Since the first bitcoin was mined in 2009, there has been a meteoric rise of cryptocurrency technology and an explosion of a new crypto-financial industry that is promising to change the world forever.
However, 13 years on from that first mining event, despite the vast investment and interest in the movement, debates still rage on within cryptocurrency circles about the true role of the tech within global societies, scrambling for use cases and even offering reward programmes to entrepreneurs to find ways to promote adoption. Vast fortunes have been made and lost in the world of bitcoin, but to date, its only major ripple on the world stage has been for speculation and a store-of-value.
Other alternative coins have tried to develop their own niches and brands within the marketplace, touting faster, cheaper cross-border payments for the banking system or indeed the replacement of cash altogether. All major crypto currencies dedicate huge resources into developing their own technologies further, whilst jostling amongst each other for pecking order and bragging rights, each aiming to be the king of the castle, or rather, at the top of the blockchain.
Delving deeper into current real term use of cryptocurrencies, one need only review the decentralised apps developing on the blockchain marketplace to see it dominated by a range of exchanges, gambling and gaming apps. Although this sphere is evolving, and without doubt newer apps are being added daily with more value, the world has yet to see the promised life-changing technology that was forecasted in 2009.
Decentralised cryptocurrencies have also become influential in geo-political hotspots where financial crises have caused local currencies to collapse. By promoting the use of cryptocurrency in such scenarios, advocates hope that cryptocurrency will stabilise an otherwise unstable economy. Ironically, however, cryptocurrencies themselves are one of the most volatile commodities on the planet and as such, are at high risk to unpredictable external or internal forces - leaving a vulnerable population dependent on them equally exposed to such volatility.
One area of the world's global economy that has mostly been overlooked (although not completely) is that of the creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge. The world of science, establishing new facts (and verifying them) in order to advance humanity, has its own internal rigid ways of working, it's own protocols and culture. The scientific world too has flaws and vulnerabilities, with no greater example than that of the publishing industry, which profiteers enormously on the back of scientific work.
One of the most expensive, valuable and profitable products in the scientific publishing industry are peer-reviewed articles, where most of the profits go into shareholders pockets rather than invested back into research or with the community.
However, this valuable peer review product is absolutely essential to scientists all over the world, a cherished entity, and so researchers are held hostage to the high prices set by institutions out of their control. The multibillion dollar industry of peer review science therefore needs to be urgently addressed and new paradigms are desperately needed.
There are certainly costs associated with the creation of peer review publications, but one suggestion to solve this crisis is to massively reduce production costs and eliminate the blatant profiteering in the peer-review process, potentially slashing prices (from the industry standard) of approximately $3000 per article to a price tag in double digits.
However, even a production cost of under $100 still needs to be paid for to provide sustainability in the industry, and here is where the beauty of cryptocurrency technology can truly become invaluable.
The current funding options for peer review publications currently states that either the researchers pay for the article publication in advance, or the journal maintains copyright ownership of the work and the reader pays in the form of journal subscriptions or high one-off payments.
By creating a cheaper but equally robust product, and with the borderless technology of cryptocurrency, one can consider a completely new payment model - that of "community ownership".
In this new concept of community ownership, any reader in the world wishing to access the newly published peer review science has the ability to pay a micro crypto-payment towards the article price tag (with minimal transaction costs), and gains individual access to the scientific work for their payment, whilst at the same time, chipping away at the overall price tag of the remaining article balance.
As more community readers across the world pay what they can choose to afford and contribute, the overall article price gradually drops til the article fee is fully paid off for by the community - in a true form of science-based, crowd funding. This in turn would drive the publisher to only publish articles they feel would meet approval by the community and achieve full payment, thus driving the quality of the published articles to a better, community approved standard. Furthermore, the rampant piracy currently present in the publishing industry need not exist, as articles are suddenly ethical and affordable to all.
Once the article is paid for by the community, there are no more dues, the publisher recoups its investment and the article becomes open access to the entire world, owned by the decentralised scientific community - no one, yet everyone owns the work together.
To facilitate such a crowd funding concept of microdonations across a global network, cryptocurrencies seem the only genuine payment system that allows anyone in the world to pay instantly without proof of ID, hampered by current financial institutions or red tape, with no bureaucracy nor any geographical limits to obtaining the product.
And so suddenly, peer reviewed science becomes liberated and shared globally, at a price that is affordable, at a much more rapid rate, on the back of a borderless, secure cryptocurrency that offers 100% affordable access to anyone in the world.
To create this vision, the first step is to demonstrate just how low the costs of peer review creation can go, and then secondly introduce a cryptocurrency that wants to brand itself within the sphere. This is a global, multibillion dollar problem, and the creation of a global product, reliant on cryptocurrency for success, is a genuine use case.
One.Surgery has flipstarted a campaign with the BCH community in an attempt to tackle this issue in a novel way. One.Surgery has already demonstrated inspired innovation and cost cutting success in other web based healthcare domains and is confident this model can make a lasting impact on and industry that needs to change urgently.
There is also no doubt that the scientific community will also start looking for newer solutions to this problem, and with so many cryptocurrencies all jostling to find their position within our society, one cryptocurrency may have the foresight to make the first impact in the field.
Let that be BitcoinCash. There are 19 days left in this flipstarter campaign and each day passing is an opportunity lost to start changing the world for the better and sooner. Support the project here and get the movement started:
or learn about One.Surgery Flipstarter dashboard science here: