Cryptocurrency and Global Surgery

April 9, 2020: Posted by Saqib Noor

Cryptocurrency is a borderless, decentralised way of transferring stored value from person to person, instantly and throughout the world, with negligible costs. Since the first bitcoin was mined in 2009, the technology powering cryptocurrency has exponentially advanced, with the development of hundreds of currencies (or alt-coins), multiple exchanges to trade these currencies and easy to use crypto-wallets that allow any user to download a virtual wallet and start owning currency almost immediately. 

Although cryptocurrency is not yet ubiquitous in the majority of the world’s day to day life, it is becoming more prevalent and certainly now is an established payment option in many of the world’s biggest retailers, including Amazon, Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Starbucks and many more. There is no doubt, now the technology has come so far, it is here to stay, in some form or other.

Cryptocurrency may indeed have a crucial role to play in the global health sphere and surgical ecosystem, firstly in terms of its actual monetary use, and secondly because of the ideals and philosophies it shares with the concept of universal healthcare. From the manufacturing of medical equipment and international supply chains, to local micropayments for healthcare services, cryptocurrency can reduce cash flow problems in bigger organisations, minimise banking admin charges and exchange rate costs, and on a local level, reduce risks of corruption and extortion for medical services.

The very concept of a decentralised currency that spans borders, minimises red-tape, avoids beurocracy and is transparent tallies with many of the principles of universal healthcare. It is not just in the financial world where barriers exist, with many healthcare aspects being restricted due to centralised models that control the flow of knowledge and resources. From patents and drug profiteering, to unsafe working conditions of labourers in the medical industry, to the restricted access to research and education, there are many barriers that need overcoming with a new, decentralised, open access paradigm.

It is for these practical and philisophical reasons, One.Surgery will soon commence a financial working model that will advocate and support the use of cryptocurrency in the global surgery community, uniting the principles of borderless universal healthcare and a borderless economy.

Saqib Noor About Saqib Noor – United Kingdom | @saqibnoorcom
Saqib is a trauma and orthopaedic consultant from Birmingham, UK and founder of One.Surgery. He has published a book, Surgery On The Shoulders Of Giants, dedicated to training as a surgeon in various global health settings.

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