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US Government cuts $1 billion deal for experimental COVID-19 vaccine
The US Government will spent more than $1 billion on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, inking a deal for millions of doses of the drug assuming it passes FDA authorization. One million doses of the vaccine, Johnson & Johnson’s Ad26.COV2.S, will be secured in the deal, though the door has been left open for significantly more should that be required.
Indeed, Johnson & Johnson said today, the US government could purchase an additional 200 million doses of the drug under a subsequent agreement. The pharmaceutical firm says it is pricing its vaccine at a global not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use, as coronavirus continues to impact countries around the world.
Two trials with human participants are currently underway, one in the US and the other in Belgium. Those Phase 1/2a fist-in-human clinical trials of Ad26.COV2.S followed pre-clinical data published in late July, which found that a single dose of the drug “elicits a strong immune response that protects against subsequent infection.” A Phase 3 clinical trial is scheduled to begin in September 2023.
While it’s costing the US no small amount of money, the vaccine won’t actually be purchased unless it satisfies federal testing. The doses will need to gain approval or Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has already laid down the guidelines by which it will be assessing potential vaccine candidates. Before that EUA or approval is granted, they can’t be used outside of clinical studies.
One aspect of the FDA rules covers clinical testing, including plans for vaccinating pregnant people, and making sure that there has been sufficient diversity in the cohort of subjects to ensure that the proposed drug is broadly applicable. The FDA also has efficacy requirements, with the agency saying that it “would expect that a COVID-19 vaccine would prevent disease or decrease its severity in at least 50% of people who are vaccinated.”
Even should those milestones be passed, there’s still the question of public receptiveness to any COVID-19 vaccination program. So-called vaccine skeptics have proved a growing – and increasingly vocal – roadblock to childhood immunization programs, leading to concerns that even should a coronavirus vaccine be developed, some Americans might opt not to take it. That could have significant impact on overall levels of immunity.
Currently, Johnson & Johnson says, it’s evaluating both one- and two-dose regimens of Ad26.COV2.S, along with “working diligently to ensure broad, global access to the vaccine following approval or authorization by regulators.” The goal, the company says, is to have had more than one billion doses globally ready by the end of 2023, assuming the clinical trial results pan out as hoped.
For the US, there’s the potential for the vaccine to be provided free of charge, though there may still be a fee for its administration. “If these doses are used in a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the vaccine would be available to the American people at no cost,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said today of the agreement. “As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine.”
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Labor Day weekend marked the unofficial end of a unique summer of social distancing and mask wearing. As fall approaches, epidemiologists and public health officials warn that even in areas that have flattened their curves, new spikes in coronavirus cases may follow in the chillier months to come. Meanwhile, drug companies are banding together to ensure any vaccine that reaches the market is safe and effective.Drug companies pledge to vet vaccines for safety and efficacy before they reach public use
The race to create a coronavirus vaccine has been unlike any other. Before the pandemic, it took years or even decades for a new vaccine to make it through clinical trials. Now, immunologists and other researchers around the world are fast-tracking these trials to bring a vaccine to market as fast as possible. But with that speed comes concerns about safety and effectiveness.
This week, nine drug companies announced a joint pledge that they would not make a vaccine available unless it had been fully vetted for safety and efficacy, according to The New York Times. Three of the companies, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, are officially working on a vaccine for COVID-19. In the pledge, the companies didn’t say that they wouldn’t seek emergency use authorization for their vaccines—which is the only way a COVID-19 vaccine could make its way to the public by election day—but that they vowed to use the results of large clinical trials to determine if the drugs were safe and effective before bringing them to the FDA for review. You can follow developments on most vaccines here.A new report suggests the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is now connected to over 250,000 cases of COVID-19
Last month, nearly 500,000 people descended onto a small town in South Dakota for an annual motorcycle rally. During the 10-day event, motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country crowded inside bars and restaurants, many without a mask. Since the rally, public health experts have feared that this event contributed to a number of new cases of COVID-19.
