mediconnect , bnb

MediConnect Secures Partnerships with ASC, BBFA and Participating Pharmacies Ahead of ICO

With these partnerships, MediConnect have taken an important step towards their goal of making the MediConnect blockchain solution the gold standard for UK pharmacies.

Combating addiction and abuse of prescription drugs

MediConnect has announced that they are working with The Addiction Safeguarding Committee (ASC) and British Business Federation Authority (BBFA). The goal of this collaboration is to onboard local pharmacies and prescribers with the aim of preventing the overprescription of prescription drugs. This can lead to addiction and drug abuse and with no solution in place to tackle this problem lives will continue to be affected.

The ASC, based out of the East Midlands, will be piloting the use of MediConnect’s blockchain-based platform to tackle prescription-drug addiction and dependency. Professor Hunt, from the ASC, commented: “We are really excited to be working with local pharmacies and prescribers in the East Midlands from early 2019.”

“Two online pharmacies have joined already and once we have 10, it will enable us to run a feasibility trial to demonstrate the use of a blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the real world,” adding: “This blockchain trial will enable all pharmacies and prescribers who join to have their patient records flagged to prevent multiple prescriptions being dispensed to the same patient – essentially a block on any attempt to prescribe the same drug to the same patient when they don’t need it.”

Providing a gold standard for the drug prescription industry, regulation

MediConnect is also a member of the BBFA, which has been tasked with organising and managing a number of community-specific, collaborative (industry, government, regulators & academia) working groups to support Lord Holmes’ report on DLT for Public Good and his call to action. BBFA has some 23 collaborative working groups operating or starting shortly, including the BBFA Prescription Drug Addiction Working Group (PDA WG).

All the major regulators have been invited to contribute to the PDA WG alongside relevant government experts. With their help, the PDA WG will develop the collaborative requirements based on legal, policy, technological and market drivers, simultaneously taking advantage of developments in the other collaborative WGs.

The human cost of outdated technology

An Evening Standard investigation on Opioid use in the U.K. found that about 200,000 people in the U.K. are said to be problem users. Hospital admissions involving overdoses have almost doubled in a decade with admissions to private detox centres up 30% in two years.

The investigation identifies the overuse of prescription painkiller medication as a “risk to lives and public health” on “the rising tide of dependence and addiction”. It further puts pressure on the regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), saying that “tackling opioid overprescribing has become a healthcare priority.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which is the independent regulator of health and social care in England, in a March 2018 report, “The state of care in independent online primary health services,” found that 43% of online prescribers were “not providing safe care” with some even shut down permanently or temporarily as a result. The report specifically mentions a failure to share information with the patient’s GP, among their criticisms.

The MediConnect solution

Using the Stratis Platform, a Blockchain as a Service platform, MediConnect are building distributed ledger technology to:

  • Prevent the misuse and overprescribing of prescription drugs;
  • Provide information that can assist clinicians and social care practitioners in preventing and reducing drug addiction;
  • Establish drug provenance and traceability through all parts of the supply chain;
  • Streamline the drug recall process, making it more responsive and efficient, thus reducing risk and cost.

MediConnect’s collaboration with the ASC, BBFA and brick-and-mortar and online pharmacies brings the prescription industry one step closer to achieving the technological wherewithal to effectively combat the growing problem of overprescription.

Mediconnect Director and spokesperson Dexter Blackstock announced: “We are delighted to support the industry from day one with our blockchain solution and look forward to seeing the ASC grow and more pharmacies and prescribers benefiting from our solution.”

You can find more details on MediConnect website.

bitcoin news

4 Times More Donation collected in UK Mosque in Crypto Than Fiat

During Ramadan, People from all around the world gave a donation to the mosque using cryptocurrency including one transaction of over £5,200. In UK the Shacklewell Lane Mosque, also known as Masjid Ramadan, in Dalston, East London, has decided to accept cryptocurrencies as charity back in May, as it was reported in a local newspaper. The move has paid off well during the month of Ramadan for the house of prayer as it reportedly collected four time more donations in crypto than fiat. It received £13,983 from cryptocurrency donations, compared with just £3,460 from fiat donations.

Erkin Guney, the Hackney mosque’s chairman, told local news media: “Many people at the mosque and in the world were initially surprised about us accepting this new money, but the fact we received four times more in cryptocurrency donations shows how important it is to be open to these new digital currencies.” He also said that, adding to this: “When the donations started to flow in, we were blown away. We received four times more in cryptocurrency donations than in cash from our local worshippers during Ramadan, and we are still receiving cryptocurrency Sadaqah (donations). Which is amazing and shocking as well!”

Bitcoin Charity donation in which 24 people around the world donated to the mosque using cryptocurrency, including one transaction of over £5,200. The funds are received are used for repairs to the facility, offering shelters and food to needy locals, as well as supporting poor Muslim families with funeral costs. Founder of London-based Islamic finance start-up Combo Innovation Gurmit Singh, advised the mosque on how to support cryptocurrency donations, commented: “I hope other mosques and charities will now follow Masjid Ramadan’s lead to take advantage of this important new revenue stream”. This is one of the examples how the Religion is supporting cryptocurrency community and all other religion, holy places and charitable organizations.


