Father of two facing the dire prospect of losing his family forever

After surreptitiously accumulating up $180,000 in debt as a result of his crypto trading activities, a man who admits to being addicted to cryptocurrency trading and who is also a father of two faces the terrifying potential of losing his family for ever.

Reddit user “u/Leather Opposite2135” posted his account on the forum r/relationship advice on February 21. In the post, the user indicated that he began experimenting with trading cryptocurrencies around the year 2021.

Fast forward another two years, and we find him living on the street now, having been booted out of the house by his wife and owing at least $180,000 in debt.

“At first, it was nothing more than a hobby,” said Leather. Since it deals with technology, I thought that aspect of it to be rather fascinating. Joined a number of online communities, including Discord, and after some time, saw a few individuals engaging in bitcoin trading. Afterward, I was instantly hooked.

After just one year, he had already “burned” a total of $50,000 by trading cryptocurrencies, with the majority of the monies lost coming from his software company.

“Fast ahead another year, and it got very awful,” said Leather, adding that his addiction had begun to take root as he began to support his trading via other methods, such as personal loans and credit cards. “Skip forward another year and it became really bad,” added Leather.

“I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I found all kinds of methods to finance it, including acquiring personal loans, credit cards, and lying about all of it,” the speaker says. “I’m sure you’ve heard it before.”

“I gambled on my phone when I went to the restroom, while the kids were asleep, and on my computer when I wasn’t busy working,” the gambler said. “When I wasn’t busy working, I was gambling on my phone.”

Leather said that around three weeks ago he finally told his wife the truth about the debt they owed. His wife did not react well to the news and threatened to divorce him and seize control of the home they shared together.

Since then, he has cut himself off from the cryptocurrency market, given his wife management of their trading accounts, and has been meeting weekly with a gambling addiction counselor. However, he admits that it was initially difficult for him to break the addiction to gambling.

“Emotionally, the first two weeks were a mess for me. I was all over the place. I had to quit something cold turkey that I spent at least ten hours a day doing. While all this was going on, a still little voice on my shoulder kept encouraging me to go look at some charts.

Although Leather Opposite2135 has since removed the original post from Reddit, it is not the first nor the last tale to draw light on the potential consequences of being addicted to trading cryptocurrencies.

Alongside the treatment of addiction to alcohol and narcotics as well as mental health issues, rehabilitation clinics all over the globe have started offering treatment for compulsive behaviors like cryptocurrency trading addiction.

“In a manner similar to gambling, many of them will claim that it interferes with their day-to-day lives, that they spend a great deal of time thinking about it, and that as a consequence, they may also be suffering financial difficulty.”

Dr. Hronis pointed out that addiction to cryptocurrency trading is comparable to that of online gambling since both include a “easy of accessibility” that may be “very harmful for people.”

It is possible to see a person going about their typical day-to-day activities, such as going to work, spending time with family and friends, participating in hobbies, and so on, while at the same time trading alongside those activities. This indicates that a person’s addiction may genuinely progress to a significant level before anybody else in that person’s life becomes aware of it.

“Considering how recently cryptocurrency trading has emerged, I believe that therapy is still playing catch-up to some degree. “While the broad concepts of treating an addiction may undoubtedly be applied here, there are peculiarities with crypto trading that would benefit from being better understood in order to better advise clinical therapies,” Dr. Hronis noted. “There is a lot of room for improvement in this area.”


Tagged : / / / / / /

Rehab Centers Add Services for Crypto Trading Addicts

A high-end rehabilitation facility in Spain has lately begun offering treatment for an addiction to cryptocurrency trading, which is a relatively fresh kind of addiction.

The institution, named “The Balance,” is a Switzerland-founded wellness centre, with its main location situated on the Spanish island of Mallorca along with subsidiaries in London and Zurich.

While it has long treated addictions such as alcohol, narcotics and mental health, it just started providing therapies geared towards fighting crypto trading addiction, according to a report from the BBC.

