, is functioning on a “individual health and fitness wallet,” where well being details is securely stored on a person’s smartphone applying blockchain.
The technological innovation, she states, is extra protected than existing details systems because it does not count on regular security measures like passwords, and it decentralizes information unlike shared third-celebration services like the cloud.
This indicates facts on the blockchain is fewer vulnerable to hackers that may want to view or modify any of that information, she claims.
“They are not getting access to this significant pool of facts that they can maintain for ransom,” she mentioned. “They have to perform tougher to get more compact bits of info.”
The overall health wallet she’s doing the job on will allow men and women to share health and fitness information and facts with a health practitioner securely and efficiently, she states, and allow for folks to keep their knowledge from being applied for exploration needs.
“If you’ve got experienced, for example, some sort of a transplant, you may have various distinct medical professionals, you will have pharmacists and so on. All of that info desires to be brought together to enable the treatment group look after you effectively, but it’s very siloed appropriate now,” she reported.
“It really is all section of this pattern to empower men and women to management their facts, consider electrical power away from platforms that have tended to hoover up our information without the need of asking.”