UK / bitcoinnewsboards

UK to launch Cryptocurrency Task Force

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced on Thursday (22nd March 2018) that the government is getting a new cryptocurrency task force designed to make it easier for fintech companies to follow complex regulations.

This cryptocurrency task force will include Britain’s central bank, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), at a time when the digital currency space is facing heightened pressure from governments worldwide seeking more regulation of the decentralized market.

Hammond’s states that this initiative, part of the government’s larger Fintech Sector Strategy will help the UK to manage the risks around Crypto Assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology. He is also set to announce several other measures relating to the fintech sector more broadly, including the next steps in robo-regulation.

Hammond said he wanted to make the U.K. the “most attractive home” for global fintech firms. “Every hour a new tech business is founded in the U.K. and my aim is to make that every half hour,” the minister said at a fintech conference organized by the Treasury, the UK’s finance department, in London. “Our doors will always be open to the innovators and inventors,” he added.

As the global market is injected with a rush of volatility on fears of a potential trade war, Britain’s new fintech strategy also promises to make stronger ties with Australia, including a recently signed agreement that allows British fintech firms to sell products and services in Australia. The deal called a “fintech bridge” intends to expand collaboration on regulation and policies surrounding the fintech sector and will involve regular summits between the two countries’ fintech industry bodies.

For years, the UK government has been broadly supportive of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies despite increasing calls for regulation for the latter. The task force comes at a time of increased scrutiny of cryptocurrencies and calls to regulate the space.

In this regard, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond says: “I am committed to helping the sector grow and flourish, and our ambitious sector strategy sets out how we will ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of the digital revolution. As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around crypto assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology.”


Lloyds bank bans bitcoin purchases on its credit card.

The bitcoin ban, starting today (5th February 2018), applies to Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers.

Bitcoin ended last week down 30% at $8,291.87 – its worst week since April 2013 and far below the $19,000 it reached last November. However, the cryptocurrency is still ahead of the $1,000 it was trading at this time last year.

Police have warned that digital currencies remain popular among criminals as they can use them to evade traditional money laundering checks and other regulations.

Banking group fears cryptocurrencies’ falling value could leave it with huge debt hence issues directives to its credit owners against buying cryptocurrency.

The ban, which comes into effect today across all of the British banking giant’s brands, will mean cryptocurrency exchanges are blacklisted by the bank, preventing customers from taking on debt to buy the volatile assets.

As said by a Lloyds spokesperson, “Across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, we do not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies.”

So, as we know, Britain’s biggest bank has become the first to announce a ban on customers using credit cards to buy Bitcoin amid fears they could run up huge losses.

Lloyds Banking Group will on Monday(today) tell its 9 million credit card customers that it will block any attempts to buy Bitcoin after the digital currency lost more than half its value in just two months.

The ban will not cover debit card transactions but will prevent customers from using credit to speculate on the price of cryptocurrencies amid fears the bubble may be bursting.

Check what this announcement has had an effect on Bitcoin prices:

Other British banks are expected to follow suit over the coming weeks after several of the biggest US banks including JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup all confirmed plans to block attempts to buy digital currencies.

A spokesman for Lloyds said the decision was made to “protect customers” in what is thought to be a pre-emptive move to reduce the risks that come with the volatile cryptocurrency.

The news comes amid growing international concerns about how the increasingly popular cryptocurrencies are being used, with fears some people are using them to launder money.

So, is the future of cryptocurrencies still bright?


Bitcoin, is it adoptive in UK?

Considering the UK to be a financial center globally, especially London, we might wonder that they are quite keen about bitcoin and other digital currencies. Digital currency is, after all, the ultimate example of a finance/technology hybrid. Well, you would be right.

However, anti-money laundering regulations should be updated to include Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the UK Treasury has said. The Metropolitan Police says criminals are using cryptocurrency cash machines to launder money in London. The government’s aim is part of a broader update to the EU rules which are under negotiation. The update, revealed in Parliament last month, would mean that traders would no longer be able to operate anonymously.

The UK has laid down laws relating to cryptocurrencies for:

  • Consumer protection: FCA is the regulator with responsibility for ensuring that financial services are provided in a way that protects consumers and maintains the integrity of the market.
  • Prevention of money laundering: The prevention of money laundering is taken very seriously in the UK and indeed in many countries around the world.
  • Taxation: For once UK businesses were happy to have no regulation. We were told that VAT would most likely be charged on bitcoin service charges, but not bitcoin itself. Therefore an exchange would have to charge VAT on its commission, but not on the bitcoins traded.
  • Foreign regulations: Just because there is so little regulation in the UK, it doesn’t mean that UK businesses aren’t affected by foreign laws. Regulations in the US have a habit of reaching beyond the borders of the 50 states.

The lack of regulation in the UK has caused more problems than opportunities for bitcoin businesses. The biggest problem regarding bitcoin in the UK is– access to UK banking services. In short, there isn’t any. With the regulatory picture unclear, banks consider it too risky to offer bitcoin businesses a bank account.

In jurisdictions around the world, lawmakers and regulators are considering if and how to bring digital currencies under their regulatory frameworks.

Until the inevitable question of regulation is settled, one way or another, digital currency businesses will be unable reach their true potential.