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Status: Ethereum goes mobile – Wallets with cryptosoft

Ethereum will soon have Status, the first wallet for mobile devices with an interface reminiscent of WeChat.

The Alpha version of Status will be released in the next few weeks. This program will provide a new, contemporary interface for the Ethereum wallet.

With Status, users can start and control remote applications or DApps via instant messages from a mobile wallet.

First Step Alpha Version of cryptosoft

The Light Client, which will be available for Android and iOS, was inspired by the app WeChat. WeChat is less known in this country, but even before Facebook Chat it was a cryptosoft chat app that could do much more than simple messaging via bots. So you could also browse through your social media updates or initiate payment transactions with cryptosoft.

According to Carl Bennets, co-founder of Status, the idea was to create an interface that people without an affinity to blockchain would understand. This would build a bridge to the world of crypto technologies for those non-techies.

“With this goal in mind, we came up with a solution between a messenger and a browser. According to our vision, you can talk to decentralized applications like you would with friends”.

Ultimately, the Mist Wallet had a similar goal. This well-known Ethereum Wallet was sponsored by the Ethereum Foundation and wanted to make the operation of DApps similar to the user experience in a browser.

Status takes this a step further by adapting the interaction with distributed applications to instant messaging.

However, it should be stressed that there may be still a long way to go before the finished product is ready.

The alpha version will be a slimmed down version of the program, with the status to show what it’s up to. Target audiences are primarily developers – ultimately the same target audience as Ethereum.

An already interesting component is that users can encrypt their chats using Ethereum’s Whisper protocol.

According to Bennets, this is a necessary step away from the current client-server model used by most encrypted messaging apps. He emphasized that Status is one of the first apps to use Ethereum’s decentralized chat protocol.

In addition to the chat, there are other features available. Developers can already play around with the app.

For example, users can save their ether or send it locally – even if Bennets doesn’t recommend doing this with a larger amount of ether, as the function is still being tested. In addition, existing DApps should be able to be thinned, similar to the Mist browser.

The vision behind Status

The Mobile Wallet also shows a new focus of the developers: One wonders not only what users can do with the technology, but how they can use it.

Even though there are already a lot of wallets, even in the mobile sector, most interfaces are not exactly made for the Otto normal consumer.

A distant goal of Status is to be able to order a self-propelled car via an instant message and a transaction from Ether.
“Between a friend and a Dapp there should be no difference on the level of status”, so a presentation of the app on the Devcon.

When asked if it wouldn’t be dangerous to make Smart Contracts easier to use – after all, there have been some bugs and security issues with Ethereum – Bennet agreed.

The DAO exploit shows what can happen if developers use Ethereum as if it were already fully developed – which it is not yet. However, he is convinced that security will improve in Ethereum Smart Contracts.

“Security is being taken more and more seriously. Once we have a security standard that DApps submit to before they are made available to users, Ethereum will be a very good, secure and forward-looking system.”

Security is not one of the main development goals of Status in this respect – it is hoped that Ethereum will make changes itself. Despite the current problems of the Ethereum infrastructure, developers are working on innovative projects that improve the Ethereum ecosystem.

Comment by the author (Philipp Giese):

I think that a dung-capable mobile wallet is an important first step. For DApps and their control on mobile phones, the approach of doing this via an instant messaging-like service makes sense – apps like WeChat but also Quartz, Slack or Facebook Messenger show that this concept works. In this respect, I’m really excited about status. Whether it will be a “killer app” can’t be said and is probably exaggerated, but status will definitely be the interaction with DApps

The potential of medical drugs

Accelerating the regulatory processes of health insurance companies or the transfer of EHRs is a challenge that will take ten to fifteen years to come, according to Michael Gucci, an emergency physician and founder of Bitcoin Fortress Ventures.

“We have to think in small steps, hospitals will never implement huge changes.”

Instead of focusing on EHR and insurance, Gucci believes that blockchain entrepreneurs should first focus on the medical device market, which has disruptive potential.

Companies like Block Verify from Great Britain are working on the news spy

Even if counterfeit drugs are less of a problem in the United States, the situation is completely different in developing countries. This problem costs the drug industry billions of dollars a year. Worse still, the news spy trade in counterfeit medicines claims thousands of lives, as the American Health and Drug Benefits Report showed in 2014.

The company has carried out several tests to enable medical workers and customers to verify the integrity of the drug via the blockchain using QR codes on pill vials.

Rome was not built in one day

This is consistent with Holt’s idea that the role of blockchain entrepreneurs is to find solutions to simpler problems in the areas of data integrity and data origin.

An example of this is Saavha. This blockchain startup has one task: to confirm the integrity of health plans. With the Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal of 2014 and other still existing problems in this context, this service is particularly interesting as it deals with big problems of poorly managed waiting lists.

According to a proposal by a member of the US Congress, this problem is something that could be solved with blockchain technology.

According to Holt, the VA has much stricter regulations than many hospitals. The data used must be encrypted on a hard disk that is under constant surveillance in a locked room. And yet – the data could be manipulated.

Saavha’s assistant physician and co-founder, Matthew Rose, is convinced that while it is appealing to solve a big problem, it is more practical to solve the small problems within the big one.

One example of this is the history of medicine: according to Rose, one reason for the great progress in this area is that each scientist has only worked on a small part of the problem. In cancer research, for example, some doctors focus on tumor removal practices, others on how to safely separate tumors from the blood supply, and still others on the role of proteins.

Under the hood, Saavha works as follows: A hash of all data relevant to the doctor’s appointment is stored in the blockchain, proving that the data was not changed later.

This use case cleverly avoids a frequently repeated accusation against the blockchain: One often accuses the blockchain of being slow by nature and therefore not being the best solution for large amounts of data.

Since the focus here is on data integrity, EHRs can simply store a short hash on the blockchain and thus prove the validity of information stored elsewhere. This information is often stored in centralized databases.

The best of two worlds
These centralized databases could in turn benefit from somewhat more exotic blockchain applications.

Andrian Gropper, CTO of the non-profit group Patient Privacy Rights, believes that these centralized databases should be scaled down significantly. After all, these databases contain the patient records of up to ten million patients.

“We have thus created an El Dorado for data thieves. Tens of thousands of people in hospital staff have access to this data. And for the user, these systems are completely inscrutable.”

This is a well-known problem in the industry. Only last year, data thieves performed the largest health hack ever in the industry. The data of more than 78 million patients were disclosed. In March, the MedStar Systems clinical information system was hacked and had to be taken offline.

This misery will continue – Healthcare data is almost a hundred times more valuable than stolen credit card data.

“The only hope of securely managing this type of personal information is to put it back in the hands of a decentralized group. The blockchain will play a central role in this.”

This is exactly what motivates Gropper to create a patient-centered health platform.