Table of Contents
Bitconnect can be considered as an open source and innovative payment network that connects people in transactions. A peer to peer technology is used by Bitcoin which is not controlled by the government and it is a community driven decentralized crypto currency. It is the platform where people can store or invest their wealth for earning substantial interest on investment. The aim of the current study is to discuss about the often repeated criticism of crypto currencies and the possibilities of block chain for transforming a sector or industry along with associated obstacles with it.
There is a notion prevalent that the crypto currencies abet illegal activities such as money laundering, ransomware and Ponzi schemes and darknet market. As mentioned by Barone, R., & Masciandaro (2019), Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent platform for investment that promises high levels of interest upon the money people invest. Generally, these schemes generate returns from new investors and returns to early investors. However, the Ponzi scheme has a pyramidical structure. In this structure a person on top of the system starts to sell something to a group of people after which that group is instructed to sell the same. As a result, huge gains can be earned by the early investors whereas, new arrivals face financial loss. It can be stated that crypto currencies do not have this pyramidical structure; a person exchanging his or her wealth never ask anyone to sell what they are buying. Additionally, no crypto currencies percentage is asked to be returned. Securities and Exchange Commission, (2020) found that there is a large number of Ponzi scheme has been developed based on the Bitcoin and other crypto currencies so that the transactions can be made non traceable. This has led people to develop a perception that crypto currencies encourage Ponzi scheme.
However, it has been reported by Nolasco Braaten & Vaughn (2019), that Ransomware is a type of malware that ceases the access of files in computing devices until a ransom is paid to them. For instance Spanish telecom company Telefonica, British National Health Service and others have faced the same issue. Tinianow (2020) mentioned that Crypto currencies have become the most fuelling factor in the ransomware attack and tuned for $1.4 billion in the U.S. the victim’s data is encrypted by the hacker and the victim is pressurized to pay a fee in Bitcoin or other crypto currencies which can only be restored by knowing the decryption key only. Therefore, it can be stated that the issue is not emerging from the core money operating activities of crypto currencies; ransomware additionally plays an important role in claiming crypto currency that is leading to development of these kinds of perception.
The crypto money laundering is used by the criminals in order to hide the illicit fund origins depending on different methods and processes. As per the views of Bray (2016), crypto currencies are pseudonymous. This is done through three different stages such as placement. Different online crypto currencies have different levels of compliance with the regulations with respect to the financial transactions. Regulatory requirements and comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations are followed in the case of legitimate exchange. Besides this, all exchanges are non AML complaint, thus, this creates vulnerability which results in crypto currency money laundering. Blockchain is generally used for crypto based transactions. The fund sources are anonymized by the criminals, which helps in hiding the fund resources and breaks link between crypto currency transactions. However, it is argued that hiding of the funding sources are claimed to be protective of the customer’s personal data (Bitcoin, 2020).
The growing technologies are providing the users with opportunity to manage online transactions. However, Darknet can only be accessed through using specialized software. Along with this, virtual crypto currencies have huge positive benefits. Interpol International, (2020) states that anonymity provides opportunity to the criminals to perform misuse of the positive benefits of transactions as the sources remains inaccessible. As a result of this, illicit drug sells, people smuggling, firearms and explosive dealings and even terrorist activities may get encouraged.
Therefore, it can be stated that, crypto currencies do not itself abet the illicit activities, though the mechanism behind of these virtual transactions are responsible for emergence of these activities. One of the major advantages of using crypto currencies is, it is distributed and not centralized which increases the control of individual upon their money (Bitcoin, 2020). On the other hand, users that manage their money using crypto currency such as Bitcoin might get better opportunity to use their finances effectively on virtual platform. However, the security system of Blockchain is not appropriate for identifying illicit activities due to anonymity which is argued by many professionals.
Blockchain technology can be used in the healthcare industry for storing electronic health record which is the case in the context of MedicalChain Organisation. Using block chain technology for storing health record and using them might transform the company’s performance substantially. On the other hand, it posits some risks also while using blockchain into health care services. The financial wastes in healthcare industry are common and it results a total waste of $265.6 billion in the year 2018 in Australia. There are several factors that are responsible for this kind of waste (Washington Post, 2020). These factors include insurance claims issues, processing of the payment, keeping health record and so on. The role of blockchain here is to create possibility for secure and storage of health related data which can be accessed only by the authorised user at any point of time during the patient journey. For instance, required investments, payment status, health status and others reduce the wastage of finances. Costly resources can be used as per the needs, unnecessary visit to the doctors might be reduced, and misadministration of the health insurances can be prevented.
