Why PokitDok Joined Hyperledger

We recently became a member of the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger collaboration.  To be clear, this was not a last minute knee jerk reaction on our part. Here is a direct quote from the Hyperledger and Linux Foundation Press Release:

"We are delighted to be a part of the Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation community," said Ted Tanner Jr., PokitDok Co-Founder and CTO. "Hyperledger is the reference for creating enterprise-grade blockchain systems and is proof positive that the network effect will prosper in years to come, with collaboration occurring within the open source industry."

Since our founding in 2011 we knew that distributed ledger technology was a natural evolution of what we call "The Operating System For The Business of Health."  We are a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company that enables healthcare organizations to quickly build modern commerce experiences across the healthcare value chain.  As a result, there are several hundred healthcare organizations who rely on us to power their evolving business models. The reason I bring this up is that we are first and foremost an operating system, or platform.  And through blockchain, we powerfully accelerate a necessary health technology transformation.

Let's consider that further.

As stated, since founding the company in 2011, we anticipated that at some point our platform-as-a-service (PaaS) would run on Distributed Ledger Technology.  However, the Health Technology Industry had no concept of Application Programmer Interfaces. It also had no way to abstract all the necessary technologies with compliances away from developers. And, what developer wants to waste time with the sluggishness of having to figure out all of the backend processes in order to build an application or new business model?  We also knew that Smart Contracts are and will continue to be the main asset. Securing smart contracts and transactions is paramount in health technology especially since 35-40% of all health data at rest and in transit is un-encrypted, per a report by HIMSS in 2016.  Hyperledger is directly focused on secure code and intellectual property with respect to these transactions.  

In fact, the specific evolutionary plans for our platform including blockchain technology date all the way back to when Blythe Masters purchased Hyperledger.  I knew once the code base was gifted to the Open Source Community that it would flourish; the timing was spot on.  Under the leadership of Masters, Digital Asset Holdings (DAH) purchased Hyperledger in mid-2015. Later that year, DAH and IBM announced the formation of an Open Ledger Consortium with the Linux Foundation.  The writing was on the wall; blockchain was primed to flourish. We immediately identified with the efforts put forth by the foundation of this consortium, given that our entire stack has been built on open source technology.  

Also, during this same time frame, we were developing the DokChain Alliance.  While not competitive with Hyperledger, we have focused on inventing, executing and running code for very specific use cases.  We were in close discussions with representatives from Hyperledger as we were developing these use cases specifically for the health and insurance industry.  The main use cases that came out of the alliance meetings are the following:

At the same time, we are making commits to the Hyperledger code base for Intel's Sawtooth technology including the Blockchain Browser and Explorer, and we are creating a net new functionality that enables an ERC 20 compatible crypto-asset framework through the namespace registry.  Further to this point and for throughput optimization, we are dedicated to adding State Channels to DokChain and eventually open sourcing to Hyperledger as well.  

Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation are forging a collaborative network affect within the enterprise blockchain industry.  Yet, as we know, most entities have a self-interested dominant game theoretic behavior when it comes to interactions, meaning they are only interested in their most optimal outcome.  

Here is a description of what I believe blockchain technology brings to the table:

"Allows potentially adversarial entities to obtain provable consensus with computational governance as a function of a trusted distributed network utilizing secure autonomous agents."   

Hyperledger and open source software make what seems impossible -- collaboration among adversarial entities -- actually possible.

We believe that the healthcare industry in particular is obligated to provide operational acuity and transparency to both the provider and the consumer.  Collaboration is key to the success and transformation of a legacy industry. Open source software is an essential component to this cross industry collaborative effort.  Simply put, Hyperledger is the future of permissioned enterprise-grade blockchain development. To bring transparency and efficiency to the Healthcare Industry, it is our intent to be an active member in this process and foundation.

We look forward to creating the future together.

Execution is Everything.

About Ted Tanner

Ted Tanner, Jr. is the Co-Founder and CTO of PokitDok. Ted has had architect positions at both Apple and Microsoft and has held instrumental roles in several startups, including digidesign (IPO and acquired by Avid), Crystal River Engineering (acquired by Creative Labs), VP of R&D at MongoMusic (acquired by Microsoft) and Co-founder and CTO of BeliefNetworks (acquired by Benefitfocus). He was also the CTO of Spatializer Audio Labs (NASDAQ: SPAZ), a company specializing in digital signal processing solutions.

Ted is on the Clemson University Restoration Institute's Executive Advisory Board, the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) for the University of South Carolina Computer Science Department, the IAB for the Center for Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning at the University of Tennessee, and Advisor to the College of Charleston's Department of Mathematics. He has published numerous articles in leading technical magazines and holds several patents in the areas of blockchain, semantics, machine learning, signal processing and signal protection.

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