On June 8, the InnoVEX Forum hosted a series of keynote speeches and a panel discussion on blockchain by companies in various industries. The speakers are Sean Moss-Pultz, the Co-founder & CEO of Bitmark; Pochang Wu, the Co-founder of KKFARM; and Ed Deng, the Co-founder & CEO of Health2Sync, Inc.
Bitmark: From Scarce & Expensive to Abundant & Increasingly Cheaper Resources
Bitmark is a technology company that focuses on blockchain based solutions for securing property rights. Bitmark is specialized for property transactions and by uniquely identifying property, encoding its title, and supporting transfers; it is able to create clear proof of ownership for digital assets. Due diligence is most definitely necessary to find the genuine companies with valid potential, but Sean Moss-Pultz of Bitmark warned that any sort of private blockchain solutions must be discounted immediately. Blockchain is only worth the investments and attention when they are public blockchain.
In his opinion, as the cost of employing humans generally increase by 2% to 3% per year, so will the cost of scaling up the organization. In contrast, the processing power of computers can double in 18 months while its price drops by 50%. This means incorporating computers to organizations will make more economic sense.
Mr. Moss-Pultz believes that blockchain is not only about immutability or digital signatures. In his definition, there are 4 characteristics that a blockchain must fulfil: open (the usage is available to everyone), borderless (not geographically restricted), neutral (all valid transactions that meet the rules are automatically confirmed), and censorship resistant.
By using blockchain, values and information can be recorded openly at a cost structure that is cheaper and will continuously drop in price. This will be very useful for any industry that requires recording anything of value. To put it in another way, blockchain excels at data and information recording. Blockchain can also help secure value from digital assets. It can apply the idea behind property rights and patents then expand it to also include data. This will allow anyone anywhere to record & transfer the rights to digital assets and secure it. According to Mr. Moss-Pultz, "The promise of the institutions that are required to secure the value transfer don't go away, but the cost of running them can radically go down." This means blockchain can simplify legal processes or paperwork and at the same time lower its cost.
He also gave 3 advices in regards to blockchain: the first is to focus on public blockchain & fully embrace cryptocurrencies. The reason is because he believes that the most secure place to secure data is in public where everyone can see & verify the recorded information. The second is to encourage the financial sector to experiment, especially in Taiwan because he believes that "Taiwan could be a financial capital, the way Singapore, the way Hong Kong was in the previous money; they can be the financial capital in the new money." Finally, the government should also provide clear regulations and guidance for ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) so the access to capital can be global and it can scale.
KKFARM: Improving Copyright Protection through Blockchain
KKFARM is the investment arm of the KKBOX group and has invested in many creators in East & South East Asia. One of their missions is to create new business models incorporating data analysis and technological innovation. They have worked together with Bitmark to create a blockchain based solution for the creative industry; specifically the music industry. The music industry is one of the most negatively affected by the presence of internet. The resulting crash of the record industry has not yet recovered and the industry has not yet found a solution for it.
By definition, copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, not the underlying ideas itself. The question then is how to digitize something that protects only the original expression, but want the expression to spread as widely as possible? Many ways have been tried before with DRM (Digital Rights Management) being the latest; however the impression towards DRM is usually negative. Another solution then is to reduce piracy. 3 ways to do so are to make piracy cost more, make the experienced gained from the original be much greater, and to make licensing & royalty payments easier.
The major pain points of the music industry licensing are the complex licensing and inefficient technologies used. Music licensing involves many intermediaries between the creators to the users. According to Mr. Pochang Wu, a creator would need to wait 3 months to 1 year until they receive their royalty. Even then, whether they will receive the royalty payments is uncertain. Technologies used for the licensing process is also stagnant, with barely any changes of the years.
On the industry as a whole; the pain points are slightly different, yet still related to the points mentioned above. Currently, the copyright data is generally scattered with no centralized source of valid information. The scattered information also troubles users that want to do the licensing or use the contents. There is also no standardized format for copyright information. For the creators, settling royalty payments is also difficult and the licensing process is complicated. Due to the pain points, Mr. Wu believes a new solution is needed in the form of blockchain based protocol which is the result of their cooperation with Bitmark named Muzeum. Muzeum can directly validate, endorse, and certificate the talents to avoid a monopoly on the validation process. It also supports peer-to-peer licensing & payment while automating and executing royalty split through blockchain.
Mr. Wu shared that blockchain and distributed technology is thriving, but still very new. This means there are still challenges that need to be overcome. From the industry side; there needs to be standardization and decentralized identity. On the technology side, the distributed database needs to be developed and the blockchain itself needs to be scalable & able handle more transactions.
Health2Sync: Data is Very Important
Health2Sync utilizes blockchain to provide personal and scalable chronic diseases management through analytics and a new class of digital therapy. The first chronic disease that became the focus of Health2Sync is diabetes. Complications of diabetes are preventable, but proper management and real time care needs to take place. The problem that hinders real time care is the lack of care providers which might not even be solved in the coming decade. What Health2Sync tries to solve are: the lack of data to guide diabetes management, the current non-scalable care & methods, and closing the loop for diabetes care.
Mr. Ed Deng shared the questions that were always asked by their potential partners, which are: whether Health2Sync obtained consent for patient data and whether they have the rights to leverage the data to provide better services to their patients or customers. He believes that as long as the patient gave their consent; blockchain can provide the services on a scalable basis.
However, because patient data is very valuable; both patients and doctors are concerned about access security and protection rights to the patients' personal health data. Both of these, Mr. Deng said can be answered with blockchain; because it gives a chance at liberating personal health data. Blockchain also provides added benefits of security, reliability, control & ownership, and automation via execution of smart contracts on behalf of the insurance companies or national health services with the individual.
"By leveraging blockchain technology, we are also taking rights and ownership, and control of personal health data back to the patient." – Mr. Deng said.
Watch the full keynotes here:
More Blockchain Insights in the InnoVEX Blockchain Saloon 2018
The InnoVEX team will host an event discussing blockchain in 2018. We will invite speakers to hold a panel discussion on its applications in fintech, the legal implications of blockchain, and more. More information will be announced on our Facebook and Twitter pages.