Now, one new paper out this week which tracked anonymous cell phone data from the rally acquired from the data company, SafeGraph, Inc. suggests that over 250,000 new cases of coronavirus that have popped up since the event have been linked back the gathering. According to economist Andrew Friedson, that’s around 19 percent of the total case count between August 2 and September 2.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have feared that big events, especially at indoor venues, could trigger super-spreader events where one or a few highly infectious people could spread the virus to an exponentially large number of people they interact with. The researchers also note that because the event was so long (it went on for 10 days), involved a large number of people from out-of-state, and had low mask compliance, that these factors could have further increased people’s chances of catching and spreading the virus.Valved masks and face shields offer far less protection than cloth masks
A multi-layer cloth mask is a proven and effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Recently, other versions of face protection have become increasingly popular. Both face shields (plastic barriers that rest on your forehead) and valved masks, which have a one-way vent that lets air out but blocks germs from entering, have both become popular for their comfort and breathability. But a new study out last week in the journal Physics of Fluids shows that face shields worn without a cloth mask underneath as well as valved masks alone both allow large amounts of aerosols to escape when talking and breathing.
Research shows that the coronavirus can be spread via small and large viral droplets expelled when coughing and sneezing but also when talking loudly or in close proximity to others, especially for an extended period of time.
The study’s authors suggest that a cloth mask with at least two layers is the best option for consumers. N95 masks do likely offer the best protection but are often reserved for medical professionals. If you do want to wear a face shield, it can be worn in addition to a cloth mask for even more protection.New York State’s signs of progress come with a warning and the midwest continues to see increased case counts
New York, home to one of the first and worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country, has had a COVID-19 test positivity rate of below 1 percent for 30 days straight, as of Sunday. That means of all the coronavirus tests the state performs each day, less than one percent of them have come back positive.
However, public health experts warn that case counts could spike again, especially as the economy continues to reopen and schools reopen their doors as well. At the State University of New York at Oneonta, there were 500 reported cases of COVID-19 just two weeks after the college opened. Researchers cite indoor crowded parties as a potential cause for the viral spread.
Around the country, cases are increasing in many parts of the midwest including North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri. You can see how your state and area is fairing here.
Tamra Burns Loeb is an interim adjunct associate professor at the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities. AJ Adkins-Jackson is a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Arleen F. Brown is a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. This story originally featured on The Conversation.
Racial and ethnic minority communities that lack internet access have been left behind in the race to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The average monthly cost of internet access, about $70, can be out of reach for those who can barely afford groceries.
Reporters and scholars have written about the effects of lack of internet access in rural areas in the US and developing countries, but they have paid less attention to the harm of lack of internet access in racial and ethnic minority communities in major cities.
We are researchers who study health disparities. We are concerned that even when vaccinations are offered in these communities, those at greatest risk for COVID-19 may be unable to obtain appointments without the help of family or friends. This includes racial and ethnic minority communities and older adults, the age group that is currently being vaccinated.
Our research suggests that lack of internet access may be an important reason. And for the almost 13.8 million older adults in the US who live alone, asking for help may not be an option.The computer as a COVID-19 connector
During the pandemic, the internet has been an indispensable health tool to millions.
Telehealth services have provided a safe way for patients to make appointments for COVID-19 testing and other types of medical care. In fact, there was a 154 percent increase in telehealth visits during the last seven days of March 2023 compared to the same period in 2023. This was most likely due to public health mandates that required a shift away from in-person care.
In addition, patients receive communications from their providers through email and other messaging systems that offer access to health care, health information, and test results. And, departments of public health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have relied on their websites, online events, and social media to educate the population about COVID-19. Access to the internet is essential during a pandemic.
This has been particularly true as the vaccine has been rolled out. Signing up for the vaccine has predominantly occurred online. This means that far fewer older adults from under-resourced racial and ethnic minority communities have been able to make appointments.
