Category Archives: Science and Technology

CRYPTOCURRENCY

What is cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a digital ledger or computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction record entries, to control the creation of additional digital coin records, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership. It typically does not exist in physical form (like paper money) and is typically not issued by a central authority. Some cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems. When a cryptocurrency is minted or created prior to issuance or held on a centralized exchange, it is generally considered centralized. When implemented with decentralized control, each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain that serves as a public financial transaction database.

Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is the first decentralized cryptocurrency.Since the release of bitcoin, over 6,000 altcoin (alternative variants of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies) have been created.

Bitcoin:

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in January 2009 following the housing market crash. It follows the ideas set out in a whitepaper by the mysterious and pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of the person or persons who created the technology is still a mystery. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.

There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger than everyone has transparent access to, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite it not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of hundreds of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.

Blockchains:

If this technology is so complex, why call it “blockchain?” At its most basic level, blockchain is literally just a chain of blocks, but not in the traditional sense of those words. When we say the words “block” and “chain” in this context, we are actually talking about digital information (the “block”) stored in a public database (the “chain”).

“Blocks” on the blockchain are made up of digital pieces of information. Specifically, they have three parts:

  1. Blocks store information about transactions like the date, time, and dollar amount of your most recent purchase from Amazon. (NOTE: This Amazon example is for illustrative purchases; Amazon retail does not work on a blockchain principle as of this writing)
  2. Blocks store information about who is participating in transactions. A block for your splurge purchase from Amazon would record your name along with Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN). Instead of using your actual name, your purchase is recorded without any identifying information using a unique “digital signature,” sort of like a username.
  3. Blocks store information that distinguishes them from other blocks. Much like you and I have names to distinguish us from one another, each block stores a unique code called a “hash” that allows us to tell it apart from every other block. Hashes are cryptographic codes created by special algorithms. Let’s say you made your splurge purchase on Amazon, but while it’s in transit, you decide you just can’t resist and need a second one. Even though the details of your new transaction would look nearly identical to your earlier purchase, we can still tell the blocks apart because of their unique codes.

While the block in the example above is being used to store a single purchase from Amazon, the reality is a little different. A single block on the Bitcoin blockchain can actually store up to 1 MB of data. Depending on the size of the transactions, that means a single block can house a few thousand transactions under one roof.

Hash:

A hash algorithm turns an arbitrarily-large amount of data into a fixed-length hash. The same hash will always result from the same data, but modifying the data by even one bit will completely change the hash. Like all computer data, hashes are large numbers, and are usually written as hexadecimal.

Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hash algorithm to generate verifiably “random” numbers in a way that requires a predictable amount of CPU effort. Generating a SHA-256 hash with a value less than the current target solves a block and wins you some coin

Distributed ledger:

A distributed ledger is a database that is consensually shared and synchronized across multiple sites, institutions, or geographies, accessible by multiple people. It allows transactions to have public “witnesses”. The participant at each node of the network can access the recordings shared across that network and can own an identical copy of it. Any changes or additions made to the ledger are reflected and copied to all participants in a matter of seconds or minutes.

A distributed ledger stands in contrast to a centralized ledger, which is the type of ledger that most companies use. A centralized ledger is more prone to cyber attacks and fraud, as it has a single point of failure.

Underlying distributed ledgers is the same technology that is used by blockchain, which is the technology that is used by bitcoin. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger used by bitcoin

Mining:

Cryptocurrency mining, or cryptomining, is a process in which transactions for various forms of cryptocurrency are verified and added to the blockchain digital ledger. Also known as cryptocoin mining, altcoin mining, or Bitcoin mining (for the most popular form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin), cryptocurrency mining has increased both as a topic and activity as cryptocurrency usage itself has grown exponentially in the last few years.

Each time a cryptocurrency transaction is made, a cryptocurrency miner is responsible for ensuring the authenticity of information and updating the blockchain with the transaction. The mining process itself involves competing with other cryptominers to solve complicated mathematical problems with cryptographic hash functions that are associated with a block containing the transaction data.

