US insurance companies to test a blockchain platform

Two US health insurance giants partner up to test a new blockchain pilot to improve healthcare system in USA
04 April 2018   329

Storing data is always expensive and presents a lot of issues with security. And blockchain has presented a new way to do it with less expense and hassle. Now American insurance companies want to try it out and see, if they will benefit from new technology in any way.

The biggest players in US health insurance sector are UnitedHealth Group and Humana. Together with UnitedHealth Group's subsidiary Optum they have partnered with Quest Diagnostics and MultiPan to test out a new blockchain pilot for the sector.

According to the press release published by UnitedHealth Group on April 2, 2018, the goal of the project is to see if sharing data between health insurance providers through blockchain will help people get faster access to care, streamline administrative work and improve data accuracy.

But the main issue to be corrected by the implementation of blockchain in such a way is the cost of data storage and maintenance. Right now it costs insurance companies about 2 billion dollars a year just to maintain the records and compile them with the separate copies, stored by hospitals and other parties in the business when differences arise.

Hopefully it will also reduce the cost of the services for the customers, but it's unclear as of now, because the project is just a pilot to test out the feasibility of blockchain in such a task. But more accurate information about the patient is essential to providing the best possible treatment, on this all the parties agree unequivocally.

US Congressman to Call for Crypto Ban

As reported, Brad Sherman has called for a blanket ban on cryptocurrency buying
19 July 2018   77

American authorities should ban cryptocurrencies and mining. Such a statement on was made by Congressman Brad Sherman during the hearings of the Committee on Financial Services at the US House of Representatives, CoinDesk reports.

According to Sherman, in the future, cryptocurrencies may become a form of money, but at the moment they are used either by rogue states to bypass American sanctions or by individuals to evade taxes.

We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies.
 

Brad Sherman

Congressman, US

At the same time, Norbert Mitchel, director of the Data Analysis Center of the Heritage Foundation, noted that the possible use of crypto-currency for criminal purposes should not stain other possibilities of digital currencies.

Yes it is true that criminals have used bitcoin, but it's also true that criminals have used airplanes, computers and automobiles. We shouldn't criminalize any of those instruments simply because criminals used them. Those components I believe are the main barriers to widespread adoption in the U.S.
 

Norbert Mitchel

Director of the Data Analysis Center, Heritage Foundation

As Eswar Prasad, senior professor at Cornell University, said, the existence of cryptocurrencies had the potential to impact the financial services system, particularly the payments system, in positive ways.