In 2023, more than one in four Medicare beneficiaries had no digital access at home. Those without digital access were more likely to be 85 years or older, members of racial or ethnic minority communities, and from low-income households.How internet access can determine health
Over the years, medical and public health experts have identified social factors—structural racism, a person’s neighborhood, access to fresh food, exposure to toxins, income and education—that play a major role in health. These factors are often called the social determinants of health. Experts consider structural racism, or racism ingrained in social, business, educational and health policy and practice, to be one of the most damaging determinants. These factors in turn ultimately lead to more disease and death, as they have with COVID-19.
Early data on the case numbers and deaths from COVID-19 showed that structural racism likely increased exposure to the coronavirus among racial and ethnic minority communities. And, racial gaps also impeded access to testing and affected quality of care.
The pandemic has also illuminated the risk of infection to our aging population. However, research has placed less emphasis on how aging affects some populations more than others, such as the effects of structural racism and income.
Now, it appears that internet access is emerging as a new and troublesome determinant of health. This appears to be particularly true for under-resourced racial and ethnic minority communities and aging populations.
During the fall of 2023, we looked at this issue in more depth with Black and Latino individuals who are HIV positive and at risk for a cardiovascular event. In our research, we found that 17 out of 30 patients had no internet, no computer, or lacked knowledge of how to use the internet or a computer. They, like many people with health issues or from under-resourced racial and ethnic minority communities, are affected by numerous social determinants that amplify the negative health consequences they experience.
While online health services could be used to increase access and retention in care among vulnerable groups, not having access widens existing disparities.Solutions exist, but they must be implemented
To address the internet gap, we believe that policymakers must identify lack of internet access as a barrier and protect against its effects. This could include reserving vaccines in under-resourced racial and ethnic minority communities for local residents and designating senior hours for those 65 and older.
Policymakers could also mandate timely reporting of demographic information, even within medical settings, to monitor equity. Public health administrators could also partner with organizations that work with vulnerable populations, such as Meals on Wheels, to deliver food and vaccines to individual homes.
Departments of public health also could work with organizations and trusted community leaders to produce culturally consistent multimedia information on vaccinations and other health topics. They could also arrange for billboards, freeway signs and posters at local restaurants.
In addition, health care professionals and organizations can help by teaching patients about government subsidies and internet programs for low-income individuals from internet service providers. They can also provide training on how to use the internet, which would be at least a good beginning for these vulnerable groups.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s leading chip foundry that counts Apple as its #1 client, is investing a cool $12 billion in a manufacturing plant based in Arizona, its second US facility. Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée in his Monday Note column analyzes the repercussion of the move and potential problems that it may solve.
In his piece published yesterday, titled “$12B TSMC US Plant: What Problem Does It Solve?”, Jean-Louis argues that TSMC’s announcement comes at an auspicious time and could trigger new speculation about “Made in USA” iPhones.
But first, a little backgrounder…
Apple years ago ditched Samsung and picked TSMC to fabricate its in-house designed mobile chips due to its reliability and ability to miniaturize the elementary building blocks of a chip.
The iPhone 11 system-on-a-chip, dubbed the A12 Bionic, is being manufactured on TSMC’s seven-nanometer process technology, which means that the smallest transistor on the chip is about seven nanometers in size, or about seven millionths of a millimeter. TSMC’s is also prepping volume production of five-nanometer chips.
Jean-Louis says having TSMC now committed to an Arizona plant raises an obvious question:
Taking into account that Apple needs tens of millions of new iPhone units each quarter, we quickly come to the realization that Apple’s current style of iPhone manufacturing just isn’t possible in the United States (as always, emphasis mine):
This little simulation, imprecise as it certainly is, gives us a workable idea of the immensity, to say nothing of the seasonality, of the iPhone manufacturing process. In particular, it involves the size and type of manpower flows that only a company such as Hon Hai Precision (a.k.a. Foxconn) knows how to provide.
Foxconn’s knowledge, ability to draw from a massive manpower pool, and the will to impose tough working conditions while also dealing with a seasonal ebb and flow are nowhere to be found or accepted in the US.
That said, TSMC’s Arizona plant is a step in the right direction.
Making the Axx processors at a US-based TSMC foundry is a good first step. Apple could claim that the heart of the iPhone — the Axx processor and iOS — are Designed and Made in the USA™. The next step, making the iPhone a fully domestic product, would require deep design and component changes in order to automate the assembly, test, and pack process. Easy to say, but not to do — otherwise it’d be done already.
