Estonia Is Using the Technology Behind Bitcoin to Secure 1 Million Health Records

Oscar Williams-Grut | Business Insider | March 3, 2016

Guardtime, a startup that uses technology similar to that underpinning bitcoin to secure public and private data, has signed a deal with the Estonian government to secure all the country's 1 million health records with its technology. The deal with the Estonian e-Health Authority comes alongside a partnership with Estonian Information Systems Authority, which will see more government data move to Guardtime's technology.

Guardtime uses blockchain technology, made famous as the underpinning of bitcoin, to verify data and prove that it's trustworthy. It has created a network that citizens, private companies, and the government can also access to verify information on it. While similar to bitcoin's network, it is distinct and in fact predates the original white paper on bitcoin.

Estonia has one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world and helped to incubate Guardtime's technology. Estonian citizens carry a smartcard that stores their data and gives them access to over 1,000 government services. Mike Gault, co-founder and CEO of Guardtime, told Business Insider: "The only thing that you can’t do online in Estonia is get married or get divorced. Otherwise you don’t need to go to a government office..."