Blockchain in Healthcare – The “Future Workshop” by Jens Spahn

The Federal Ministry of Health is looking for meaningful applications for blockchain technology. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn launched an ideas competition at the end of October. Participants can still submit their proposals until 10 December on how the new technology can improve the German healthcare system.

One of the most legendary quotes from former chancellor Helmut Schmidt is that those who have visions should go to the doctor. Anyone with visions of how to revolutionise doctor visits can turn to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). With an ideas competition, the Federal Ministry of Health is looking for blockchain-based concepts to make the German healthcare system fit for the future.

The Bitcoin revolution task is kept very open:

“Solutions are sought for applications in the German healthcare system”. As examples of potential areas of application for the Bitcoin revolution blockchain, the Ministry mentions to onlinebetrug legal and identity management, declarations of consent and the organ and tissue donation register.

“Blockchain: […] Everyone is talking about it – but it is often difficult to find concrete applications, especially beyond Bitcoin”,

Spahn said in the announcement video for the ideas competition, in which he calls on (adult) individuals, teams, universities, start-ups, companies – in short: anyone involved in blockchain technology – to support the Ministry in this search.

Participants can submit their proposals to an independent, interdisciplinary panel of experts by 10 December. The experts will then evaluate the concepts according to their relevance for the German healthcare system, their sustainability, interoperability and data security. The best projects will receive an invitation to the Ministry’s “Future Workshop” on 27 February 2019. There, the winners of the preselection can present their projects to the panel of experts, which then selects the winners. The winners will receive prize money totalling 30,000 euros. The first prize will be 15,000 euros, the second and third prizes 10,000 and 5,000 euros respectively. The closing date for entries is 10 December 2018.

Sparse details on the Future Bitcoin revolution Workshop

Further details about the “Zukunftswerkstatt” are not yet known. “Information will follow” is the title of the corresponding FAQ under the item “What happens at the Bitcoin revolution Future Workshop? In June, Spahn was still sceptical about blockchain technology, but recognized the need for action in the area of digitizing the healthcare system: “We have to move faster than before,” he stated at the Cube Tech Fair in Berlin.

There was “a lot of talk and few concrete applications,” Spahn said at the time. A step towards concrete applications has already been taken with the announcement of the Zukunftswerkstatt. However, it is not without a certain irony if one mocks oneself about the sluggish blockchain adaptation on the one hand and on the other hand does not provide more detailed information about the “Future Workshop” program even after just one month.

Index fund for crypto currencies: Better investment than Bitcoins?

Willy Woo, the New Zealander who has been financing various start-ups for 15 years, is enthusiastic about the new possibilities of crypto currencies. In his contribution, he deals with the question of whether crypto currency index funds could beat Bitcoin.

Woo simulated investments in Altcoins to examine their developments over time. This could be used to determine whether an investment in the general fund of crypto currencies would make more sense as a passive investment strategy than direct Bitcoin trading.

Explanation: Index funds are passive investment strategies that invest passively in an entire market. An index fund on the S&P 500, for example, would buy all S&P 500 shares. The opposite of index funds are actively managed funds in which managers make decisions about which investments to buy and which investments to sell.

The Bitcoin secret

For his study about the Bitcoin secret, Woo simulated the investments from October 2013 until today, i.e. over a period of three years. Read more about it on

The very long observation period for crypto currencies is particularly interesting because the bubble from 2013 and the bear market from 2014/15 were also taken into account.

Woo invested fictitiously in the ten most important crypto currencies for the study. Every 30 days he updated the list of crypto currencies, included additions and did not look at other currencies any further.

The result of cryptosoft

Woo played through various cryptosoft scenarios in which he included different Altcoins in the fictitious fund. Overview of the cryptosoft results:

Bitcoin vs. Top 10 Altcoins (measured by market capitalisation share)
Bitcoins outperformed the Altcoin portfolio by a factor of 3.8. Woo attributes this to the very divergent market sentiment: While the Altcoins even performed much better in the 2013 bubble, they lost enormously as a result and fell significantly below the portfolio result.