Such a move would for once deserve the strategic epithet, as in something that influences the course of a war. In any event, it would be much more interesting and sensible than the putative Apple Car discussed last week.
I couldn’t agree more with this assessment of the mythical “Made in USA” iPhone.
For those wondering, the upcoming Arizona facility will utilize TSMC’s latest five-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer fabrication. It will have capacity to churn out 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month.
Construction is planned to start in 2023 while production is targeted to begin in 2024.
“This US facility not only enables us to better support our customers and partners, it also gives us more opportunities to attract global talents,” TSMC said in a statement. This will be the second manufacturing plant for TSMC in the United States.
Be sure to read the new installment of Jean-Louis’ Monday Note column in its entirety — as usual, it’s an entertaining, insightful read from Apple’s former executive.
Seven of Australia’s 50 Richest made their fortunes in tech. But this year they’re part of a global trend where startup billionaires are nearly US$100 billion poorer than a year ago.
Globally, 44 founders have lost half their wealth and are nearly US$100 billion poorer than a year ago. Twelve were no longer billionaires as at time of the research for this publication.
In January 2023, credit card startup Brex raised US$300 million from a string of A-list investors, nearly doubling the company’s valuation to US$12.3 billion. This makes its Brazilian cofounders – 26-year-old Pedro Franceschi and 27-year-old Henrique Dubugras – the world’s youngest self-made billionaires.
“I think it’s easy for people to think that we’re already successful,” Dubugras told Forbes at the time. “We are, and we aren’t. We’re obviously happy about what we’ve achieved, but there’s so much more to come.”
It’s certainly far too early to write off the long-term success story that could be Brex. But a year later, Forbes estimate the company’s value had fallen to US$6.4 billion–nearly 50% less than 12 months ago. Francheshi and Dubugras were no longer billionaires – worth an estimated US$900 million apiece, down from US$1.5 billion.
They were in good company. In March 2023, near the peak of the startup funding frenzy, 44 founders of unicorns–private companies valued at over US$1 billion–were worth a total of US$190 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates. A year later, with crypto tumbling and private markets going the way of their tanking public counterparts, Forbes–in consultation with prominent VCs, investors and data providers – revalued the world’s billionaire-backed unicorns. Half the wealth of the billionaires behind unicorns was wiped out, leaving this group of startup visionaries US$96 billion poorer than they were a year ago. Twelve of them were no longer billionaires. And that excludes a dozen Chinese unicorn founders who face their own unique set of issues.
“That was a different time in the world, where I may have been worth X on paper, but that was kind of funny money,” says Matt Murphy, a partner at venture capital firm Menlo Ventures, of the run-up to the bubble’s peak. “I think it’s going to take a little bit of detox because in the world of venture, people got so intoxicated by that, and everyone needs to come off the valuation drug. That’s gone, it’s over, so let’s get back to more historically reasonable things and refocus on building great companies in a more operationally efficient way.”
Some unicorns have already cut their own valuations. Online payments startup chúng tôi proactively slashed its internal mark to US$11 billion in December 2023 after investors valued the company at US$40 billion in January 2023. That knocked down the fortune of its Swiss founder and CEO Guillaume Pousaz, briefly Europe’s richest tech entrepreneur, to US$7.2 billion from US$23 billion.
Irish payments giant Stripe, founded and run by brothers Patrick and John Collison, did the same, cutting its internal valuation on at least three occasions to US$63 billion last month after investors valued the company at US$95 billion in March 2023. The brothers worth worth US$6.9 billion apiece, down from US$9.5 billion. Apoorva Mehta’s Instacart and Ali Ghodsi’s software startup Databricks also marked themselves down in October.