The first cryptocurrency miner to crack the code is rewarded by being able to authorize the transaction, and in return for the service provided, cryptominers earn small amounts of cryptocurrency of their own. In order to be competitive with other cryptominers, though, a cryptocurrency miner needs a computer with specialized hardware.

Market Capitalization:

Within the blockchain industry, the term market capitalization (or market cap) refers to a metric that measures the relative size of a cryptocurrency. It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of a particular coin or token with the total number of coins in circulation.

Market Cap = Current Price x Circulating Supply

For example, if each unit of a cryptocurrency is being traded at $10.00, and the circulating supply is equal to 50,000,000 coins, the market capitalization for this cryptocurrency would be $500,000,000.

While the market cap may offer some insights about the size and performance of a company or cryptocurrency project, it is important to note that it is not the same as money inflow. So, it does not represent how much money is in the market. This is a common misconception because the calculation of market cap is directly dependent on price, but in fact, a relatively small variation in price may affect the market cap significantly.

Considering the previous example, a few millions of dollars could potentially pump the cryptocurrency price from $10.00 to $15.00, which would cause the market cap to increase from $500,000,000 to $750,000,000. However, this doesn’t mean there was an inflow of $250,000,000 in the market. Actually, the amount of money needed to cause such an increase in price is dependent on volume and liquidity, which are distinct but related concepts. While volume relates to the number of assets exchanged within a certain period, liquidity is basically the degree to which the asset can be quickly bought or sold without causing too much impact on the price. 

Simply put, a high-volume and liquid market cannot be easily manipulated because there are many orders in the order book and possibly a big volume of orders within the different ranges of price. This would result in a less volatile market, meaning that a whale would need a lot of money to significantly manipulate the price.  In contrast, a thin order book of a low-volume market could be easily over passed with a relatively small amount of money, causing a significant impact on both the price and market cap.

Boomers spreading fake news

We have all received WhatsApp messages in our family groups that are usually forwarded by the older members of our family claiming that coronavirus is caused by eating non vegetarian foods or banging utensils generates positive energy that destroys coronavirus and other such absurd things. Of course these are examples of fake news and are recognized as such, easily by a millennial or Gen z but not so by our parents, uncles, aunts or the boomer generation.

Study: Older Republicans Likelier To Spread Fake News On Facebook 01/11/2019
Older people more likely to spread fake news

The dynamics between age and misinformation are being studied by various researchers in the field of communication. In fact several studies have found that adults over the age of 65 are more likely to fall for fake news than younger adults. Studies in Princeton and NYU found that older people do spread fake news, but they were not the source. Them being late adopters of technology and new to internet and social media might be one of the reasons that they are gullible and believe anything they see on the internet.

Researches should further attempt to find out as to why boomers fall to fake news and look for solutions to curb the spread of misinformation. It’s time that Facebook, Whastapp, Twitter and other social media platforms should carry out their own research and take effective measures. Meanwhile, it is up to us to make sure that older adults are not sharing fake news. We should provide them with sources through which they can fact check what they have shared. We should teach them how to identify and flag a fake message.

Our older generation helped us make sense of the real world and now it is up to us to guide them through the virtual world.

Artificial Intelligence in Legal Process Outsourcing

Will AI be the next big disruption in the Legal Scenario amidst COVID 19 crisis?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a simulation of human intelligence programmed in computers to mimic human thinking and actions. Whereas, Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is process in which legal firms, publishing or corporate houses hire an onshore or offshore legal firm or a legal service provider company for their in-house legal works which are voluminous, reiterating, taxing and routine.

AI is the new buzzword which is slowly permeating the Indian Legal System. It is expected to have a significant impact by solving the major problem of “access to justice” in the system by mitigating the problem of inability to secure legal representation by vast majority of individuals and businesses. It will reduce costs and time involved in high-volume low-value work resulting in cheaper services.

