How the technological know-how that powers crypto is getting applied for a lot more than revenue

From powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to digital property like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it appears to be as nevertheless the blockchain technology is everywhere.

Blockchain is a decentralized electronic ledger that suppliers and data information, and is greatest recognised for facilitating transactions for digital currencies such as bitcoin.

It also has lots of people hoping to get prosperous, by investing in digital assets like GIFs and artworks — some of which offer for tens of millions, like the digital art Everydays: the Initial 5,000 Days by American artist Beeple, which sold for $69.3 million U.S. in 2021. The engineering has also been criticized for its harmful environmental effect.

But buyers and stars are not the only types investing in the technology or the cryptocurrencies that blockchain enables.

In B.C., Indigenous artists are leveraging blockchain to secure their art, even though researchers are learning how the technological know-how can better protect personalized overall health facts.

Indigenous NFT artwork

In an airy studio in Burnaby, B.C., artist David Fierro of the Okanagan Nation creates drums using traditional hides, like all those of elk, and acrylic paint that would seem to arrive alive less than black light.

But the drums, element of the 400 Drums task, aren’t made to be offered as they are. The moment carried out, the instrument is photographed and offered as a non-fungible token or NFT.

An NFT is a digital asset that generally exists on the Ethereum blockchain, and stores unique facts that includes a document of ownership and transactions. NFTs cannot be replicated, and contrary to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, each and every NFT has a unique benefit.

That unique nature is one of the factors NFTs appeal to Indigenous artists like Fierro, as the theft, replication and profits of inauthentic Indigenous artwork stays a major difficulty, even at major galleries.

Indigenous artist David Fierro of the Okanagan Country creates these handmade drums, which are photographed and turned into NFTs. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The skill to file and validate the authenticity of an artwork through blockchain is also interesting to Tamara Goddard, Fierro’s enterprise husband or wife. Goddard is the head of 400 Drums, a marketing campaign supporting Indigenous creators harnessing on the web platforms to share teachings and tales.

Fierro and Goddard strategy to promote the NFTs on the OpenSea platform for 1 ether — the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain — which is roughly equal to $4,200.

The cash will support initiatives for Indigenous youth and artists, which include media schooling and workshops for setting up their very own NFT jobs.

“Our art is our worth, our art is our authorized culture. We feel that as Indigenous peoples, we require to enter this area to preserve the authentic mother nature of art as a price, artwork as revenue,” stated Goddard, who is of the Saulteau 1st Country.

“It is a pretty superior match for us due to the fact we imagine that the NFT, even however it really is a electronic asset that you are holding, will choose on a financial price and grow in benefit as does all of our Indigenous art.”

Securing overall health info

At the University of British Columbia’s faculty of information, investigation is also being executed on how the engineering can help shield wellbeing data.

Victoria Lemieux, associate professor of archival science and one particular of the couple of gals in the environment leading a analysis lab centered on blockchain, is working on a “private well being wallet,” where overall health info is securely saved on a person’s smartphone working with blockchain.

Victoria Lemieux is researching how blockchain know-how could be made use of to protected particular health data on a smartphone. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The know-how, she states, is additional secure than present-day info systems because it does not rely on common safety measures like passwords, and it decentralizes information unlike shared third-social gathering services like the cloud.

This implies information on the blockchain is significantly less susceptible to hackers that may well want to check out or adjust any of that details, she claims.

“They are not getting accessibility to this massive pool of knowledge that they can maintain for ransom,” she reported. “They have to do the job harder to get more compact bits of info.”

The health and fitness wallet she’s doing the job on will allow for men and women to share well being data with a medical professional securely and efficiently, she suggests, and enable people to retain their facts from staying utilised for investigate uses.

“If you have experienced, for illustration, some type of a transplant, you’ll have several distinct health professionals, you can expect to have pharmacists and so on. All of that info requires to be introduced with each other to help the care team seem after you efficiently, but it’s really siloed ideal now,” she reported.

“It truly is all element of this trend to empower people today to manage their details, take electricity absent from platforms that have tended to hoover up our info devoid of inquiring.”