The Feb. 5 article indicated that one of the center’s customers sought out so that he could “wean off crypto” after apparently pouring in $200,000 worth of transactions per week.

The treatment requires a stay of four weeks and consists of various therapies, massages, and yoga sessions. The bill might be upward of $75,000.

In another area of the globe, Castle Craig Hospital — a Scottish-based addiction rehabilitation clinic treating high-adrenaline crypto traders since 2018 — has seen over 100 clients come in with “dangerous” cryptocurrency issues.

Diamond Rehabilitation, a wellness facility situated in Thailand that began operations in 2019, is one of the establishments in Asia that has launched services devoted to the rehabilitation and treatment of bitcoin addiction.

The business claims it addresses recovery via the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Psychodynamic Theory (PT), as part of its comprehensive, multi-stage strategy to assist traders conquer their addiction.

It is claimed that the ecstatic highs and shattering lows of the fast-paced, 24 hours a day, seven days a week arena of cryptocurrency trading have brought about a genuine need for rehabilitation clinics that provide assistance for those who are addicted to trading.

According to an article published by Family Addiction Specialist and based on statistics regarding gambling disorders, it is estimated that approximately one percent of cryptocurrency traders will develop a severe pathological addiction, while ten percent will experience other problems in addition to a loss of financial capital.

According to a Family Addiction Specialist, one of the symptoms of this addiction is a persistent need to check the prices online, especially in the middle of the night.


Tagged : / / / / / / /

DEVITA Goes Live on Polygon for Equitable Healthcare and Speedy Data Transmission

To maximize healthcare operations and processes through the latest innovations in the non-fungible token (NFT) and decentralized identification (DID) technologies, DEVITA has joined the Polygon network. 

As a blockchain-based health data platform, DEVITA ensures data sovereignty as users’ health records are transmitted, exchanged securely, and stored in a decentralized way. 

Polygon (MATIC), an interoperability layer-2 scale solution for Ethereum-compatible blockchains, improves speed and tackles transaction complexities on blockchain networks using multiple tools.  

By leveraging the Polygon network, DEVITA intends to attain lightning-fast data access and transmission and lower transaction costs. As a result, provide users with personal data management and equitable healthcare. 

Eric Choi, DEVITA’s co-founder, noted:

“From the beginning, it was clear to us that Polygon’s fast transaction speeds and low fees would be indispensable to achieving our goals. Joining the Polygon network marks an important milestone in our journey.”

He added:

“Ultimately, our vision is to create the intersection between blockchain technology and the right to better healthcare because that is what we find meaningful. Polygon’s network, with its capabilities, can be seen as the highway upon which that endeavor truly commences.”

DEVITA also uses an ERC-1155 NFT token (ONE-ID) that renders decentralized data ownership by giving users universal control and access over their encrypted data. 

The polygon network has been making notable strides, given that it is home to at least 130 million addresses and more than 7,000 decentralized apps (dApps). Furthermore, it has processed nearly 1.5 billion transactions.

Polygon is also utilized by leading brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Aave, and OpenSea.

Robinhood, an American financial services company, recently rolled out more crypto offerings, including Polygon, to meet customer requests, Blockchain.News reported.  

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / / / /

The virus killer: How blockchain contributes to the fight against COVID-19

On Jan. 30, the South China Morning Post reported that one of the largest Asian pharmaceutical companies, Zuellig, had launched a blockchain-based system to track the quality of COVID-19 vaccines. Called “eZTracker,” it allows any user to “instantly verify the provenance and authenticity” of vaccines by scanning the QR code on the package. Somewhat surprisingly, throughout the pandemic, there have not been many reports of blockchain-based products adopted by big pharma or global healthcare organizations to bolster the anti-COVID effort. Here is a rundown of the major cases of such adoption, along with possible reasons for the limited interest in blockchain among healthcare officials. 

