Blockchain technology: Facilitating collaborative research via Intellectual Property sharing
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Blockchain is the underlying technology on which CryptoCurrencies such as Bitcoin and Etherium are based. Blockchain is implemented via the use of a distributed ledger. Blockchain ensures permanence of information and addition or modification is subject to everyone and the owner of information contained in the ledger agreeing as well thus making it temper proof. Transactions are grouped into blocks and time stamped and the whole mechanism is decentralised in nature and open to anyone and everyone. Many African countries currently do not have the requisite information sharing infrastructure in place. The use of blockchain technology will enable African and other developing countries to jump the technology gap. The current ledger systems where Intellectual property is adjudicated and stored (such as ARIPO) is centralised in nature. The storage and sharing of Intellectual property such as Patents could harness such technology as blockchain. Various academic, corporate and research institutions across the African continent and other developing countries can be able to share and access Intellectual Property inexpensively and thus effectively facilitating collaborative research.