Issue #16
Beyond Blocks
A weekly blockchain and healthcare newsletter highlighting important ideas and updates

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Blockchain in healthcare updates
US Health IT Provider HMS Partners With Blockchain Startup Solve.Care

BurstIQ Signs Strategic Partnership with International Trade Administration (ITA) to Support Blockchain Healthcare and FinTech Initiatives

South Korean Hospital to Create Blockchain Medical Data Management Platform
This time Gil Medical Centre partnered with the JV of Bitfury and Insilico to create a health data management solution for the storage and management of medical data.

South Korea is moving ahead with several blockchain in healthcare projects, a few weeks ago Seoul Medical Center launched their own project, if any of my followers have insight into the Asian blockchain in healthcare scene I would love to chat.

FDA Approves Rymedi's Blockchain Supply Chain and IoT Pilot
To have the FDA actively engage with blockchain startups is a big deal! Congratulations to the Rymedi team and their partners.

A few other blockchain projects applied to be a part of the same FDA project, and I suspect we'll see one or two similar press releases in the coming weeks.

Solve.Care's webinar on their equity round
Solve.Care has announced it is raising a round of equity fundraising and picked a partner in this process. I think this is a great time to talk about the tensions between equity and tokens.

This equity fundraising round comes after Solve.Care had one of the only successful healthcare ICOs in the past year, reportedly garnering $20m. Solve.Care's CARE token is listed and trading on a few exchanges, and though it is still down ~40% from listing it has done (relatively) well compared to its peers. To the extent that we can ever explain crypto-markets, you could probably attribute this to sustained announcements by the Solve team. And we should give credit where it is due, they're getting work done in a bear market.

But I think it is a bad idea to raise an equity round after an ICO. Holders of equity and holders of tokens have diverging interests, and given that token holders have next to no rights, token holders will likely will lose out if the company has to make a decision to prioritize one or the other. Raising venture capital funds only exacerbates this problem by creating pressure to generate venture sized returns.

For example, many blockchain companies offer a specific service (e.g health data marketplaces, track and trace, etc) and have created their own token as a method of payment for that service. But if these services are run by a for-profit company that company has a mandate to maximize shareholder value. Given the relatively light adoption of cryptocurrency to date, it would make sense for a blockchain company to accept dollars for their services in order to make them accessible to a broader audience thus generate more cashflow. But, in doing so they would be severely reducing the value proposition of their token, namely, that you would need to buy their token in order to use its services (thus generating demand for the token.) There are several projects to date that have done this exact bait and switch.

There are a few ways you could remedy these diverging incentives. You could give token holders explicit and stronger rights, like a share in the profits that are generated by the company that held an ICO, or perhaps legally bind the relevant company to only accept a token for their services. Another route would be to host and govern an ICO under a nonprofit, like what Ethereum, Tezos, and a few others have done, in order to remove any need to generate revenue. Lastly and most interesting to me, you could design the token to be useful in a way that dollars never could be.  

I actually asked Solve.Care’s CEO about how they planned to address these diverging interests on their latest webinar. Though I didn’t agree with him, he elected to answer to my question, you can hear that answer here

What I'm reading this weekend
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