South Korea: Blockchain vaccine passports

In April 2021, the South Korean government became the first to introduce blockchain-based vaccine passports amid the COVID-19 crisis. Putting proof of vaccination on a distributed ledger ensures the authenticity of the document as many people around the world tend to counterfeit such “Green Passes,” which sometimes can secure access to restaurants, public spaces and travel.

The app, which goes by the name COOV, was developed by London-based Blockchain Labs and is available on the App Store and Google Play Store. It generates a QR-code for each user and ensures that all personal data is stored on the user’s device, exchanging it with the app host through blockchain only.

Brazil: The National Health Data Network

The blockchain-based National Health Data Network is not being built specifically to fight the coronavirus — it constitutes a vital part of the ambitious plan to digitize Brazil’s entire healthcare system. Yet, the system has been used to respond to coronavirus-related challenges since late 2020.

The main use of the Brazilian network, like that in South Korea, is vaccination tracking. The system registers every jab immediately, creating a database that allows for a “continuity of care in the public and private sectors.” The national healthcare digitization project is expected to be completed by 2023.

Mexico: COVID-19 test certificates

In October 2021, private healthcare provider MDS Mexico launched a rapid COVID-19 testing service, backed by blockchain. The digital platform allows patients to get their test results in real-time via a QR code and to safely store their vaccination history. Once again, the company cited the fight against counterfeit vaccinations as the key mission of the platform:

To avoid the falsification of negative results, we began to certify the SARS-CoV-2 detection tests with blockchain technology and cryptographic signature, which protects the information in a unique, immutable and unalterable QR Code that can be verified worldwide.

The private initiative followed the earlier announcement of Mexico’s National Chamber of Commerce that it plans to digitize vaccine passports with the use of blockchain technology.

Other ideas

These examples represent only a small fraction of all blockchain-related projects that are being developed to combat public health threats. Distributed ledgers can help to manage supply chains, ensure the quality of drugs, hold medical records, process insurance claims and increase the efficiency of systems performing a range of other tasks.

Besides safe data management and vaccine tracking, healthcare researchers see opportunities to use blockchains in an even greater variety of areas. A group of American medical scholars proposes a blockchain-based movement pass that relies on smart contracts and tokens to facilitate social distancing. A Scottish research group came up with a project of a blockchain platform, synchronized with the Internet of Things (IoT), that can trace contacts without compromising user identities.

Promoting cross-border compatibility

Enabling cross-border data sharing that could preserve patients’ privacy is a humongous task. To solve it, two scientists from the National Institute of Technology Raipur (India) designed a consortium blockchain to identify and validate COVID-19-related reports through the comparison of the perceptual hash of each report with existing on-chain perceptual hashes.

Reporting COVID-related data to healthcare authorities can get problematic in a pandemic. Jim Nasr, CEO of Acoer — the company that launched the first decentralized COVID-19 tracker back in 2020 — shared his U.S. experience with Cointelegraph:

Every state has its own requirements and mechanism for collection of state-level COVID data. In turn, the states have mandatory infectious disease reporting obligations to federal government entities that largely fund them. The quality and timeliness of data reporting is at best inconsistent, inefficient and publicly non-transparent.

The problems that remain

Currently, the vast majority of COVID-19-related projects still live only on paper. As the most acute phase of the pandemic is arguably over, healthcare innovators seem to be less inclined to focus specifically on the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the number of medical blockchain startups remains on the rise in a variety of more general areas, such as patient consent, clinical trial recruitment, IoT device management, clinical goods supply, finished goods traceability and many others.

Nevertheless, the larger problem of the relationship between blockchain innovation and healthcare officials persists. As Nasr notes, ​​many traditional public health institutions are not ready to embrace blockchain-powered innovation:

In my experience, many of their KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are under-informed about DLTs and largely [concerned] about the noise in the space (e.g. scamming, cryptocurrency volatility, dealing with keys & wallets, etc).

