From powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to digital belongings like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it appears to be as while the blockchain technology is everywhere you go.
Blockchain is a decentralized electronic ledger that suppliers and documents info, and is most effective identified for facilitating transactions for electronic currencies this sort of as bitcoin.
It also has numerous people hoping to get prosperous, by investing in digital assets like GIFs and artworks — some of which sell for hundreds of thousands, like the electronic art Everydays: the Initially 5,000 Days by American artist Beeple, which sold for $69.3 million U.S. in 2021. The technologies has also been criticized for its harmful environmental influence.
But traders and celebs 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 artwork, when scientists are researching how the technology can better guard personal well being data.
Indigenous NFT art
In an ethereal studio in Burnaby, B.C., artist David Fierro of the Okanagan Country makes drums using traditional hides, like people of elk, and acrylic paint that appears to come alive below black light-weight.
But the drums, element of the 400 Drums undertaking, aren’t made to be sold as they are. When done, the instrument is photographed and bought as a non-fungible token or NFT.
An NFT is a digital asset that generally exists on the Ethereum blockchain, and stores unique data that includes a report of ownership and transactions. NFTs can’t be replicated, and as opposed to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, each NFT has a unique benefit.
That unique nature is one of the motives NFTs appeal to Indigenous artists like Fierro, as the theft, replication and product sales of inauthentic Indigenous artwork continues to be a key issue, even at main galleries.
The capacity to history and validate the authenticity of an artwork through blockchain is also pleasing to Tamara Goddard, Fierro’s enterprise husband or wife. Goddard is the head of 400 Drums, a campaign supporting Indigenous creators harnessing online platforms to share teachings and stories.
Fierro and Goddard plan to provide the NFTs on the OpenSea platform for 1 ether — the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain — which is approximately equal to $4,200.
The resources will support initiatives for Indigenous youth and artists, together with media schooling and workshops for setting up their individual NFT projects.
“Our art is our price, our art is our lawful culture. We come to feel that as Indigenous peoples, we have to have to enter this place to protect the reliable character of art as a price, artwork as income,” claimed Goddard, who is of the Saulteau Very first Country.
“It really is a incredibly fantastic match for us mainly because we imagine that the NFT, even while it is really a electronic asset that you might be holding, will just take on a monetary benefit and grow in value as does all of our Indigenous art.”
Securing overall health knowledge
At the College of British Columbia’s faculty of info, investigation is also becoming conducted on how the technological innovation can assist protect wellbeing information.
Victoria Lemieux, associate professor of archival science and one particular of the couple females in the entire world leading a investigation lab targeted on blockchain, is doing work on a “private health wallet,” where wellbeing info is securely stored on a person’s smartphone utilizing blockchain.
The technological innovation, she says, is extra protected than existing info systems because it does not depend on usual stability measures like passwords, and it decentralizes information unlike shared third-bash services like the cloud.
This suggests information and facts on the blockchain is fewer susceptible to hackers that may perhaps want to watch or alter any of that details, she claims.
“They are not attaining accessibility to this large pool of facts that they can hold for ransom,” she mentioned. “They have to perform tougher to get smaller bits of info.”
The overall health wallet she’s doing the job on will make it possible for men and women to share health information and facts with a health care provider securely and competently, she claims, and permit people today to retain their info from becoming utilised for exploration reasons.
“If you’ve had, for illustration, some variety of a transplant, you can expect to have several distinct physicians, you can have pharmacists and so on. All of that facts needs to be introduced collectively to assist the treatment staff search immediately after you effectively, but it truly is very siloed appropriate now,” she stated.
“It really is all part of this trend to empower people to control their data, get electrical power away from platforms that have tended to hoover up our data devoid of asking.”