An emerging thought leader. A digital health expert. A consultant. And a polyglot with five languages in her repertoire (English, French, Spanish, Swedish, Danish).
In addition to her work as a blockchain and digital health consultant and strategist, Marenco is heavily involved with the Sweden/Nordic Chapter of Government Blockchain Association, The Swedish Blockchain Association, and HIMSS Europe.
We asked Ms Marenco to share some of her observations around blockchain and its impact on healthcare advancements in the UK and Sweden.
Tell us a little about your journey in the health and wellness industry and how you were introduced to blockchain.
I come from an eclectic health and wellness background and have worked in various areas in the field. Most of my professional career has been focused on the intersection between health and informatics. I am a health care informatician and mental health professional by training as well as a digital health entrepreneur.
Is there a major theme around your thinking?
Being a strong supporter of the importance of holistic care, a critical part of my work involves identifying the best possible ways to deliver good care to our citizens, particularly through the use of assistive technologies. This is how I was introduced to distributed ledger technologies and Blockchain which are now an important part of my work in educating peers, as well as government and policy makers, of the potential and challenges of the technology and its use in Healthcare. My main focus of late is on blockchain ethics and policy in Healthcare.
Can you share with us a few of the new developments taking place in the U.K. in terms of the intersection between blockchain and healthcare?
London has been one of the top ten Blockchain cities in the world. There are a number of companies currently doing great work here on areas such as counterfeit drug mitigations, facilitation of data exchange for medical records, and genomic research. We are also seeing activity here in the U.K. on a governmental level.
Give us an example?
Yes. One that’s worth mentioning is the APPG (All Parliamentary Group on Blockchain) that brings the public, private industry and policymakers together. It opens up the floor for collaborative work and education exchange. I hope we will see more initiatives like this taking place in other countries, facilitating the adoption of the technology and fostering innovation that can serve citizens.
Describe the sort of healthcare-related discussions occurring through your involvement with the Sweden/Nordic Government Blockchain Association, HIMSS, and the Swedish Blockchain Association?
Many of these discussions are ongoing in areas involving ethics, policy, security, interoperability, education, AI and Blockchain hybrids, government, digital identity, social impacts, and blockchain research, among others. The list is long!
What are you particularly excited these days in terms of your own work?
I am particularly enthusiastic about the HIMSS Blockchain in Healthcare Task Force, Blockchain Policy, and Ethics Tiger Team (PETT). It is an ad hoc group that formed off of our Task Force to address the need for policy guidance around the technology. The team is reviewing ethical considerations for the use of blockchain in our industry to inform guidance for policymakers, regulators, and implementers exploring the appropriate application of blockchain technology in healthcare.
And the team’s ultimate aim?
Simply to produce educational resources that can promote best practices and guidance around its adoption and implementation in the healthcare field.
How do you see blockchain ultimately contributing to advancements in the field of health informatics? And Mental health?
I think that utilizing blockchain in the area of Mental Health can be helpful when mindfully introduced and implemented. Mental Health is one of the things that all of us can relate to in many ways, yet very little is being done in this area in relation to the global burden and effects of mental health. Privacy concerns and worries of unwanted access to medical records and data is always present in the healthcare industry and are particularly accentuated in relation to mental health records due to the increased social stigmas associated with mental wellness and treatments.
How do you see blockchain contributing to a solution?
Through the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, we could increase privacy, security, and trust of the evolving digital environment, empowering citizens and mental health professionals in proactively monitoring treatments, regardless of the geographical location of the patients or the health care provider. Blockchain not only helps with the uniformity and accessibility of data between primary and secondary health providers and social services but also helps to incentivize healthier behaviors through tokens and cryptocurrencies?
Finally, what 2-3 trends do you believe will emerge over the next 12-18 months in the Blockchain of Healthcare space?
That’s a bit difficult to answer. But I do think we’ll continue to see Smart Contracts, Dapps and Supply Chain Management become more common in the healthcare space.
Managing Editor Michael Scott is a renowned blockchain journalist with a strong passion for the new digital economy. Prior to his career in media, he spent 10+ years serving leadership posts in healthcare, including UC Davis Medical Center institutional review board. Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The Ohio State University and a Master of Public Administration in Health Services Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Bitcoin is Sucking Liquidity Out of Every Major Market, Charts Show
On Wednesday, Bitcoin evangelist and Wall Street investor Raoul Pal published a series of charts that pitted the cryptocurrency against major financial markets.
