Top payments for withdrawing money – savings banks levy fee

In times of low interest rates, banks prefer to reach down rather than up: In the last few days, the already intact or future collection of fees at ATMs at 40 of the 400 savings banks in total caused a great media response.

Creating new pillars for Bitcoin evolution

Thus the Internet portal reports after a search that approximately 20 savings banks want to have something extra already with the first time money take off: One can bypass this by the change on another account model. But this is directly connected with higher overall monthly Bitcoin evolution contributions.

With the remaining 23 banks one is asked only then to the cash to the cash if one would like to lift more than two and/or five times in the month money. Pay money for the weekly purchase? Additionally then for the cinema at the weekend, or the ice in the city park? That makes one euro per payout!

Can’t you believe it? The Sparkasse Wittgenstein, the Stadtparkasse Grebenstein and the Stadtparkasse Grebenstein show you how.

The ailing system
With a technology from the middle of the last century (exactly, the 50’s, that’s no joke now) little can be accomplished. Savings bank federation president Fahrenschon is eager thereby each service of his subordinated savings banks a suitable price to give. This ailing system is time-intensive, old and the whole structure must be paid also somehow.

Going with the Bitcoin evolution

One Euro here for withdrawing cash. There 15 – 40 cents for an online transfer and at the end wait 24 hours for a SEPA transfer – but only on weekdays, because if the employer pays his salaries on Friday at noon, then the money for the employees arrives in the account on Monday.

All the more surreal is this whole Bitcoin evolution development for all those who have already come into contact with digital currencies. Here, transactions are possible in real time! Bitcoin, the biggest example of digital currencies, currently takes a bit of a „long“ time, but is generally fast moving.

Due to the current block size debate, it can take a little longer, but basically no traditional service provider can keep up. In the best times, the Bitcoin network managed to securely confirm transactions within 10 minutes (a secure confirmation is one level higher than the „normal“ confirmation of incoming payments), for a long time 13-15 minutes were considered average. Because of the debate mentioned, we see such times only on weekends, due to slowdowns in the network it takes well and often half an hour.

But that’s not all by far! Bitcoin payment processors like to speed up the process to real time, Ethereum, the second largest blockchain, needs only a few seconds up to a maximum of two minutes. Can the SEPA transfer keep up with this?

Offer alternatives
If you see such comparisons, you might get angry that you have to pay for your transfer in the carriage speed.

The alternative looks like this:

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash are currently leading the field of crypto currencies. To create an account, a so-called wallet (English for wallet / portmoneé) costs nothing! No matter how long you have it.

Only the transactions cost money, so if I send money to another person. The transaction costs [in dollars] can be seen in the picture above. These costs are distributed to millions of computers in the network, which meticulously check the validity of every single transaction at high speed so that no fraud can occur. So in euros we see transaction costs (or „transfer costs“ if you compare that to traditional banking) of:

71 cents for Bitcoin (unfortunately currently at a record high due to the block size debate, otherwise always way down, as the graph on the left shows)
14 Cent for Ethereum
5 cents for Dash
And with it I can send money to everyone in the whole world! The prerequisite is that the other person has a wallet for the same digital currency as me. But even if he has another digital currency, with services like ShapeShift I can overcome this hurdle myself. So it doesn’t matter if I send something to my colleague two cities away or if my parents send me something for my holidays in China: It costs a fraction, no matter how much money I send and it is incomparably fast there!

Accounts for everyone, efficient, secure, decentralised – that’s already more!

Why is a Smart Contract secure?

Since Vitalik Buterin developed Ethereum, smart contracts have become an integral part of the blockchain ecosystem. But what is behind these „smart contracts“? In five parts, Ingo Rammer explores the implications of the technology for us. Today: Why is a Smart Contract secure?

Why exactly is the Bitcoin evolution safe?

So far, so good. But what about the security of this approach? What would happen if one of the participants simply exchanged the smart contract on the blockchain node he controlled and used a variant that was advantageous for him like this (Depending on the blockchain, the attacker would have to dive relatively far into the internals of the implementation of the blockchain platform – but it is still a valid attack vector that has to be considered at least on a theoretical level).

What would an attacker have to do?

In our example, an attacker could try to take control of all phone numbers by changing the check conditions in his version of the smart contract. But this would lead to the World State being changed only on the attacker’s node: Only for him it looks as if he controls all telephone numbers.

All other participants would continue to execute the correct version of the contract. If, due to the consensus mechanism chosen between the participants, the attacker is selected by the network itself to generate new blocks, these would immediately be rejected by the other participants.

The attacker would lose the status of the block generator again, since depending on the configuration of the block chain, half or two thirds of all participants must agree with the result of a transaction before it is considered correct network-wide. An attack attempt therefore only harms the attacker himself.

One can therefore compare this attack with a bank customer crossing out the status on his printed account statement and overwriting an increased credit balance. From his point of view, he now has much more money than before. But as soon as he tries to access this money, he is very quickly brought back to the bottom of the facts: his own view remains a wish and will at best be acknowledged by his counterpart with a smile.

Blockchain technology in the healthcare of the future

As in all other industries, blockchain technology does not stop at the healthcare sector. Even though many ideas are still being discussed in this market, it is already clear that the possibilities of the new technology seem to have great potential in many respects.

Looking at current surveys, decision-makers in the health care sector have a positive long-term view of this development. But where can Blockchain be used in healthcare at all?

The use of blockchain technology in healthcare can cover very different areas

In the pharmaceutical industry to prevent the production of counterfeit medicines, in hospitals in hospital logistics for example to track supply chains and demand-oriented stock levels and quality assurance.

Blockchain can be used for early warning systems and can transfer data from wearables. Autonomous monitoring of durable medical devices, such as a pacemaker: Blockchain technology can also be used for this purpose efficiently and reliably.

However, the particular field of application will be in the networking of the health care system. Blockchain technology opens up the possibility of cryptographically securing and updating patient data and handing it over to patients.

The advantages of blockchain technology

The advantages of the system lie above all in the security of the technology. An issue that is becoming increasingly relevant, especially in times of hacker attacks. If the data is currently stored on servers of doctors or health insurance companies, it can be saved as a valid information block on the blockchain in the future.

Another important point is the optimization of processes, which leads to a saving of time and money. This is currently an enormous advantage of the technology, especially in view of the increased expenditure in the healthcare system.

The probably decisive advantage for consumers is the „democratization of data“. With blockchain technology, data can lie in the patient’s hands and be used in a self-determined way. Everyone would have their own influence on the flows of their data and could decide for themselves which data is made available to whom and how it is used.

It would then remain for the user to decide whether he wants to make data available to his doctor or possibly to a pharmaceutical company for research purposes.

What are the challenges, limits and future hurdles?
The possibilities in the healthcare sector in particular seem to be groundbreaking and bring new dynamics into an established system. Nevertheless, the players are complaining that it is currently difficult to estimate the relationship between benefits and costs. Necessary investments are difficult to quantify and the return on investment is also difficult to estimate – a risk.

Legal questions also arise. Who is responsible for the data and where are the responsibilities? There are also ethical questions that need to be discussed: Incorrect incentives to transmit data for research purposes can have the opposite effect.