If the past year has proven anything, it’s that every facet of our lives is now steeped in tech. E-commerce, online mental health counseling, telecommuting — there’s no service that can’t be provided over the internet. Underpinning all of these tech trends is the blockchain… and the cryptocurrencies that run on it. And as the U.S. looks to tech-based solutions for vaccine documentation, cryptocurrencies and healthcare are headed for a collision. As such, speculative investors are seeking out the next big cryptocurrency. Many think that it will be found in this industry crossover.
Vaccine passports are the newest digital commodity. The controversial tech hit the U.S. recently through New York’s trial run of the Excelsior vaccine passport app. The results have been a mixed bag, but for a product still early in development, outlook is high. For those that don’t yet know, vaccine passports are a digital way for people to store data related to their Covid-19 vaccinations and tests. The idea is to create a paperless archive which users can produce quickly when they need to provide such documentation.
New York’s Excelsior app is the product of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) and was developed on IBM’s own blockchain. While blockchains are most known for providing inalterable, secure public ledgers, the IBM Blockchain has been developed to keep medical information privately contained through cryptography.
The tokenization of healthcare data is an idea that has been floating around the medical community for years now. Blockchain technology puts healthcare data in the hands of the patient, and in turn, it allows patients to manage their data according to their desires. The advent of vaccine passports is unveiling to investors a whole world where the healthcare industry can cross over with cryptos. And importantly, there are already cryptocurrencies gearing up for big gains in the wake of this med-tech revolution.
With all of this in mind, InvestorPlace has found seven cryptos to watch as vaccine passports take off. Any of these could be the next big cryptocurrency in 2021. They are:
- MediBloc (CCC:MED-USD)
- Medicalchain (CCC:MTN-USD)
- Doc.com (CCC:MTC-USD)
- Hedera Hashgraph (CCC:HBAR-USD)
- Solve (CCC:SOLVE-USD)
- Patientory (CCC:PTOY-USD)
- MDSquare (CCC:TMED-USD)
The Next Big Cryptocurrency? MediBloc (MED)
Among health-focused cryptocurrencies, MediBloc is one of the oldest and most reputable. That said, its token could be the next big cryptocurrency to explode thanks to the increasing popularity of vaccine e-documentation.
There is an absolutely huge amount of medical data that exists on paper. Digitizing these medical records is certain to happen, but without incentive, the process will drag on for years. With MediBloc, patients can be incentivized to digitize their medical records with payment in MED tokens.
The goal with MediBloc is to provide the user with a way to profit off of the distribution of medical information. The way it works is by listing records on a secure blockchain, and providing only the patients with full access to the secure information. Medical professionals, researchers, and others who may want the data can purchase it using MED coins. The transactions are then permanently marked on the blockchain ledger. The idea is to not only financially incentivize the digitization of medical data, but to securely protect patients’ information.
With the vaccine passport, MediBloc stands to make a huge profit. If MediBloc were to adapt to the growing needs of a vaccine documentation platform, users could leverage the platform for its MED token rewards.
MED has seen 430% gains over the last month, and has inked multiple deals recently with hospitals in Asia. Could the crypto continue its splash over here in the U.S. in the coming months?
Medicalchain stands to be one of the leading cryptos for users looking to sell their health info. The platform operates on the Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) network, and allows patients to set up a private medical file. Paying researchers, insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies can access the files only when the patient permits, and only during a set window. The access period then records to the blockchain.
This model makes a compelling case for Medicalchain as a crypto to boom from the coming med-tech flood. What the company is doing is already quite similar to what the Excelsior app offers in terms of information sharing, and by expanding its business to fit the needs of the coronavirus pandemic, it could offer a very lucrative product.
Speculative investors should take special interest in Medicalchain, because the company already has its own healthcare passport app. The Medicalchain Health Passport launched in March, and is already touting itself as the largest digital primary care record in the world. With this type of infrastructure, the company is only a half-step away from being a secure vaccine passport option. And considering the Medicalchain token, MTN, is trading for pennies, investors are finding themselves in a lower-risk situation than pricier and more volatile cryptos.
The Next Big Cryptocurrency? Doc.com (MTC)
Doc.com and its MTC cryptocurrency offer a two-fold solution to the complications of healthcare.
One is the company’s data sharing platform. What Doc offers differs a bit from the other cryptos on this list. Through Doc, a user can aggregate their medical data, which the Doc platform can then anonymously distribute to medical research institutions around the world.
The plan with Doc’s data sharing is to provide institutions with unabridged access to patient health records, while also keeping patients anonymous. The biggest draw for patients is in the MTC tokens, a crypto which they can receive through these anonymous transactions.
Through the Doc.com app, users also have access to telehealth support 24/7, and at a low cost. After a free first consultation, users can pay a low subscription fee to access Doc.com’s team of physicians. What excites users most about the service is that there is no insurance requirement. So, users can potentially skip on medical premiums while still having world-class healthcare.
It should be known that while the company has a promising mission and a proven support base, it has come under fire in recent years. Most notably, the company sold $49 million worth of new MTC privately after the date of its initial coin offering. It has also been less than transparent about the specific relationships it holds with advisors like John Lilly and Reid Hoffman.
Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)
Hedera Hashgraph is an interesting play because the blockchain platform is not entirely healthcare-centric. Rather, it is a network for decentralized app development, which has led in recent months to Covid-oriented applications. The success of some of these apps is evidence that the HBAR token could gain a lot from vaccine passport development.
One of the driving developers behind Hedera Hashgraph’s success is Acoer. Acoer has its teeth sunk into a whole variety of different healthcare-related projects on the Hedera network. One of the most notable Acoer projects is its transparent coronavirus tracker.
The tracker, which uses Hedera’s secure public ledgers, aggregates Covid-19 outbreak data from a variety of reputable government and news outlets. The end product is a database of information regarding coronavirus statistics that is entirely transparent.
Acoer CEO Jim Nasr has spoken at length about his desires to tokenize health data, and the vaccine passport phenomena is an obvious inroad for the developer. A product that rewards users with tokens for the accurate distribution and verification of vaccine-related data is not a far jump from the existing product for tracking outbreaks. And, given the growing popularity of decentralized app development, users could easily grow attached to the Hedera blockchain.
The Next Big Cryptocurrency? Solve (SOLVE)
One of the issues plaguing healthcare today is the less-than-lightning-speed distribution of health services. Solve.Care aims to create a network to disburse benefits and payments and to coordinate care on a centralized platform. The resulting product is an application where users can aggregate all of their medical needs in one place.
Through Solve’s Care.Cards, patients have access to a variety of healthcare tools. One of the tools that makes Solve a solid option for vaccine documentation is the ability for a user to securely document their health data. The tool, which is made possible through Solve’s recent partnership with Chainlink (CCC:LINK-USD), allows patients to remotely monitor chronic illnesses and other ongoing medical issues. The implications are obvious when you consider the vaccine passport’s function as a remote health monitoring service.
Also interesting to speculative investors is the wide usability of SOLVE tokens. The company touts SOLVE as the fuel needed to provide the various health services. Insurers, employers, and care providers can sponsor a user’s Care.Wallet, enabling payment between parties with SOLVE coins. Solve.Care has partnered with a number of agencies already, like that of pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, who sponsors the Solve Diabetes Care Administration Network. These agencies pay SOLVE coins to fuel care administration networks that allow the services the company provides. With existing services that have similar application to the vaccine passports, and existing government ties, SOLVE could be a strong play.
Solve.Care is the second-largest healthcare cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. The company also recently announced a partnership with SKALE Network to up the efficiency and usability of its products.
Another blockchain project focused on digitizing healthcare records, Patientory offers what it calls one of the safest data encryption and security measures in the healthcare blockchain world.
Patientory’s primary product is its mobile app. The app is the key through which patients can grant access to their stored medical data. The goal of the Patientory network is to aggregate patient data across many different healthcare providers. The interesting part about the Patientory network is that data does not register on the blockchain. After a patient provides their data, it is encrypted and stored elsewhere. CEO Chrissa McFarlane refers to the blockchain as “a roadmap” of sorts, allowing healthcare providers to navigate queries. Ultimately, though, the data is at the disposal of patients.
Speculative investors may take interest in Patientory for a number of reasons.
For one, it already has a fleshed-out application one can download from the Patientory website. With an existing product in which patients can grant access to medical records, it’s a no brainer that the company can take itself toward vaccine data storage. Secondly, the company has managed to hold through a long bearish run, and is beginning to slowly climb back. The PTOY token is not close to the 67-cent high of its ICO. However, it has continually climbed through the first quarter. It could break out on the back of the healthcare blockchain hype that vaccine passports are stirring up.
Thirdly, the Patientory application is already HIPAA-compliant, obviously attractive for a healthcare management application looking to attract a wide user base.
The Next Big Cryptocurrency? MDSquare (TMED)
While it’s by no means a household name in crypto, MDSquare offers an exciting, Ethereum-based telehealth solution. The MDSquare model can connect patients with physicians from anywhere in the world. The Korean blockchain-based health provider accommodates patients with integrated translation services, which are provided by humans rather than predictive software.
The ambitious project comes at a time when telemedicine is exploding. Patients stay inside because of pandemic restrictions, or they are afraid to seek in-person care for risk of exposure. Because of this, MDSquare seems like a right-place, right-time blockchain offering.
This innovative project rounds out the list because it also includes a remote health monitoring service. The monitoring service is close in idea to what vaccine passports promise. Thus, the company presents a strong capability to adapt to the Covid-19 market. The purpose of the TMED coin is to incentivize users to share health data and to use telehealth services. And, they can use TMED to pay for healthcare services via smart contracts on the Ethereum network.
However, it should be noted that MDSquare is probably the most volatile crypto on this list. Its market cap and coin circulation are unreported. However, it is worth including as a sleeper pick due to the massive growth of telemedicine in the U.S. This sets the company on the right path to break out.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Brenden Rearick is an Assistant News Writer for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Professional Writing and Political Science. His journalistic background spans many topics, and he prides himself on providing the most accurate and unbiased financial news.