Traditional law firm model is no longer aligned with customer expectation, hence, demand for law firm services are flat while that of legal services is still increasing. Lately, the legal industry has started to recognize the fact that technology shall be preferred over labour arbitrage. Legal expertise clubbed with process management and technology is essential for effective delivery of legal services. AI will enable firms providing LPO services to make best of everything by incorporating latest technology. It can be used in reviewing and standardizing documents, due diligence, transactional practices, cross-border contract drafting, judgement prediction, risk assessment etc. It will help in improving quality, efficiency, accuracy and cost of work by streamlining its workforce, saving money spent on providing salaries to such workforce and spending it on AI tools. It will save time spent on mundane, routine work so that lawyer’s role is limited to core functions that are beyond the scope of AI.

Legal Professionals believe that AI will replace their jobs resulting in large scale unemployment, however, it will only alter the way services are delivered by them, redefine tasks and functions as well as business models defining them. It is to be noted that it will only compress the case disposition time helping them improve client access and quality of legal solutions provided in optimum time. As rightly said by Michio Kaku, a noted theoretical physicist and futurist,

“The job market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform.”

Michio Kaku, American theoritical physicist, futurist and popularizer of science.

Despite numerous advantages, AI is uncommon in the Indian Legal Industry as compared to other sectors and countries because it requires a comprehensive legal database which is in the nasent stages in the Indian Judicial Scenario. Another drawback is the integration of continuously developing information and digitalization of infotmation (i.e. feeding them into the system ) which is a time intensive process. Not only this, AI models have also failed to explain the outcomes predicted by it.

Every new technological idea has its pros and cons along with a section of people retaliating its implementation. What needs to be considered is whether a few disadvantages, some of which are difficult but not impossible to overcome in the current Indian Legal System, are sufficient to compromise with the greater benefits that AI has to offer in mitigating the key problem of “access to justice” in the Indian Legal Scenario.

The Chinese Invasion

The Covid-19 virus, the Ladakh standoff and the Indian Prime Minister’s stress on self-reliance have led to multiple calls for the boycotting of Chinese products and the Asian country in its entirety. With the government announcing a 20 lakh crore package and Sonam Wangchuk detailing the various reasons to boycott Chinese products, the call for self-reliance has only gotten stronger.

The Make in India campaign has so far been unsuccessful in fulfilling the vision that the BJP led Indian government had set out to accomplish. However, it was a step in the right direction as the much-needed impetus for the Indian economy. Yet a total boycott of a country and it’s products is not feasible for a country like India and will take time. The superior quality Chinese products at affordable pricing are what led to the invasion of Chinese products in almost all countries including India. The “Atmanirbhar Campaign” will act as a catalyst to the dwindling “Make in India Campaign” that has underperformed.

However, a total like to like replacement of the Chinese hardware and software will take a lot of time. The current Indian hardware and software fail to match up to the Chinese standards. Yet the Indian industries will fail to develop and mould itself quickly unless there is a surge in demand and a dire need to do so. Thus the exclusion of Chinese products is a necessity for the Indian industries to develop which in turn will lead to a creation of jobs that will serve the economy and aid in much faster growth.

Indian citizens have been quick to attack Chinese products and softwares from its creation of the, “Remove China Apps” app that removes Chinese applications installed in your phone. TikTok, a Chinese app that has 467 million Indian users has contributed substantially to the revenue generated by the Chinese application. Initially, Indian netizens had first attacked the Chinese application over a feud between a TikToker and a Youtuber which led to the app being downgraded to a 1.3 rating from its initial 4.9 ratings. However, Google was quick to remove all the recent one-star ratings from the application. With Google pulling down the recent 1-star ratings, Indians have started uninstalling TikTok along with other Chinese applications like UC Browser, CamScanner etc over the Ladakh feud and with Sonam Wangchuk leading the campaign to remove Chinese apps within a week and Chinese hardware in a year. India imports goods worth more than 50 billion dollars from China in contrast to a miserly 2.5 billion dollars in exports to China.

If India proceeds with putting a halt to the Chinese invasion in its market, India would suffer from a paucity with regard to capital goods, machinery, electricals, chemicals to go along with intermediate and consumer goods. India’s heavy reliance on China makes it difficult to put an end to imports cold turkey. India should focus on a gradual decline in imports while developing a sustainable infrastructure for the production of goods in their own country. A sound infrastructure and production in India will give a major boost that India is in desperate need of. India can then finally be independent and their over-reliance on FDI can diminish.