Bitcoin vs. Top 20 Altcoins (measured by share of market capitalisation)
Had the 20 strongest Altcoins been included in the portfolio, Woo says that their performance would have been almost identical.

Bitcoin vs. Top 11-20 Altcoins (measured by market capitalisation share)
Those who had selected the Altcoins with the highest market capitalisation in places eleven to 21 could be pleased about a significantly better result after the simulation: While the profit ratio of the Top 10 or Top 20 Altcoins was about 4.6 (BTC) to 1.2 (Altcoin), this strategy achieved a result of 4.6 (BTC) to 3.6 (Altcoin).

The idea behind this strategy is to look at Altcoins with particular growth potential and remove them from the portfolio as soon as they have passed the growth phase and are among the ten largest.

Woo considered this portfolio to be particularly promising because it was able to hold its own in the bear market and generated strong profits in the bull market. In the end, however, the Bitcoin investment won.

Bitcoin vs. Top 20 Altcoins, capped (investments by market capitalisation share)
Woo has also created another portfolio from the Top20 Altcoins, with the currencies being bought pro rata according to their share of the total market capitalisation. At the same time, one coin may account for a maximum of 25% of the investment, thus avoiding centralisation.

The result was significantly worse than that of the other strategies: 0.82 (Altcoin) to 4.6 (BTC) was the figure at the end of the simulation.

Bitcoin vs. Top 20 Altcoins (equal shares)
In order to achieve broader diversification, this strategy looked at the top 20 Altcoins, each with the same share of the total investment. The result, however, marks the taillight: with 0.64 (Altcoin) to 4.6 (Bitcoin), this was by far the worst result.

Summary: Is the Bitcoin unbeatable?
After his investment simulation, Woo comes to the conclusion that it is difficult to beat the Bitcoin with index funds. With the current situation on the Altcoin market, this is almost impossible, because the Bitcoin is siginificantly underperformed and the portfolio of several Altcoins is much more volatile.

He also criticizes the hypes in the world of crypto currencies: Many startups are strongly overestimated and shitcoins are overestimated. While there are strict regulations for IPOs, the issuing of an old coin is not really tied to special regulations. However, according to Woo, we will see many crypto investments in 2017. It would make more sense to use a fund strategy, he explains, despite the above results.

EU ministerial meeting in Vienna – Belgian think-tank Bruegel advises common set of rules

On Friday and Saturday, 7 and 8 September, the EU finance ministers will meet for an informal meeting in Vienna. Among other things, the legal handling of crypto currencies will be on the agenda. The Belgian think tank Bruegel is now calling on the ministers to push ahead with the joint regulation of the cryptosector. They could, for example, target mining farms or trading platforms in order to dispel misgivings about tax evasion and money laundering in the crypto-currency environment.

However, there is no immediate pressure to act against the Bitcoin loophole

If the EU finance ministers weigh up the opportunities and risks of Bitcoin loophole this weekend at their first meeting under the Austrian Council Presidency in Vienna, the Belgian think tank Bruegel advises the ministers to adopt a clear position in a consultation document. Read about it here:

There was a need for common standards and a common set of rules for the crypto trade and initial coin offerings (ICOs). This clear message emerges from a consultation paper for ministers, which is available to Reuters.

The document states that it is “impossible” these days to regulate crypto currencies such as Bitcoin itself. But the control of activities in this sector is possible, for example, through stricter rules or even bans on mining farms. Asian countries, for example, which pursue similar strategies, could have achieved great successes.

As has already happened in China, mining farms could be banned by the news spy

Furthermore, European legislators could in future target stock exchanges and trading platforms in order to gain more control and an overview of the news spy. As the document further states, such supervision could become necessary especially in light of the planned settlement of the news spy Chinese cryptory Binance in Malta.

At present, however, the ball is in the court of the respective ministers. The stock exchange control is still subject to the official authority of the member states. Existing European initiatives such as the Anti-Money Laundering Directive are unlikely to take effect until 2020.

