Unexpected Healthcare Bills: High Costs Impacting Patients & Providers

• In the United States, we primarily have a private healthcare system where if you have the money, you can purchase healthcare services from any service provider.
• The problem in America isn’t a lack of healthcare providers; it is how healthcare services are paid for.
• Patients are typically hit with surprise bills months later and may not have the money to pay the balance, resulting in difficulty for healthcare providers to find qualified staff.

Access to healthcare is essential to long-term health, and the way it is provided varies from country to country. In the United States, we have a private healthcare system. Those with money can purchase services from their chosen provider, and those without are provided with government-provided health insurance.

The issue with the private healthcare system in America is not the lack of providers, but instead the way services are paid for. When visiting the doctor, the patient hands over their health insurance card and pays a copay, but it is unknown how much they will end up spending in the end. The doctor’s office will then send a claim to the health insurance company which is usually paid out months later. Unfortunately, the patient may not have the money by that point to pay the remaining balance.

This leaves patients in a difficult spot, as they are hit with unexpected bills they have not budgeted for and healthcare providers are having difficulty finding qualified staff. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as it affects the health of individuals as well as the economy. Solutions such as providing more transparency on costs, creating more affordable options, and increasing government assistance are all possible approaches that should be explored.

Bitcoin: Rebuilding Accountability and Antifragility Through Sound Money

• Bitcoin’s Genesis block established a manifesto that sought to restore accountability and antifragility through a monetary system based on sound money.
• The distributed network of nodes running the Bitcoin protocol would enable individuals to take up the reins of their financials.
• The message engraved in the Genesis block serves as an anchor to the physical world and as a testament to Bitcoin’s birthdate.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation of the first block in the Bitcoin blockchain fourteen years ago was a move that kickstarted an entire movement. It marked an exciting moment for those in the crypto space, but more importantly, it served as a beacon of hope for individuals around the world who have long been disenfranchised from the traditional banking system. Through Bitcoin, Nakamoto sought to create a monetary system based on sound money, one that could not be manipulated or controlled by anyone or anything.

The singularity of Nakamoto’s creation is put on display through the message engraved in the Genesis block: „Chancellor on brink of the second bailout for banks.“ By including this message, Nakamoto not only solidified the date of Bitcoin’s birth, but also established a manifesto that calls for accountability and antifragility in the global financial system. The message serves as a reminder that Bitcoin was created as a response to the reckless policies of the central banks and its implications on the lives of millions of people around the world.

In order to realize its potential, Bitcoin was designed to be powered by a distributed network of nodes, each running the protocol’s software and as such enforcing its rules. This allows individuals to take up the reins of their financials and be in control of their own destiny. With the blockchain technology, individuals can perform transactions safely and securely without the need of any third-party intermediary.

Bitcoin has come a long way since the Genesis block was mined. Its purpose is becoming more clear and, fortunately or not, needed. With the current global economic climate and the increasing need for financial autonomy, Bitcoin is poised to play a major role in the future of finance. Even after fourteen years, the message that was engraved in the Genesis block still resonates today and serves as a reminder of why Bitcoin was created in the first place.

Chaumian Ecash Tokens to Mitigate Channel Jamming on Lightning Network

• Channel jamming is a problem with the Lightning Network that can cause nodes to lose money while their liquidity is locked up.
• Last month, Lightning developer Antoine Riard proposed a formal protocol that utilizes Chaumian ecash tokens to mitigate channel jamming.
• This protocol would use anonymized credentials to build a sort of reputation scoring system for users routing payments through nodes without having to dox or associate that reputation with a static identifier.

Channel jamming is a major issue on the Lightning Network that has the potential to do serious damage to its users. Channel jamming occurs when an attacker is able to route a payment through other nodes from themselves to themselves, and then refuse to finalize the payment. This makes that liquidity useless for forwarding other payments until the hashed timelock contract (HTLC) timelock expires and the payment refunds. Last month, Lightning developer Antoine Riard proposed a formal protocol to mitigate this problem.

Riard and Gleb Naumenko published a paper in August exploring different solutions for mitigating channel jamming. One of the proposed solutions was a form of anonymized credentials that nodes could use to build a sort of reputation scoring system for users routing payments through them without having to dox or associate that reputation with a static identifier that would negatively impact peoples‘ privacy. This solution has now become the formal protocol proposal made by Riard last month.

The protocol proposed by Riard utilizes Chaumian ecash tokens. These tokens are centralized tokens issued by a mint authority in a way that prevents the issuance of a token from being correlated to the redemption of a token later. This is done by signing a token in a blinded way, allowing the receiver of the token to unblind it without invalidating the signature. The issuer can then verify it is a valid token without seeing who issued it.

The proposed protocol would allow nodes to issue these tokens to route payments through them. Nodes could then issue different types of tokens that would give users discounts for routing payments through them. This would create competition between nodes, as nodes that offer the most attractive discounts would be most likely to receive the most payments routed through them.

In addition to creating competition between nodes, the protocol would also create a reputation system for users. When a user receives a token from a node, they can use the token to prove that they paid the node a fee, or that they received a fee from a node. This would allow nodes to track the amount of money a user has routed through them, and can be used to allow nodes to blacklist users that are attempting to jam channels.

Overall, the proposed protocol would allow nodes to track users’ payments and create a reputation system without exposing users to privacy risks. This would allow nodes to prevent channel jamming and protect their liquidity while still allowing users to remain anonymous. The protocol is still in the early stages of development, and more research is needed before it can be fully implemented. However, if the protocol is successful, it could provide a much-needed solution to a major problem on the Lightning Network.

Birth of a Revolutionary Censorship System: World War I and Beyond

• The deployment of a “censor” to the cable station at Porthcurno in Cornwall in 1914 marks the birth of a worldwide system of intercepting communications between the enemy and their agents.
• The mission of the British ship Alert was to sabotage the Germans‘ undersea cables and cut off all of Germany’s communications with the world.
• Censorship proved to be an effective way of preventing the communication of strategic intelligence between the enemy and their agents.

On August 4, 1914, a man was sent to the cable station at Porthcurno in Cornwall to begin a mission that would revolutionize the world and shape the future of communication. That man was a „censor,“ and his job was to intercept communications between the enemy and their agents, ultimately preventing the communication of strategic intelligence. This was the beginning of a worldwide system of censorship that would take hold across the British Empire from Hong Kong to Malta to Singapore.

The deployment of the censor came a day before the Alert, a British ship, set sail from the port of Dover with a mission to cut off all of Germany’s communications with the world. The Alert successfully completed its mission by sabotaging the Germans‘ undersea cables, which at the time was the most sophisticated system in the world.

The censorship system was so effective that it was able to intercept over 50,000 messages per day across the 180 censors at U.K. offices. It was not only used to prevent communication between the enemy but also to gather intelligence. The system proved to be so successful that it laid the groundwork for the evolution of communication throughout the world, from the invention of the telephone to the internet.

Censorship is still used in many countries around the world, although it has become far more complex and sophisticated. It is used to censor information deemed inappropriate or even dangerous, while also preventing the communication of sensitive information, especially in times of war. Although the censorship system of 1914 was created in a time of war, it had a lasting impact that is still felt today.