Chinese citizens leveraged the use of Ethereum, a popular cryptocurrency, to expose a Chinese pharmaceutical giant for selling low-quality vaccines. The pharmaceutical responsible for the public mele that broke on the social media app, WeChat, is Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology. The outrage has been relentless over the matter, causing Chinese health officials to scurry and revive public trust in the country’s healthcare infrastructure.
A blogger who goes by the moniker, Beast, originally wrote an investigative article that exposed Changchun for creating low-grade vaccines as a way to further profits. However, Chinese admins removed the article from public view as a way to conceal the truth and lessen any potential outrage. The vaccines that were subject of Beast’s scrutiny were Tetanus vaccines that were being given to infants.
But in late July, an inconsequential transfer of .001 Ethereum changed the fate of vaccine perspective in China, at least for the time being. The transfer’s value was just short of .50 cents, and it was transferred internally, to itself. The previously banned article was then added into the ETH metadata.
To understand why this worked, one must understand that all cryptocurrency transfers leave public metadata. Once the transfer of the .001 ETH was made using the article as its metadata, the article was once again public. Additionally, the article was anonymous. Although cryptocurrency transfers are public, the usernames and people involved remain unknown unless the person(s) decides to publically take credit for a transfer. And even then, you’re relying on honesty.
Chinese authorities weren’t able to remove the article or censor the article in any way due to Ethereum’s decentralized platform.
Citizens in China have become extremely savvy in defeating China’s authoritative grasp on communication and information via cryptocurrency. Last April, a letter that was highly critical of a Chinese University for not allowing a sexual assault case to go public used Ethereum as a way to publically expose the University.
China has held a rather staunchly tough position on cryptocurrency and their exchanges. Last year, China banned cryptocurrency exchanges, causing Bitcoin and Ethereum prices to plummet. In the same month, they banned cryptocurrency ICO’s from raising money.
Governments around the world are undoubtedly feeling unsettled regarding cryptocurrency and its ability to break traditional societal molds. Cryptocurrency can also allow people to make anonymous purchases, something the United States has been highly critical of.
Photo by Toolstotal
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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