Dentacoin , a foundation based in the Netherlands, is developing distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions for the dental industry, with the goal of forming a global community of service providers and patients that work together to improve the quality of dental care and make it more affordable worldwide.
Dentacoin has introduced its ERC20 token, "DCN," built on the Ethereum blockchain, which is used as a reward system for both service providers and patients to contribute to the foundation's mission. For example, dentists are rewarded for their reputation in the Dentacoin network and patients are rewarded for feedback and reviews that help other patients to choose a service provider.
"Dentacoin chooses to reward those who contribute to trusted reviews, dental practice registrations and valuable feedback content for the industry," notes the Dentacoin white paper (which is still under development). "The rewards are directly connected to the level of participation."
Besides earning DCN, participants will also be able to trade DCN or buy DCN directly from Dentacoin. The foundation has big hopes for the token, which it expects to appreciate and become popular as a global currency.
Though Dentacoin has been mostly covered by the press in relation to its initial coin offering (ICO), the foundation seems more solid than many of the projects that have emerged during the recent ICO craze. In July 2017, Dentacoin purchased an existing dental clinic in London, Dentaprime International, for $90 million (paid in DCN).
Participating service providers (dentists, clinics and suppliers) and patients can use DCN tokens as internal currency of the Dentacoin network. Patients can use DCN to pay for dental products and treatment on a subscription basis, and dentists can use DCN to pay for dental materials, supplies and equipment. The Dentacoin ecosystem also includes a decentralized database of medical records, access-controlled by individual patients. And a dental insurance product is under development.
"At the moment there are seventeen dental practices all over the world, which have implemented Dentacoin tools in their workflow and accept DCN as means of payments," according to a February post on Dentacoin's blog. "The first three tools of Dentacoin were released as planned: Dentacoin Trusted Reviews - the first blockchain-based platform for incentivised detailed feedback; DentaVox Research platform , gathering valuable market research data on dental related topics; and DentaCare Mobile App , helping users to establish healthy dental care habits."
"The patient can earn Dentacoin tokens for proactive steps they take to improve their dental health," noted Forbes . "The result is that both the patient and the dentist are incentivised to improve long-term care."
Philipp Grenzebach, co-founder of Dentacoin, elaborated on the foundation's philosophy and operations in an interview with Forbes . He noted that, through blockchain technology, a better system for healthcare operations can be established.
"Blockchain technology offers the highest level of efficiency. … Also, it is the most effective way to automate data security," said Grenzebach. "Using the blockchain technology made us independent from banks. Therefore, we do not only cut expenses, but also speed up all our transactions. An additional benefit is that we are able to reach hundreds of thousands of people in the world who do not have access to a bank account, but still (of course) should be able to receive dental care."
Grenzebach also espoused the benefits of the Ethereum blockchain, a go-to solution for many enterprises looking to leverage the advantages of distributed ledgers.
"We also believe that the Ethereum project will evolve over time," said Grenzebach. "Sharding and proof-of-stake, for example, will lead to the much faster transaction times that DCN users will access as soon as our project scales."
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