Why does the pharmaceutical industry need blockchain?

Maciej Zieliński

05 Jun 2020
Why does the pharmaceutical industry need blockchain?

How does blockchain help us to solve the problems faced by the modern health care? In an interview with Nextrope Muffie Fulton, Sr. Director of Pharma Solutions at Chronicled, an American company behind MediLedger, explains why the use of this technology is a breakthrough in medicine distribution.

Launched in 2017, MediLedger is building a decentralised and configurable drug supply chain management system based on blockchain technology. It introduces innovative solutions for regulating product traceability and controlling all processes related to the supply chain.

Medi Ledger brings together leading players in the pharmaceutical industry to form an industry-wide network of permissioned blockchains based on open standards and specifications. It has been developed to give pharmaceutical partners the opportunity to keep pace with rapidly changing regulations and to find better ways to cooperate within a common ecosystem.

Why do you think the pharmaceutical industry needs Blockchain technology and how is it superior to current solutions?

Two of the biggest concerns in the health care are safety and privacy. Patient and drug safety are always top of mind, and the need to secure the drug supply chain is paramount.
Data privacy is important for individual patients, but it is also very important for companies. Companies need to ensure their internal data and business intelligence data remain secure, while needing to share certain pieces of data with their trading partners.
Blockchain as a component in a private, permissioned, industry wide network is a great tool to allow companies to share information in a directed, confidential manner.
Shared, yet confidential, industry master data has the power to dramaticall improve the efficiency of many processes including supply chain, finance, procurement, and clinical trials.

Do you think that in the near future the demand for solutions enabling tracking drug supply chains will increase?

Certainly. Companies are implementing different pieces of the Drug Supply Chain Securities Act and are seeing the value of visibility. In addition, companies want to get more value out of regulatory driven implementations. We get requests daily from people and companies who want to build on the functionality from product verification to do everything from temperaturę tracking to dispeners who want to start verifying druges even before the DSCSA deadline because they see the business value. Also, as we near the deadlines for the full DSCSA confidential change of ownership requirements in 2023, patients will begin to learn about the fact that the drug supply chain is being more closely monitored and will want to share in that visibility. Right now they can see what step of the supply their book is in while it’s being delivered to tchem, and they are going to expect to have that same level of visibility for something as important as their medicines.

How do Chronicled solutions protect consumers and producers from counterfeit and diversion?

Our Product Verification Solution connects distributors and manufacturers, allowing distributors to scan the barcode on a pharmaceutical and the manufacturer can respond in under a second, verifying that the product identifiers are the same as the manufacturer created. If there i sany discrepancy, the distributor is able to isolate the product and notify the manufacturer. This helps to identify counterfeit product in the supply chain and eliminate it.

In your opinion, which business models can benefit the most from blockchian implementation?

Any business that is data intensive and trade intensive will benefit from blockchain, especially where privacy and interdependent processes within the industry are paramount.

What are the biggest challenges while developing a Blockchain products?

In pharma, one of the biggest challenges is the understanding of blockchain as a technology and the willingness to implement a solution that is seen as unproven. This is changing quickly, as many large companies now have innovation groups, or even specific blockchain groups, within their IT departments. In addition, companies are starting to understand that blockchain is simply a tool which opens up a world of possibilities in solving business problems.

Do you have any advice to entrepreneurs just starting in the Blockchain industry.

Focus on solutions to real business problems, and not the shiny new technology.

What is your vision for Blockchain development as an industry in the next 5 years?

We foresee industry wide alignment and the next phase of ERP becoming IRP, Industry Resource Planning. With the ability to strategically share confidential data, get alignment on and enforcement of business rules across the industry, and having the ability to have an entire industry in a shared yet private network, frictionless trade will result in efficiencies and savings for business and patients.

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What is Account Abstraction?

Karolina

10 Nov 2023
What is Account Abstraction?

Account abstraction is a new way of thinking about how users interact with blockchains. Instead of using traditional externally owned accounts (EOAs), account abstraction allows users to create and manage their accounts using smart contracts. This has a number of potential benefits, including improved security, enhanced privacy, and increased flexibility.