Every graph appeared identical to one another, for they showed how the mainstream assets/indexes were trending lower against Bitcoin, to a point where they all tested a medium-term support trendline. They included gold, the Nasdaq Composite, and its sub-indexes/stocks, which include KBW Bank Index, Treasury Bond ETF Fund, silver, Amazon stock, and others.
Mr. Pal noted that every index/asset was looking to break bearish on the support trendline. The prediction pointed towards more strength for Bitcoin as it compared the crypto with a “supermassive black hole that is sucking in everything around it and destroying it.”
“You see, gold is breaking down versus bitcoin,” Mr. Pal added. “And gold investors will flip to BTC. The Nasdaq is next. Retail specs are going to flip to bitcoin as it eats techs lunch.”
Some of the Nasdaq’s sub-indexes already broke below the Ascending Trendline support. The KBW Bank Index (NASDAQ: BKX), a benchmark stock index of the banking sector, fell to its lowest levels against Bitcoin as worries over an increase in loan defaults stressed the financial corporations.
Read Further: 3 Biggest Bitcoin Takeaways from JPMorgan’s Q3 Earnings
Furthermore, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NASDAQ: TLT) depreciated against the rising Bitcoin prices, adding to the speculation that the US economy is heading for a prolonged period of lower interest rates. The Federal Reserve has already committed to keeping them near-zero up until 2023.
The analogy was the same for the G4 Central Bank Balance sheet, the Refinitiv/CoreCommodity CRB Index, and Apple. Everything fell against Bitcoin.
“The macro, flows, technology, demography and societal strains have all converged to this moment in time and the definite answer from markets is Bitcoin,” wrote Mr. Pal. “I get this sounds a little evangelical but I’m struggling to see it any other way right now.”
Bitcoin to $20,000
As money keeps flowing into the Bitcoin market, Mr. Pal also indicated that the cryptocurrency could soon swell back to its previous record high of $20,000.
As per Mr. Pal, there is not any historically concrete resistance level above $14,000.
Earlier in 2017, it took BTC/USD only a week to pump from lower $13,000s to as high as $19,891 on Coinbase exchange. While the rally mostly took its cues from the infamous ICO boom, it left little hints for technical chartists to pick their ideal long targets on the next breakout above $14,000.
“I fully expect new all-time highs by early next year at the latest,” Mr. Pal predicted, nevertheless.
5 Reasons For Bitcoin’s Price Surge To New 15-Month High
At the beginning of October, Bitcoin’s price was particularly indecisive and trading slightly above $10,000, causing many to believe that the unfilled CME gap down at $9,600 would soon be closed.
Fast forward to the current date, October 27th, BTC is trading at $13,400, having just marked a fresh high for 2020. The cryptocurrency added around $3,000 to its value, representing an increase of around 30%.
With this said, this month was also quite eventful. Many things happened, and, as such, let’s have a look at five possible reasons that could have led to this substantial price increase.
PayPal Announcing Support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum
Undoubtedly, the most important piece of news that came out this month was PayPal announcing support for cryptocurrencies.
Now, PayPal is the world’s largest online payment processor. Data from Statista shows that for the second quarter of 2020, the company has processed over $221 billion. Moreover, the company has a network of over 26 million vendors, and it plans to enable users to spend their BTC at all of them, starting in early 2021.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that PayPal is a widely-accepted payment method, and most of the banks allow transfers from and to the platform. On the contrary, not a lot of banks support Bitcoin transactions, meaning that they would either have to reconsider their policy, or they would have to drop PayPal as a client altogether.
At this point, it’s unclear how this will be resolved, but it’s exciting to see how the situation develops. If one thing is certain, though, it would put Bitcoin and other cryptos at the forefront of an important discussion.
Major Banks Starting to Change Their Attitude Toward Bitcoin
There’s no clearer example here than JP Morgan – one of the world’s largest multinational investment banks.
The relationship between the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, and Bitcoin is one worth following. In 2017, the high-ranked executive said that BTC is afraid and that if he saw any of his traders dealing with it, he would “fire them in a second.”