Swedish buy-now, pay-later startup Klarna, cofounded by former billionaires Victor Jacobsson and Sebastian Siemiatkowski (worth an estimated US$600 million and US$500 million, respectively – down from US$4 billion and US$3.2 billion), was the only unicorn with founders on Forbes’ billionaires’ list to raise a new round at a lower valuation – a so-called “down round”. That revalued the company at US$6.7 billion in July 2023, after it had raised at an astonishing US$45.6 billion valuation just nine months earlier.
But these half dozen companies were the exceptions. “Everyone’s hiding behind the two to three years of the runway they had from the cash they raised and avoiding those down rounds,” says Menlo Ventures’ Murphy. “We’re a year into this now, and if you’re a [venture-backed] company, you do not want to be down to less than a year or less than six months of cash. So, we believe that the market has to pick up later this year.”
Murphy says that layoffs are one-way companies are “rightsizing to make their cash last longer.” Among unicorns who have cut staff are Alexandr Wang’s ScaleAI, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, and Brex, Klarna and Stripe.
Until now, Forbes valued VC-backed companies by taking the valuation from their last funding round, no matter when it was, and typically discounting it by 10% due to a lack of liquidity and financial transparency. The new Forbes methodology brings venture-backed company valuations more in line with the recent tumult in public markets and internal and external markdowns these unicorns face.
If a company has raised money in the last three months, like Michael Rubin’s online retailer Fanatics or Palmer Luckey’s defence startup Anduril, Forbes used its most recent valuation from that funding round. Without recent funding rounds or internal markdowns, Forbes worked with private market pricing data providers – ApeVue, Caplight Technologies and Notice – to-revalue 30 unicorns that account for the bulk of billionaires’ (and former billionaires’) fortunes.
In most cases, Forbes averaged the data providers’ current valuation estimates for each unicorn based on the performance of comparable public companies, secondary market activity and publicly reported mutual fund marks. Based on this analysis, Forbes estimates that there are 32 unicorn billionaires outside China, down from 44 in March, who are worth a combined US$94 billion.
Not everyone agrees with our new approach. When told that Forbes was knocking down UK fintech Revolut’s valuation to US$13.8 billion (from US$33 billion) and its cofounders Nik Storonsky’s and Vlad Yatsenko’s fortunes to US$3.3 billion (from US$7.1 billion) and US$500 million (from US$1.1 billion), a spokesperson said. “We do not engage in speculation on our valuation. Since our last funding round, in which we were valued at US$33 billion, Revolut’s profitable business has continued to perform strongly in all markets across the globe.”
Of course, how much a unicorn is worth has real-world consequences for these companies well beyond the fortunes of their creators. “Whether or not the founder is a billionaire anymore probably is not the most important thing unless they’re massively leveraged against their [previously] high valuation,” says venture capitalist Eric Paley of Founder Collective. “There’s ego involved in all of this, but the biggest problem is displacement and a crisis of confidence. In a way, it’s psychological because I believe you would have been better off climbing from a US$1 billion to a US$5 billion valuation than going from US$1 billion to US$10 billion and then back to US$5 chúng tôi all your employees’ options are underwater, and they may decide to go somewhere else they believe is on the upswing,” Paley adds. “Similarly, investors may look at it like ‘, who would want to be an investor in that company?’ All these people are struggling with what the company was, and they’re tied to that in their minds.”
Figures in this story sourced on January 28, 2023.Inside the tech downturn
Australian unicorns have also been caught in the fray, with the valuations of some of the nation’s most famous unicorns (Canva, Atlassian) declining significantly since the tech downturn. This has been reflected in the personal net worths of our unicorn founders featured in Australia’s 50 Richest.
For example, Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, both worth more than US$15 billion in 2023, are now worth US$10.6 and US$10.8 billion, respectively. Their company’s share price is down around 50% in the 12 months to January 31.
Canva co-founders Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams also saw a significant drop in their wealth as the business was affected by the downturn. Perkins and Obrecht were reported to have a net worth of US$6.5 billion each in early 2023.