What is account abstraction?

Account abstraction is a concept that, at its core, aims to simplify the user's interaction with blockchain networks. It is a transformative approach that seeks to mask the technicalities of blockchain operations from end-users. It is making transactions as straightforward as sending an email. Account Abstr. allows users to interact with the blockchain without worrying about the underlying technical details.

How does account abstraction differ from the traditional model?

In the traditional account model, each user has an EOA. EOAs are controlled by private keys, which must be kept secret in order to protect the user's funds. Acc. abstraction allows users to create and manage their accounts using smart contracts.

Historical Context

The journey towards acc. abstraction began with the first generation of blockchain technologies, characterized by their "one-size-fits-all" approach to account management. Bitcoin, for instance, introduced the concept of accounts and transactions in a form that was accessible to tech-savvy individuals but remained perplexing to the layperson. Ethereum expanded on this by introducing smart contracts, which opened the door to programmable transactions but did not alter the fundamental account structure. The idea of acc. abstraction has been discussed in the Ethereum community for several years as a part of various Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), particularly as a feature to be potentially implemented in Ethereum 2.0. It is a direct response to the need for a more versatile and user-centric design that can cater to a broader audience and spur the widespread adoption of blockchain technology.

The Technicalities of Account Abstraction

Account abstraction is not merely a theoretical construct but a technical innovation with specific mechanisms underpinning its operation. In essence, it alters the way transactions are initiated and executed within a blockchain network.

How Account Abstraction Works

Under traditional blockchain models, initiating a transaction involves an externally owned account (EOA) signing a transaction with a private key. This transaction is then broadcast to the network for validation and inclusion in the blockchain. Account abstraction, however, replaces this process with a more flexible one. Here, every account is a smart contract, and transactions are messages sent through these contracts. These smart contracts can encode complex rules for transaction validation, beyond what EOAs can do, such as multi-signature requirements or conditional transactions based on certain triggers.

The technical crux of account abstraction lies in the smart contract’s ability to define its own conditions for transaction execution. This means that user accounts can have unique security protocols or automated operations without the user needing to understand the underlying smart contract code.

Hey! Are you interested in the latest technologies in the blockchain area? be sure to read the article 'Top Zero-Knowledge Proof Projects to watch in 2023'

The Benefits of Account Abstraction

The implications of account abstraction are profound, offering a range of benefits that can enhance the blockchain experience for users and developers alike.

Improved User Experience

One of the most significant advantages of account abstraction is the improvement it brings to user experience. By abstracting away the complexities of key management and transaction rules, it presents a more intuitive interface for users.

Enhanced Security Features

Account abstraction also allows for the implementation of advanced security measures. Since each account can define its own logic, users can tailor their security settings to their specific needs. For instance, one might set up an account that requires additional verification for transactions exceeding a certain value or restricts withdrawals to certain addresses.

Future Implications

The future implications of account abstraction are vast. As the technology matures, it could become a standard feature of blockchain networks, potentially making the current distinction between user accounts and smart contracts obsolete. This could lead to a new wave of blockchain applications that are both powerful and accessible, bringing us closer to the vision of blockchain technology as a seamless part of everyday life.

Challenges and Considerations

Technical Limitations

One of the primary technical challenges of Acc. abstraction lies in its integration with existing blockchain protocols. Current networks are optimized for the EOA model, and introducing a new account structure necessitates significant changes to the core protocol. This includes modifications to the way transactions are propagated in the network, how gas fees are calculated, and how the state of the blockchain is managed. Ensuring that these changes do not compromise the network's performance or security requires careful planning and extensive testing.

Compatibility with Current Systems

Another consideration is the compatibility of account abstr. with the vast ecosystem of existing blockchain applications and services. Wallets, exchanges, and other services have been built around the traditional account model. Transitioning to an acc. abstraction model will require these services to update their infrastructure, which may be a complex and resource-intensive process. Furthermore, there is a need for standardization across the industry to ensure that different implementations of account abstr. can work seamlessly together.

