This is a key moment in the development of the new digital economy. Interest in everything related to cryptocurrency continues to grow exponentially, and investments are closely monitoring this. Undoubtedly, there hasn’t been much money donated in a product category that is not well understood by both the general public and the majority of investors. Instead of real understanding, reputation and trust should be guided by crypto stakeholders. This need led to the emergence of a new and dangerous defect.
Unlike outright scams like OneCoin or Bitconnect, blockchain scalpers and thieves often play counterfeit science cards. “Read our paper article here,” “Check the research report we uploaded to arXiv”, “Downloading our dataset” sounds legitimate, right? Only one important component is missing: academic verification.
Not all documents are the same
Anyone can write a White Paper for download. In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission taught naive crypto investors a valuable lesson. He created a fake proposal for the fictional “HoweyCoin” first coin containing a clear white document as a marker (pun intended) for reliability. On the other hand, there is only one educated researcher, and he most likely holds a PhD. With extensive knowledge in this field, an article can be published in a refereed journal. This is the gold standard that the Distributed Ledger or DLT technology should apply.
You wouldn’t have a vaccine leaked from a study that would prevent biochemists and immunologists from validating their work. So why put your money, personal information, and robotic devices into DLT solutions that haven’t been thoroughly researched?
Academic review begins with peer review
Peer review is an essential aspect of professional review. It describes the practice of experts in the scientific field checking each other’s research findings for shortcomings and inconsistencies before and after publication. On the other hand, peer review is an important step in academic publishing that increases transparency, reliability, and credibility. To ensure peer review, the authors have access to data, methods, and findings for peer review, first by anonymous reviewers. On the other hand, once it is reviewed and initially published, the study can be revised, corrected, or even withdrawn at any time based on new information from the wider scientific community. Hence, academic certification is an ongoing process.
Working in a system with expert judgment and professional validation ensures the continuity of innovation and knowledge generation. Good scholarly publications add unique contributions to the rich legacy of past achievements. They systematically review what has been accomplished in the past, build on it and chart the course for innovation in the future. On the other hand, in pseudo-scientific publications, the bike is reinvented and sharpened just in case.
Last but not least, peer review is a code of academic conduct and integrity. In popular culture, many super villains have real-life graduate degrees, the vast majority of scientists are very well-intentioned and ethical people and their actions are based on the search for facts and knowledge. While this is not a perfect antidote to human error or moral degeneration, we can say that the academic verification system has largely succeeded in keeping the scientific course on the right track. This observation also applies to many by-products of industry such as the biotechnology sector.
Biotechnology as an Industry Peer Review Poster
An industry in which peer review has long been successfully integrated and is widely recognized is biotechnology. Rising rising stars like BioNTech and Triumvira Immunologics are featured regularly in leading magazines and undergo strict peer review. Nobody wants otherwise. The field learned its lesson after several spectacular attacks using pseudoscience, and none of them towered above Theranos.
From its founding in 2003 until its forced shutdown in 2018, Theranos’ biotech blood research has raised nearly $ 700 million in funding. Elizabeth Holmes, CEO and CEO Ramesh Balwani captivated investors with rosy descriptions of technologies their company had never developed before. The two blood test devices Theranos brought to the market – Edison and miniLab – have apparently not been peer-reviewed.