It is not solely the lack of information that affects adoption. At the end of the day, both public and private healthcare sectors could lack the incentives to innovate in the direction of transparency. Nasr believes that some current problematic aspects of the healthcare industry — “particularly siloed data and opacity of pricing and process” — maintain its profitability and support a thick layer of intermediaries who all benefit along the way. The missing component here is patient pushback that could arise from a better understanding of their rights of data transparency and privacy.


Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Singapore firm uses blockchain to battle counterfeit COVID-19 jabs

Singaporean healthcare services provider Zuellig Pharma is using a blockchain-based network to track COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent practitioners from administering expired vaccines.

Zuellig Pharma says that its new “eZTracker” management system can help prevent improperly stored or counterfeit vaccines from being used by allowing its clients to instantly verify the provenance and authenticity of their vaccines via a mobile app.

“Accidents involving expired or improperly stored vaccines can be avoided,” said Daniel Laverick, vice-president and head of digital and data solutions at Zuellig Pharma.

eZTracker uses the SAP blockchain to capture, track and trace multiple data points to improve supply chain transparency. The eZTracker website explains how it works:

“Simply scan the QR code on the packaging to instantly verify if your product comes from an authorized distributor.”

“Patients can scan the 2D data matrix on the product packaging to verify key product information like expiry date, temperature, and provenance through its app powered by blockchain,” added Laverick.

The SAP Blockchain executes operations as a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), allowing its clients to develop customized blockchain extensions for their existing applications. According to SAP, 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches one of their systems.

Back in 2020, Zuellig partnered with pharmaceutical company MSD to deploy eQTrakcer in Hong Kong, where it was used to trace vaccines for Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil.

“As the vaccines move through various handover points in the supply chain, the products’ data points are loaded into eZTracker’s secure blockchain ledger, and this ensures it can’t be tampered with,” Laverick explained at the time.

“Users such as healthcare professionals and patients are able to verify the authenticity of the vaccine by scanning a unique data matrix code on the product pack.”

Related: Fake vax certificates renew calls for blockchain-based solution in Australia

Founded 100 years ago, Zuellig is one of Asia’s largest healthcare service provider groups. Zuellig also has a product called eZVax, which specifically provides governments, local health authorities, and the private sector with end-to-end vaccine management.

Southeast Asia is a hotbed of fake meds with between $520 million and $2.6 billion spent on counterfeit medicines every year, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Doctors Without Borders is now using blockchain tech for medical record storage

At a November 11 press conference, blockchain- based document security company Transcrypts announced a partnership with Doctors Without Borders, or DWB, that began on October 14th. Working together, they have already uploaded 6500 immunization records to the blockchain, with a goal of 76000 by 2022.

Most of the recorded immunizations are COVID 19 vaccines, but the company stated that the eventually the goal is to store all patient medical records on the blockchain, where they will be accessible from a patient’s phone. The nascent California based startup was founded last year by Zain Zaidi — then still an electrical engineering student at San Jose State University. The company now counts Paychex, ADP, Zoom, Spirit Airlines and Oracle as its clients.

Transcrypts began as a tool to combat resume fraud marketed to human resources professionals, before expanding into income verification for landlords. Now, the firm said that it views itself as a full service documentation service. The DWB partnership is its first foray into medical records. Previously Transcrypt had found that HIPAA and other compliance laws essentially barred blockchain as an acceptable method of storage for medical records within the United States.

Speaking on the accessibility of patient medical records in developing nations, Zaidi said that blockchain could provide significant help in preventing many unnecessary deaths:

“In India over 700,000 people die every year from the lack of access to a patient’s medical records. A majority of these deaths could have been prevented if physicians had access to a patient’s comprehensive health care records. With this partnership, Doctors Without Borders and TransCrypts hopes to build a future where this loss of life can be mitigated.”

This is not the first time COVID vaccination records have been stored on the blockchain. Cointelegraph reported in January about veChain’s launch of a program to do so at a large hospital in Cyprus.