Most often, a centralised process of medical and patient data is also responsible increasing wastage of money as well as difficulties in controlling the healthcare process during patient journey. With the help of block chain technology, the record keeping and storing authority can be distributed through which employees working at each level can put their personally collected information into patient healthcare records. In this manner, the chances of missing out certain important data can be prevented (Drozd, Lazur & Serbin, 2017). This will help in processing of claims, data regarding the payment and all the information related to the patient’s care program can be efficiently handled through the use of blockchain technology. A patient’s medical data becomes easier and damage of those data can be prevented. Additionally, it provides opportunity to the family members of the patients to access patient related data which further reduces the chances of confusion and enhances communicability between family relatives and the hospital authorities.
Moreover, using blockchain technology can be beneficial for the healthcare organisation to manage its relationships with its stakeholders as it allows interoperability. Patient outcomes might get hampered due to the miscommunication and lack of transparency about the patient information. Distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain here plays an important role in allowing the stakeholders to access the patient journey related data in a secure process to people that require those data for providing client services (Shapiro, 2018). Besides the financial benefits, using blockchain technology and allowing stakeholders to access those data might help to reduce time and effort invested by the doctors and other healthcare staffs as every staff members can independently direct their duty based on the information they get within one platform.
However, there is a high possibility of cyber attacks that lead to ultimate risk of personal data breach can be a risk factor for using blockchain technology in the context of healthcare sector. If anyone become able to use 50% of the network hashing power, it is likely for them for intentionally disrupting the network through modifications and the ordering of transactions (Hölbl et al., 2018). This also creates risks in modifying data if needed. For instance, the data recorded in the system is hard to change the when a new system is adopted or previous system is abandoned.
In order to provide the staff members with the ownership of blockchain units, public-key is used. Users such as staff members are needed to keep the private key a secret. If the private key is lost, staff members will be unable to access the patient related data (Zhang et al., 2017). This might lead to misuse of client data that is not a contributing factor for the reputation of the organization. Additionally, block chain is unable to create or develop electronic healthcare record which is a major disadvantage of using this system.
In conclusion, it can be stated that crypto currency is highly vulnerable to be unauthorized access that might lead to illicit activities. However, it is a highly efficient function in protecting the personal data of the users. Implementing blockchain in the healthcare sector can be certainly beneficial due to decentralization of information and reduction in the financial wastage.
Barone, R., & Masciandaro, D. (2019). Cryptocurrency or usury? Crime and alternative money laundering techniques. European Journal of Law and Economics, 47(2), 233-254.
Bitcoin, (2020), 6 Darknet Markets for the Crypto Curious | Featured Bitcoin News. (2019). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://news.bitcoin.com/6-darknet-markets-for-the-crypto-curious/
Bitcoin, (2020), Cracks Appear as Critics Label Bitconnect a Ponzi Scheme. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://news.bitcoin.com/cracks-appear-critics-label-bitconnect-ponzi-scheme/
Bray, J. D. (2016). Anonymity, cybercrime, and the connection to cryptocurrency. 78-90
Drozd, O., Lazur, Y., & Serbin, R. (2017). Theoretical and legal perspective on certain types of legal liability in cryptocurrency relations. Baltic Journal of Economic Studies, 3(5), 221-228.
Hölbl, M., Kompara, M., Kamišalić, A., & Nemec Zlatolas, L. (2018). A systematic review of the use of blockchain in healthcare. Symmetry, 10(10), 470.
Interpol International, (2020). Darknet and Cryptocurrencies. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.interpol.int/en/ How-we-work/Innovation/Darknet-and-Cryptocurrencies
Nolasco Braaten, C., & Vaughn, M. S. (2019). Convenience Theory of Cryptocurrency Crime: A Content Analysis of US Federal Court Decisions. Deviant Behavior, 1-21.
Securities and Exchange Commission, (2020). Ponzi schemes Using virtual Currencies. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.sec.gov/files/ia_virtualcurrencies.pdf
Shapiro, D. C. (2018). Cryptocurrency and the Shifting IRS Enforcement Model. Stan. J. Blockchain L. & Pol'y, 1, 1.
Tinianow, A. (2020). Bitcoin Demand Drives $1.4 Billion Ransomware Industry In The U.S. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/andreatinianow/2020/07/01/bitcoin-demand-drives-14-billion-ransomware-industry-in-the-us/#176cc5b732d8
Washington Post, (2020), Bitcoin isn’t the future of money — it’s either a Ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme. Retrieved on: 20th August, 2020 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/08/bitcoin-isnt-the-future-of-money-its-either-a-ponzi-scheme-or-a-pyramid-scheme/
Zhang, P., Walker, M. A., White, J., Schmidt, D. C., & Lenz, G. (2017, October). Metrics for assessing blockchain-based healthcare decentralized apps. In 2017 IEEE 19th International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services (Healthcom) (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
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