Well, fast forward a few years, and now the bank is posting bullish predictions on that very same cryptocurrency that Dimon labeled a fraud.
Just a few days ago, JP Morgan said that even a modest switch in capital from gold to Bitcoin could see its price triple.
Number of Publicly-Listed Companies Which Buy Bitcoin Increases
Perhaps as a direct consequence of the above, we can already see an increased involvement from publicly-listed companies.
The biggest buyer who put Bitcoin on its balance sheet became MicroStrategy, with its massive $425 million investment. Its CEO, Micael Saylor, has been particularly vocal about BTC’s merits.
Jack Dorsey’s Square also jumped on the bandwagon, purchasing $50 million worth of Bitcoin earlier this month.
Below is a list of all the publicly-listed companies and their holdings in BTC.
Publicly-listed companies putting BTC on their balance sheet is a huge deal for the nascent cryptocurrency, and industry experts have it that this effect will only snowball.
Singapore’s Biggest Bank Reportedly Launches a Bitcoin Exchange
As CryptoPotato reported just today, DBS Bank, a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation and the city-state’s largest bank, has reportedly launched an exchange that offers fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs.
Purportedly, the new exchange would support the “top digital currencies in circulation,” namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ripple’s XRP. Traders would be able to exchange them against SGD, HKD, JPY, and USD.
More interestingly, the exchange would supposedly only accept financial institutions and professional market makers, as its users. The venue would be regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which is also its de-facto central bank.
Needless to say, a central bank-backed and regulated exchange aimed at institutional investors should, in theory, facilitate the involvement of larger players in the field.
Uncertainty Around the Upcoming 2020 US Presidential Elections
Undoubtedly one of the most important moments for the global macroeconomic outlook is the upcoming US Presidential Elections, set to take place on November 3rd.
CryptoPotato did a survey, and it turned out that the elections are the biggest concern for Bitcoin investors in 2020.
It is, perhaps, no surprise that billionaire Paul Tudor Jones III came up with a statement, saying that he likes “Bitcoin even more now than then [when he bought BTC in May].” He also said that it’s going to be the best inflation trade.
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Miners begin offloading Ethereum holdings as it continues underperforming BTC
Ethereum has been severely underperforming Bitcoin throughout the past few days and weeks, with the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization currently trading far below its yearly highs.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s price is currently trading at the highest price seen in well over a year, with bulls vying to break the $13,800 level and bring the crypto to fresh post-2017 highs.
Its current strength has only created a slight tailwind for ETH and other major altcoins, with investors currently shifting all of their focus onto the benchmark cryptocurrency.
Many analysts have speculated that there will, at some point, be a rotation of capital away from BTC and into altcoins like Ethereum, but it remains unclear how high it may climb before this takes place.
One reason why Ethereum could be underperforming its larger counterpart at the moment is due to a single on-chain trend.
An analytics platform noted in a recent tweet that Ethereum miners have been selling their ETH holdings rapidly, which could be why it has been severely lagging behind Bitcoin.
Ethereum struggles to match Bitcoin’s momentum
Ethereum has been hovering within the lower-$400 region for the past few days as Bitcoin slowly continues to push higher.
Yesterday, a sharp selloff seen by BTC sent Ethereum plunging to lows of $380, but the buying pressure seen at this region allowed bulls to quickly revert its downtrend and send it rocketing back up past $400.
Ethereum still needs to climb roughly 20 percent before reaching its 2020 highs of $490 that were set at the peak of the DeFi hype cycle.
Unless Phase 0 of ETH 2.0 is released shortly, it remains unclear what could catalyze any shift in its waning momentum.
ETH miners begin offloading holdings as technical strength degrades
One reason why Ethereum has been underperforming Bitcoin is due to miners offloading their holdings over the past few days.
“The Ethereum miners have been dumping, and it appears that last week’s increased on-chain activity and trader FOMO has slowed.”
Until miners stop offloading their balances, Ethereum may continue lagging behind the benchmark cryptocurrency.
This could have far-reaching implications for the aggregated market, as most major altcoins have been taking Ethereum’s lead as of late. Until ETH can gain some momentum, other altcoins will likely stagnate.
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