VAT and Bitcoin: The Ministry of Economic Affairs takes a position

As a representative of the Federal Government, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has filed a petition concerning a case pending before the European Court of Justice. Therein the Federal Government refers regarding a future turnover taxation of Bitcoin purchase and sales for the first time a clear position. The Federal association Bitcoin e.V. received from David Hedqvist insight into the documents. We publish the submission and allow ourselves a comment.

Background of the Bitcoin revolution

Swedish Bitcoin entrepreneur David Helqvist intended to buy and sell Bitcoins commercially. In order to clarify whether he would have to charge VAT on the fee he charged to his users in addition to the purchase price of the Bitcoin revolution, he made a binding request to the local tax authorities. In the course of the proceedings, the Swedish judges responsible for the question asked the European Court of Justice for a fundamental answer on this controversial and new issue. In addition to the question of the VAT status of the fee imposed on Mr Helqvist, they raised the question of the treatment of the Bitcoin revolution purchase and sale of Bitcoins as such.

At the European level, it has by no means yet been clarified whether Bitcoins may go from hand to hand like normal money without paying turnover tax. Should it come to the application of the value added tax on the purchase and sales of Bitcoins, the consequences for Bitcoin users in Europe would be serious. A trader who allows himself to be paid in Bitcoins first pays VAT on his service or product to the tax office. As soon as he then sells the Bitcoins or buys new goods with them, he would again be liable to VAT. Paying with Bitcoins would almost double the value added tax. Bitcoin as a means of payment would therefore be very difficult or even impossible to use in a regular business operation in Europe.

Contents of the Bitcoin loophole

In its reply, the Federal Government rejects all attempts to apply the existing laws analogously to turnover with Bitcoin. It does not consider the exceptions for securities, bonds or money applicable. The submission gives the impression that the responsible employees of the Ministry of Economic Affairs have worked with a focus on legal Bitcoin loophole details and underestimate the political significance of such a regulation.

Bitcoin no money
First, they exclude the comparability of Bitcoin with money. Point 31 is particularly interesting:

In the case of legal tender, the state uses its sovereign task to determine and organise the currency of the state within the monetary constitution and to prescribe it as a means of payment.

Money in the sense of the Ministry of Economic Affairs is only what the state declares as such in its sovereign task.

Bitcoin no claim
The Ministry of Economic Affairs also excludes the definition of Bitcoin as a requirement. According to the exact wording of the law, this is perfectly understandable. However, Bitcoins are de facto treated as a claim, albeit not against a third party, but against a decentralised network. The “ownership” of Bitcoins is nothing other than the demand against the network to be allowed to send a certain number of Bitcoins within the network to any address at any time. No special creativity is required to recognise the similarity of Bitcoin to the financial instruments listed under letter d..

Bitcoin not a security
The Federal Government rejects an exemption from value added tax in accordance with letter f. This is what point 53 states:

On the contrary, Bitcoins are a virtual exchange unit which enables a person to purchase goods or services offered in Bitcoin. …] Bitcoins are therefore not primarily directed towards a payment in cash, but towards a contribution in kind.

The definition of an alleged “intended use” of Bitcoin is a creative construct of the Federal Government. Bitcoin was invented and defined without any purpose and can be used by any user as he sees fit. Whether they are buying goods or services, speculating or simply saving money, all these uses are at least equally possible with Bitcoin. Bitcoin is used de facto just like money.

The blockchain as an instrument of development aid

In developing countries there is often a lack of sufficiently functioning and public steering units or institutions. At the same time, a large part of the population, often up to 80%, works in the informal sector. The informal sector, or as one would colloquially say in German the black market, forms the economic basis of entire national economies. Accordingly, there is no central state control and taxation. The supposedly chaotic economic systems control themselves endogenously, i.e. out of themselves, and are not, like industrial nations, controlled by institutions and authorities. So practically everywhere there is a lack of central institutional actors. This is precisely where decentralized structures pay off, as they enable interaction within the economic network.

