The digital currency era began with the introduction of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has gained wide spread acceptance in the past few years. The technology powering bitcoin, better known as Blockchain technology has gained a lot of attention in the recent days due to its potential uses. Blockchain is a secure, transparent ledger that records all transactions occurring over the Bitcoin Network. Developers and researchers have found various other applications of Blockchain. Apart from being used as a ledger for cryptocurrencies, it can also be adopted to record and manage other forms of data as well.
The use of Blockchain in creating various applications that does not necessarily deal with the financial aspect of bitcoin has got its own name now. It is called Bitcoin 2.0 and there are various startups and individuals who have already created and launched such applications for use in diverse range of fields. Some of the notable applications are in banking, finance, intellectual property, medical records management, scientific research and more. Blockchain technology holds a lot of potential in scientific research. It can used for laboratory data management, powering scientific computing, ,managing patents and other IP related to research, publishing research journals and more.
There are a handful of such Blockchain based applications for use in scientific research and related applications. Here let us take a look at few such Bitcoin 2.0 applications.
A project started in one of the Blockchain University programs, Astroblocks is a Blockchain based laboratory notebook application platform. Developed by Dr. Jeff Flowers and Yvonne Tang, this application allows researchers to make notes of there observations, sharing it with the team or reviewers etc.
FoldingCoin is a project by the Stanford’s Folding@home initiative. It is a crypto-coin created to incentivize people to contribute the unused processing power from their computers to run complex protein folding experiments. The protein folding data is then analyzed and results are utilized to discover drugs and cure for life threatening diseases. Contributors towards the project will receive FoldingCoins, proportional to the amount of processing power donated to the project. FoldingCoin is built on Counterparty Protocol and it can later be donated or exchanged for any other digital currency built over the same protocol.
Ledger is the first bitcoin only journal launched recently by the University of Pittsburgh. Currently this academic journal is confined only to articles, research papers, reviews related to cryptocurrency research. The purview of this journal includes peer-reviewed materials related to technical, social, economic and philosophical developments in the field of cryptocurrency. Ledger has opened the doors to new-age academic publishing and we might soon see well known journals like the Cell, the Lancet, and British Medical Journal etc. following the suit.
While these applications are just the tip of an iceberg, we can expect many more applications of this kind in the near future.