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The Underlying Value of Cryptocurrencies

The parabolic rise in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has spawned a frenetic mania seldom seen in the markets.

While debate of bitcoin's legitimacy as a long-standing form of currency continues, general consensus asserts that the underlying blockchain technology has applications that extend far beyond its connections to cryptocurrency. As such, innovative companies around the globe are beginning to employ blockchain technology to streamline business and secure transactions. Telemedicine pioneer Medical Innovation Holdings, Inc. (OTC: MIHI) (MIHI Profile) is establishing a new paradigm in secure and efficient handling of patient medical and financial data. The company's new MIHI Blockchain Platform is designed to vastly improve the safe and effective movement of patient data and result in much lower transaction costs. A first-mover in coupling blockchain and telemedicine, MIHI joins other companies in the broad business quest to streamline and secure transactions with blockchain. Financial services leader MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) has announced it will join banking consortium R3CEV, a distributed ledger platform designed specifically for financial services. Others embracing blockchain NXT- ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD), Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) and Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT).

The broad spectrum of businesses actively engaging blockchain suggests that the real value and ultimate rewards may be found in companies that successfully integrate and exploit the technology.

Blockchain Basics

Blockchain is essentially a network of computers that all have the same history of transactions, encoded with a unique set of numbers and letters and validated by every computer involved in the transaction. This encrypted electronic ledger logs transaction records on linked blocks and stores them on the distributed network, eliminating the cost and limitations of traditional third-party institutions such as banks and clearing houses.

The system has no central administrator and provides unprecedented security benefits because records are spread across a network of synchronized replicated databases. Users can only update the block they have access to, and those updates get replicated across the entire network. Each block typically contains a link to a previous block, plus a date/time stamp and transaction data. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and a collaboration throughout the network.

The transformative impact of blockchain technology is about to revolutionize the way business gets done.

Healthcare delivery and management may be biggest beneficiary of blockchain

While costs spiral, the health care industry remains awash in disparate data. There's a confusing cacophony of overlapping information including electronic medical records, complex billing, clinical trials, medical research and data security. Blockchain could extensively streamline electronical medical record keeping and access thus saving time, money and duplication, as well as has the potential to keep health data private and secure and still utilize connected medical devices.

Blockchains may also facilitate new drug development, reduce Medicare fraud, and provide needed access to speed medical innovation. By effectively securing data and reducing admin and operating expenses the never-ending escalation of health care costs may finally stop.

The marriage of blockchain and telemedicine

A pioneer in telemedicine with its disruptive business model, Medical Innovation Holdings, Inc. (OTC: MIHI) now aims to further transform telemedicine by implementing blockchain technology to positon patients at the nucleus of health care infrastructure, simultaneously reducing costs while enhancing the security, privacy, and exchange of information.

Unlike traditional telemedicine companies that charge a monthly online subscription fee to access doctors on demand forcing a symptom-based medical approach, MIHI doesn't charge a subscription fee and works with anyone that has nearly any type insurance.

Through its subsidiaries, MIHI partners with primary care physicians providing all the tools necessary to diagnostically determine the best medical course of action. MIHI provides the primary physician a full tele-cart workstation with comprehensive peripherals. When the patient electronically interfaces with a specialist in the local doctor's office, the specialist has immediate access to multiple diagnostic tests and patient records to determine the appropriate course of action based on test results.

MIHI's recent initiative to launch a new Health Care Sharing Organization (HCSO) targeting 58 million Hispanics dovetails not only with its current business model, but also creates blockchain opportunities.

HCSOs provide meaningful financial protection with the ability to share costs with like-minded members, thereby reducing overall monthly expense of coverage. Historically, HCSOs (medical sharing organizations) have been religious-based, and MIHI will be the first known company to offer such a service specifically for the Hispanic community.

This new HSO provides an alternate form of coverage to a rapidly growing demographic, complementing MIHI's Telemedicos subsidiary.

"The alternative to skyrocketing insurance coverage costs is to develop our own product sets we can take to market and offer an alternative to price and approach. The HCSO allows us to do that and at the same time serve a large and expanding marketplace. We believe we would be the first to offer such a unique and needed service in the Hispanic community. It fits nicely with Telemedicos (a MIHI subsidiary) and now we can blend the two offerings into a single and simple payment offering coverage via brick and mortar and virtual visits," MIHI CEO Arturo "Jake" Sanchez stated in a press release.

First to market with a new cost saving health care vertical that targets an underserved 58 million people should garner a significant share of subscribers.

With a keen eye for opportunities within niche markets of health care, MIHI's management team recognizes that traditional means of protecting patient medical and financial data is failing, as "digital assassins" grow increasingly brazen, determined and skilled at taking sensitive data. This increasing trend is catastrophic for patients and care providers, though it provides a doorway of innovation for companies like MIHI, which sees blockchain as part of the answer to solve these critical weaknesses.

To take advantage of and manage this enormous new-found market, MIHI has committed to development of the MIHI Blockchain Platform. In a press release issued earlier this week, MIHI said it fully expects other faith-based medical sharing organizations to incorporate the MIHI Blockchain Platform wherever security and cost-effective data exchange and management are needed.

The company intends to release an initial version to support its own operations, and will then migrate the application to allow other medical sharing organizations to utilize the platform under a transaction fee arrangement.

"We are at a beginning of a technological trend that will revolutionize how we use and share medical and financial information…Committing the company to blockchain development will insure that the medical data we move across the healthcare ecosystem can be trusted, secure and immutable and that our automated workflows will be a tremendous differentiator in a crowded market," Sanchez stated in the press release.

As one of the pioneers to integrate blockchain technology into a vast newly created health care vertical, MIHI is taking advantage of blockchain's emergence as a vital component of modern business, differentiating itself in the health care ecosystem.

Others on the blockchain bandwagon

One of the world's leading financial services companies, MetLife (NYSE: MET) recently announced it will join banking consortium R3CEV, a distributed database technology company that leads a consortium of more than 70 of the world's largest financial institutions in research and development of blockchain database usage in the financial system.

NXT- ID (NASDAQ: NXTD), which provides a comprehensive platform of technology products and services that enable the Internet of Things, announced that its wholly owned Fit Pay, Inc. subsidiary, in collaboration with Cascade Financial Technology Corp., intends to jointly develop a platform that gives cryptocurrency holders the ability to use the value of their currency to make purchases at millions of retail locations worldwide.

Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ: MARA), an IP licensing and commercialization company that acquires and manages IP rights from a variety of sources, has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire 100% ownership of Global Bit Ventures Inc., a digital asset technology company that mines cryptocurrencies.

Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT) nearly doubled in value when it changed its name and business focus to reflect its new focus on buying cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses and targeting investments in the sector.

Blockchain technology is rapidly gaining acceptance and widespread adoption across broad business sectors and appears to be transformative whether cryptocurrencies survive or not. Long-term opportunity may well reside not in the currencies but rather in the companies that successfully integrate and exploit the underlying technology.

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