At the time, Canva had just raised US$200 million at a value peak of US$40 billion. Now, after Canva’s valuation is sitting somewhere around US$25 billion, both Perkins and Obrecht are worth US$3.6 billion – nearly half of their 2023 peak. Adams, who was worth US$3.2 billion in 2023, is now worth US$1.8 billion.Fallen unicorns
NAME TOTAL COMPANY CHANGE ($B) CHANGE (%) NET WORTH ($B) Sam Bankman-Fried FTX -$24.0 -100% $0.0 Guillaume Pousaz CHECKOUT.COM -$15.8 -69% $7.2 Gary Wang FTX -$5.9 -100% $0.0 Nik Storonsky REVOLUT -$3.8 -54% $3.3 Victor Jacobsson KLARNA -$3.4 -85% $0.6 Barry Silbert DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUP -$3.2 -100% $0.0 Cameron Winklevoss GEMINI -$2.9 -72% $1.1 Tyler Winklevoss GEMINI -$2.9 -72% $1.1 Cliff Obrecht CANVA -$2.9 -44% $3.6 Melanie Perkins CANVA -$2.9 -44% $3.6 Sebastian Siemiatkowski KLARNA -$2.7 -85% $0.5 John Collison STRIPE -$2.6 -27% $6.9 Patrick Collison STRIPE -$2.6 -27% $6.9 Apoorva Mehta INSTACART -$2.2 -63% $1.3 Chris Larsen RIPPLE -$2.1 -49% $2.2 Alex Shevchenko GRAMMARLY -$1.7 -43% $2.3 Max Lytvyn GRAMMARLY -$1.7 -43% $2.3 Tim Sweeney EPIC GAMES -$1.6 -21% $5.8 Alex Atallah OPENSEA -$1.5 -69% $0.7 Devin Finzer OPENSEA -$1.5 -69% $0.7 Cameron Adams CANVA -$1.4 -43% $1.8 Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath & family BYJU’S -$1.1 -31% $2.5 Chris Britt CHIME -$1.1 -31% $1.1 Ryan Breslow BOLT -$0.9 -50% $1.1 Henrique Dubugras BREX -$0.6 -45% $0.9 Pedro Franceschi BREX -$0.6 -40% $0.9 Osman Kibar BIOSPLICE THERAPEUTICS, INC. -$0.6 -40% $1.7 Joe Lau ALCHEMY -$0.6 -26% $1.8 Nikil Viswanathan ALCHEMY -$0.6 -24% $1.8 Vlad Yatsenko REVOLUT -$0.6 -24% $0.5 Zach Perret PLAID -$0.5 -51% $1.0 William Hockey PLAID -$0.4 -31% $1.0 Ali Ghodsi DATABRICKS -$0.4 -32% $1.4 Parker Conrad RIPPLING -$0.4 -24% $1.8 Ion Stoica DATABRICKS -$0.4 -18% $1.2 Matei Zaharia DATABRICKS -$0.4 -22% $1.2 Riju Raveendran BYJU’S -$0.3 -22% $1.0 Hayes Barnard GOODLEAP -$0.3 -26% $3.7 Tope Awotona CALENDLY -$0.2 -7% $1.2 Prasanna Sankar RIPPLING -$0.2 -14% $0.8 Kim Kardashian SKIMS -$0.1 -18% $1.7 Alexandr Wang SCALE AI -$0.1 -7% $0.9 Palmer Luckey ANDURIL $0.3 -10% $1.7 Michael Rubin FANATICS $3.3 20% $11.3 TOTAL -$96.0 -50% $94.0
Sources: Unicorn valuations based on pricing data provided by ApeVue, Caplight Technologies and Notice, as well as Forbes reporting.
A quality that results from our comfort level after becoming accustomed to a particular environment or stimulation is complacency. For instance, a motorist may be too cautious when driving on rugged terrain for the first time. He is very calculated. Therefore, it makes sense that he would move slowly. The motorist would move quickly after repeatedly driving through that same terrain since he would have grown accustomed to it. As his confidence grows, he may become complacent that he disregards obvious and fundamental safety precautions, endangering his safety. I once overheard a boss discussing his thoughts about the difference in workplace productivity between contractual and regular employees.