What is a VPN, and why you need it?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a network that enables you to establish an authentic connection with another system utilizing the internet. People use VPN to get access to those websites that are restricted based on regions. It gives you privacy in browsing in case you are operating on a public internet connection.Internet-Protocol-Virtual-Private-Networks1

VPN networks have become widely famous for all convenient reasons; however, the original purpose of creating a VPN network was to build connections for business-related work securely on the internet. VPN was designed for the convenience of people who access a business network by sitting at their homes.VPNs allow you to use the local area network and even those sites that are banned as per censorship safely and securely by transferring all your networking traffic to the leading internet network.

 In simpler terms, VPN helps to connect your device (PC, Mobile, smartphone) to another device (called the server), which has an internet connection. It enables you to access all the content which you usually cannot do by disguising your identity. You can also search for the list of recommended VPN providers here. Let us look at the top 4 reasons for why you must have a VPN network which is discussed below:

1.      It helps in keeping your identity secure in public

You must have become tempted at getting access to free Wifi while going out for a coffee or if you have checked in to a hotel. However, there are specific problems associated with using public Wifi. First is that your data is unencrypted. Anyone can access that. Secondly, with the help of the router, any malware can enter your device. Thirdly, it can be a trap for phishing where you must have come across a fake internet connection.  

But if you have installed have come a VPN, then you can overcome all the problems mentioned above. In short, it allows you to access the internet freely in a secure way.

2.      It helps in saving money while shopping online

Have you ever come across different prices for the same commodity while shopping online using various online shopping sites? Well, you must have experienced this for so many products such as shoes, cars, or any other merchandise. The prices may vary as per countries also.

Not surprisingly, it must be very irritating for a potential customer. Hence, one can switch to VPN servers for every chance until one come across the lowest price for an item. It can be a difficult task for some people but then if it saving you some amount of money, perhaps it’s worth the effort.

3.      It enhances the gaming speed while playing online

Generally, the rate of the internet while playing games online using Internet Service Provider becomes slow due to choking of gaming data. But you can tackle this issue using a VPN by disguising the truth that you are playing online games.

However, you have to be sure that the VPN service which you are utilizing is present in a remote area and can handle the internet load. Or else, you may get into problems related to speed issues and bandwidth of the internet.

4.      It enables you to perform research on sensitive topics without any intrusion

There are various types of studies going on, but some of them are considered to be “sensitive.” It can be streaming online censored movies or video clips or any other content which can catch people’s attention.

Also, if you are doing online business and want to have a fair idea about the activities of your rivals, then you can use VPN to keep all your events private, which will prevent your competitors from identifying you.

Therefore, a VPN helps to protect you from being under observation. We always recommend you to select a server that is present at a safe and distant location.

Conclusion

These are merely some of the benefits that you can avail of using the VPN network, but the list doesn’t end here. There are a plethora of advantages such as secure voice chat online, proper encryption of your data, saving money while booking flights, and many more. So, if you are worried about getting tracked online, then you must think of opting for a VPN as soon as possible.

International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology (IJBSBT)

International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology (IJBSBT) serves as a forum for academics, policy makers and health care managers and professionals to communicate and discuss issues from the perspective of health economics and policy. This journal publishes rigorous empirical, analytical, and methodological research using advanced economic and policy analysis techniques applied to compelling topics in health research.376.jpg

Send papers for publication in International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology (IJBSBT)

 

How to Submit Papers

to editor@ijbsbt.com

Scope of Publication

The topics related to this journal include but are not limited to:

 

•Medical Economics
•Behavioral Economics
•Mental Health Economics
•Asymmetric Information
•Barriers To Entry
•Healthcare Markets
•Health Administration
•Health Policy Analysis
•Philosophy Of Healthcare
•Health Care Reform
•Health Crisis
•Health Insurance
•Health Promotion
•Health Law
•Public Health Law
•Quaternary Prevention
•Two-Tier Health Care
•Universal Health Care
•Unnecessary Health Care
•Vaccination Policy