So the question is which solutions the blockchain technology can offer the news spy?

The political system in developing countries is often very unstable and has little to do with the news spy. Corruption is often enormous and the recruitment of political elites is highly opaque. For example, it is doubtful that elections, if there are any, are conducted in the right way. If, however, the news spy elections were now organized via a blockchain, i.e. blockchain voting, the political system could benefit from a higher degree of transparent democracy.

Another example of blockchain application can be found in public administration. This is often very poorly developed in developing countries in terms of efficiency. Moreover, there is often a lot of corruption, which is caused not only by low wages, but also by a lack of transparency and the quality of the institutions. Block-chain optimisation can be achieved here above all in the area of registration. With the help of the blockchain, land register entries or other types of registration could be made. Bribery and nepotism could be reduced by increasing the transparency and the cryptographic programming of the blockchain.

Several application areas are conceivable in the Bitcoin secret

In principle, there are application examples everywhere where the distribution and recording of the Bitcoin secret is concerned. Regardless of whether you capture voters’ votes, enter a house purchase or purchase computing power for applications and data, it is all about interfaces and their correct capture. This logic, in particular that of the registration function and that of the decentralization of the block chain, can be transferred to many other areas says onlinebetrug.

For example, intelligent and decentralized power systems (so-called Smart Grids) can be used with the help of the blockchain. After all, in many countries there is a lack of a constant public electricity supply, so that people have to produce a large part of the electricity via gasoline-powered generators. In combination with solar cells, for example, a blockchain network could ensure that a decentralised electricity market is established, completely detached from the otherwise poorly functioning public electricity supply.

It would also be conceivable to control and distribute water and gas resources via the blockchain. Here, too, developing countries would benefit disproportionately compared to industrial nations, since the performance of utilities is often inadequate.

Development aid must also start in the financial sector
Furthermore, many developing countries lack a stable currency. Digital currencies can guarantee the necessary stability for companies and consumers, which is being robbed by the lack of monetary stability (primarily inflation). Countries struggling with a sharp depreciation of their own national currency against other currencies could use digital currencies to secure their imports, at least in part, even in difficult times.

Moreover, people in developing countries often have no access to banking services and no bank account. With the help of digital currencies, people would have the opportunity to shop on the Internet, which was previously hardly possible without a bank account and credit card. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin could ensure that these access restrictions are abolished for many people in developing countries. Access to the global trade and financial markets would thus be available to a larger part of the world’s population.

Accordingly, access to credit is difficult for many people in developing countries. A decentralised credit system, which may also be based on digital currencies, could provide people with better access to (micro-) loans and investments.

Consensus vs. government – Why Bitcoin is not a democracy

With Bitcoin not only a digital means of payment was invented, but also a new mechanism for the leadership of society manifests itself in the protocol: the consensus. What is the difference between consensus and democracy? What are the effects on government and society?

Over the past 200 years, the ideal of democracy has moved to the center of society – democracy as the apotheosis of society. Accordingly, decisions must be taken democratically in order to claim legitimacy. Abstractly speaking, the majority subjects the minority to a democratic decision. Democracy is a form of government.

Bitcoin turns the cryptosoft system upside down

At cryptosoft conferences you hear again and again “democratization of X” as the goal of the digital revolution 2.0. But let’s remember back: this revolution 2.0 was kicked off by Bitcoin – the decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The fundamental peculiarity of Bitcoin is its cryptosoft leadership.

This is where the difference between government and governance becomes clear: the government is the authority that determines the course; in return, the leadership is the process by which something is decided.

We already know that in Bitcoin there is no central authority, no government to make decisions. That’s not a bug – it’s a feature. The absence of a ruling authority leads to a unique leadership mechanism: consensus.

While in a democracy the majority determines the minority, in a consensus everyone determines himself. Participants only have decision-making power over themselves and their property. This means that in Bitcoin it is not the majority that decides – but everyone, everyone, who decides about themselves. Whoever participates in the network implicitly agrees to the rules. Everyone agrees on these rules. All interaction is based on a voluntary basis.

