Presented by Aston

Fraud is rampant. For example, health care fraud in the U.S. is in the tens of billions of dollars, according to various estimates, and that number is growing. While cutting elsewhere, the Trump administration requested $70 million to combat health care fraud in its latest budget, based on the drag on the economy.

“A large hospital creates more than a million sensitive medical documents each month,” says Seungki Kim, CEO at Aston, a blockchain company focusing on document storage and verification. “The documents are vulnerable to tampering, which can lead to fraud. There are also many nearly-identical versions of documents, which can cause confusion and lead to medical errors.

A new form of blockchain technology is the answer.

The cure for fraud

While Harvard Business Review breathlessly announced “The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media,” and the Wall Street Journal proclaimed, “The Blockchain Is the Internet of Money” blockchain’s potential extends far beyond finance.

Aston’s initial aim is to use blockchain for document verification, which is the first step to stamping out health care fraud. Aston allows hospitals to issue and confirm medical documents electronically on smartphones and tablets. Each new version of a document is immutably recorded to a secure blockchain, eliminating opportunities for documents to be stolen, manipulated or lost.

“As we move toward decentralized networks for information storage, we also need decentralized document authentication to ensure our documents are legitimate,” Kim said. “That’s our end game.”

So far Aston’s technology is being used at Cha Hospital and Hallym University Hospital, two of Korea’s largest and most reputable health care centers. It’s also being used by NH Bank, one of Korea’s major financial institutions, and Coinlink, a cryptocurrency exchange.

Blockchain’s flaw — and its fix

The basic principle behind blockchain is often also its greatest weakness. Every few seconds, blockchain transactions are verified and recorded by thousands of computers around the world. Sometimes the system can get bogged down.

“Transactions on the linear blockchains that power Bitcoin and Ethereum can’t be done in real time,” Kim says. “The storage size and computing power required for blockchain-based transactions are enormous. Blockchain is still usable for cryptocurrency transactions, but bottlenecks are holding the technology back from its full potential.”

Aston has made a technological leap called X-Chain, which makes distributed applications like blockchain-based document verification feasible.

The multidimensional solution

Aston’s X-Chain is a multi-dimensional blockchain that reduces the total chain size by up to 70 percent and reduces the verification time exponentially.

With X-Chain, every time a new document is created, a corresponding genesis block is added to the chain. An upgrade from linear blockchains, X-Chain documents have their own individual blocks, rather than being lumped in with others. When documents are modified, their blocks sprout sub-chains, containing all of the document-specific changes.

Verifying documents is much faster on Aston’s X-Chain because only the blocks related to that document need to be examined, and those blocks are much smaller in size than those created with existing technologies.

“Using a linear blockchain for document storage means you have to go on a scavenger hunt every time you access the file to reassemble all of the pieces. With X-Chain it’s more like going into a well-organized filing cabinet stored in a bank vault,” said Aston’s Kim.

Aston has seen early success in Korea, where most of their team members are based. The country, which is home to three of the top five cryptocurrency exchanges, and leads the world in terms of trading volume in Ethereum, was quick to embrace and adopt blockchain technology.

Aston just launched its public token sale on December 11. To learn more about how X-Chain technology is eliminating fraud across industries, and the company’s public token sale, visit the Aston website.

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