Contract workers always gave their jobs their utmost effort since they knew that failing to do so could endanger their ability to remain with the organization. However, after they are employed and regularized, they tend to lose interest in their work due to the comforting thought of job security, familiarity with their surroundings, and mastery of the activity with its predictable and routine nature. However, rather than producing a more effective outcome, ironically, performances move slowly and produce low-quality results. Human error and disregard for health and safety regulations inevitably harm processes and procedures. When workplace complacency becomes an entrenched habit difficult to eradicate, end users are short-changed with subpar service.Redefining industries with Blockchain
As taxpayers, we are entitled to quick and effective services that we know governments long to provide but cannot do due to ingrained practices and established norms. Every year, bureaucracies cost a lot of money and squander many people’s money. Governments can investigate the potential for introducing blockchain technology to service sectors that most need it by adopting it, saving a significant amount of money from their budget.Election
The controversy surrounding elections just doesn’t seem to go away, does it? Why? They are very unreliable because you will always hear accusations that they have been rigged from the start and because there is a lack of transparency. So, how can blockchain help to solve this issue? Technology has been purpose-built to make it impossible for anyone to hack it, and security breaches have become a thing of the past. Not only will the possibility of fraud be eliminated, but the level of authenticity will also increase significantly simultaneously. Blockchain-based voting eliminates any opportunities for identity theft and makes it impossible to tamper with the results.Taxes
Millions of people struggle to understand taxes and related procedures since they are a subject of never-ending debate. Smart contracts will eliminate any chance of human error by introducing smart contracts, which will change the entire industry. Additionally, you simply cannot avoid paying taxes, which significantly reduces the rate of fraudulent operations. As a result, the entire process of collecting and reporting taxes becomes much more streamlined and customizable.Virtual Identity
The main goal of blockchain technology is to speed up and greatly improve government transactions. It is simple to gather and verify the whole database of public documents in real time, and it is also very secure.Healthcare
Blockchain technology has revolutionized the healthcare sector as a whole, making it simpler to diagnose illnesses and treat them effectively. As a result, the system has been strengthened and made more effective, which is somewhat lacking in this industry.Why don’t governments adopt technology?
Despite its explosive growth, blockchain technology must reach a critical mass of mass usage before it can persuade governments to follow suit. Governments, no matter how conservative, will opportunistically watch from the sidelines until widespread mass adoption occurs, there are sufficient use cases to base decisions on, and problems and solutions reach a plateau.
Due to the vast amounts of data that needs to be safeguarded and protected, the bureaucratic procedures of the government have, in some ways, been working to their benefit. Human involvement in the processes ensures that they are managed successfully and efficiently. The deployment of smart contracts is the dreaded scenario in which the impending blockchain encroachment will occur. What would happen to the wave of employees swarming every department and protected by law by the security of tenure if smart contracts eliminated human intervention? That was the same attitude we had when the Internet and all its enabling technologies entered our complacent lives and began to disrupt them.
Fear was fully eliminated when our well-founded concerns turned out to be unfounded. Because of the Internet, we have improved our lives and found greater fulfillment in our employment than ever before. According to a Deloitte and Oxford study on the effects of technology on occupations in the UK over the past 15 years, technology has eliminated 800,000 jobs while creating 3.5 million new ones that demand high levels of ability and creativity.Blockchain countries to look up to The UK and Ukraine
The land registries of each of these nations are about to adopt blockchain technology.Estonia
Estonia created the KSI blockchain to create an efficient and immutable system for citizen-state transactions. It consists of financial, healthcare, and other public services.Korea
All of the population’s personal data is operated and stored in Korea for blockchain administration. In addition, used car records and unemployment benefits are also included. Furthermore, municipal administrations are adopting the operation of the blockchain.Whether or not to use blockchain, Final Remarks
Nations’ governments will eventually have to accept reality. At this time, blockchain technology is the only practical technology that can alter how they serve its population. Developers are working around the clock to address any outstanding issues preventing blockchain technology from operating at its full potential, particularly data protection, privacy, and transparency. In addition, any country that adopts blockchain technology would benefit immensely from the quick service delivery it allows due to the enormous amounts of time and money it may save.
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