Conclusion

Acc. abstraction represents a significant leap forward in the quest for a more user-friendly blockchain experience. By streamlining the transaction process and offering enhanced security features, acc abstraction has the potential to make blockchain technology more accessible to a broader audience. However, the path to widespread adoption is not without its obstacles. Technical challenges and compatibility issues must be carefully navigated to integrate it into the existing blockchain landscape.

Key Takeaways

How to Add Gnosis Chain to MetaMask: A Simple Tutorial

Karolina

03 Nov 2023
How to Add Gnosis Chain to MetaMask: A Simple Tutorial

As the cryptocurrency ecosystem expands, there is an increasing need for various blockchains with distinct capabilities. Gnosis Chain enters the scene, offering a selection of unique characteristics. By integrating Gnosis Chain with MetaMask, users can access a more comprehensive array of decentralized services. We will walk you through the steps to add Gnosis Chain to your MetaMask wallet in this tutorial.

Prerequisites

Setting up MetaMask

Before exploring the integration of Gnosis Chain, it is crucial to have MetaMask installed and operational:

  • Download and Install: If you have not done so already, visit the official website to download and install the MetaMask browser extension.
  • Setup Account: After completing the installation, create your account and make sure to remember the provided seed phrase. This phrase serves as your primary means for account recovery, so keep it secure.
  • Secure Your Account: Protecting your MetaMask account is of utmost importance. Use a robust password and never disclose your seed phrase to anyone.

Gnosis Chain

It is always helpful to have a basic understanding before incorporating any new blockchain into your wallet:

  • Gnosis Chain Overview: Gnosis Chain, a rising star in the blockchain world, brings a range of decentralized solutions to the table, such as prediction markets and decentralized trading platforms.
  • Benefits & Features: Among Gnosis Chain's main selling points are its accelerated transaction speeds and potentially lower fees when compared to congested networks.

Tutorial: How to Add Gnosis Chain to MetaMask

In the top right-hand corner of your browser, you'll find the wallet. If pinned, click on the MetaMask fox icon; if not, click the three dots in the top-right corner. The following screen will appear:

An option to expand the wallet to a new browser page is available by clicking "Expand view:"

This action will launch MetaMask in a new tab:

By clicking on the ‘Ethereum mainnet’ in the top left corner, you can add another network. Click ‘Add Network’

Choose option ‘Add a network manually’

Then, input the information below:

Network Name: Gnosis Chain formerly xDai

RPC URL: https://rpc.gnosischain.com

ChainID: 100

Symbol: XDAI

Block Explorer URL: https://gnosisscan.io

After saving the settings, Gnosis Chain will be added to your network.

The Benefits of Adding Gnosis Chain to MetaMask

With multiple blockchains becoming more common, integrating Gnosis Chain with MetaMask offers numerous advantages:

Expanded Capabilities: Accessing Gnosis Chain through MetaMask opens up a collection of exclusive applications and features inherent to this particular blockchain, which may include unique dapps or cutting-edge financial products.

Diversification: The crypto domain is extensive and constantly growing. By incorporating various chains like Gnosis into MetaMask, you broaden your potential investment opportunities and decentralized application experiences, ensuring no opportunities are missed.

Speed & Cost-Effectiveness: Network congestion and high gas fees on established platforms like Ethereum can discourage many users. Gnosis Chain's architecture has the potential to provide relief through quicker transaction times and more affordable fees.

In summary, as the possibilities within the crypto sphere continue to evolve, tools like MetaMask grant users access to this expanding world. By adding chains like Gnosis, users can stay ahead in this decentralized revolution.

Conclusion

By bridging platforms like Gnosis Chain with accessible tools like MetaMask, individuals not only amplify their engagement with decentralized applications but also fortify their position in this expansive realm. The integration of Gnosis Chain to MetaMask epitomizes the evolution of the crypto landscape – a testament to its ever-growing diversity and potential. As we continue to delve deeper into the decentralized future, tools and integrations like these will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping our digital experiences and opportunities. Whether you're seeking more efficient transactions, diverse dapp interactions, or simply a broader understanding of the crypto ecosystem, this guide's steps open doors to a new horizon. 

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