Decisions on the crypto trader

The example of block scaling demonstrates the consensus principle by onlinebetrug: In 2016 and 2017, one question dominated the Bitcoin world: How should Bitcoin scale to a global means of crypto trader payment? The answers were as varied as they were contradictory. Two camps pulling in opposite directions – “Larger blocks”. – No, SegWit! A hopeless dilemma? After all, there is no instance that says where it is going. The status quo is maintained. But that was not the end of the story.

After several years of debate, the Bitcoin protocol showed its true strength. Instead of imposing something on one camp or another, there is a third option in Bitcoin country. In the words of Dora the Explorer: “Por que no los dos? (Engl. “Why not just both?”). In fact, this was the solution to the conflict. The Bitcoin Unlimited team forged the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin Cash implements the proposed larger blocks. Bitcoin, on the other hand, activated SegWit and implemented a different approach to the scaling issue.

All users could and can decide for themselves. If you want larger blocks, you sell your Bitcoin for Bitcoin Cash; if you want SegWit, you sell your Bitcoin Cash for Bitcoin; undecided people don’t have to do anything. Whether you want to use Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash (or neither) is up to you. Essential: All decisions are voluntary.

Hard forks instead of majority decisions
In a democracy, the majority must be united in order to make a legitimate decision. In consensus, this condition is drastically tightened: everyone must agree on this. If there are differences of opinion, the paths fork. This is called a hard fork. Then there are two networks that are incompatible with each other. Within the systems, however, there is still a consensus.

The power of consensus is evident here. It tolerates a plurality of opinions and everyone can live them out. Where in a democracy only one variant can win and be implemented (Trump or Clinton? German Mark or Euro?), the consensus model allows everyone his ideal world. Whether larger blocks or Lightning are the right way to scale or not, time shows us. We will see, because both approaches exist.

So Bitcoin is not a democracy. Although there is no government, there is leadership. By participating, everyone implicitly agrees to the consensus rules. Decisions are made by all participants. Everyone decides for themselves. Suggestions for improvement are discussed in the community. Ultimately, everyone can take the helm and “forke” the computer code – that is, realize their own ideals. How many people are interested in the Hard Fo

Prediction of crypto courses using Monte Carlo simulation

How will the price of a crypto currency develop in the future? Of course we do not all have a glass sphere, but on the basis of statistical models it is possible to estimate the extent to which price changes can be expected. The Monte Carlo simulation is presented here as one of these models.

How will Bitcoin behave in 2018?

This is a question that many people are asking and which is often addressed to BTC-ECHO. The Internet is also full of forecasts on how Bitcoin and other crypto currencies should behave within a certain period of time. In the case of Bitcoin, the range goes from zero to one million euros.

But the sobering truth is, to put it in the words of Mark Hanna: Nobody knows if a stock is going to go up, down, sideways or in circles. Nobody can say with 100% certainty where the price will be tomorrow, next week or a year from now.

Assessments are, of course, another issue. As was recently explained, the aim of technical analysis is to arrive at a well-founded assessment of future developments and a trading strategy on the basis of past price movements – not to predict the price.

Especially for long-term price developments, methods exist in the financial world to estimate further price developments. These methods are also used to estimate the probability with which a price forecast applies. This is done using statistical tools, which will be presented in this article. I have also developed a small web application myself, which I will discuss in more detail later.

Goals for 2018: Sidechains, IPFS, Dapp SDK

2018 and onwards, Ethereum Classic is going about a lot. This year alone it is planned to support sidechains, which can relieve the main chain a bit similar to Lisk. The Interplanetary File System should be supported and a Standard Development Kit for developers of decentralized applications should be published. The entire roadmap can be found on the Ethereum Classic website.

The development team has set itself some interesting goals. It will be exciting to see if these goals are actually achieved. At the latest when this is the case, the crypto currency should think about a rebranding in order not to be considered as “something with ethereum” all the time.