What is Dentacoin (DCN)? A Beginner’s Guide
What is Dentacoin (DCN)?
Dentacoin (DCN) is the first blockchain concept designed to help make the global dental industry more affordable. Following a decentralized, Ethereum-based smart contract protocol, the DCN token rewards users through a system that inspires community contribution. Ultimately, the project’s mission is to make quality dental health care available to the nearly 80% of the world’s population without it.
By removing the middleman (big insurance companies) and placing authority back into the patient’s/dentist’s hands, costs can be significantly reduced. One way this is accomplished is through the establishment of smart contracts directly between patients and dentists. These facilitate small monthly contributions of Dentacoin to dentists. Tailored directly to the patient’s needs, this smart contract solution will streamline dental care and remove the need for patients to pay high premiums to insurance companies.
The average American pays $544 in out-of-pocket expenses. As well, nearly 90% of costs can be avoided only if patients take preemptive care and visit the dentist at least 3 times a year. The problem is, going to the dentist is not the most pleasant of experiences for the average person, and fewer visits correlate with higher instances of gum disease, cavities, etc.
With Dentacoin, patients are empowered to take control of their preemptive dental care (such as proper nutrition/ flossing) and dentists benefit monetarily from the patient’s long-term dental success. Unfortunately, the current dental system doesn’t encourage dentists to think of the long-term benefits to patients (due to economic disadvantages) and instead focus on short-term value.
Today, the global dental treatment industry is valued at around $400 billion dollars, yet comes with high-cost barriers for both smaller companies and patients. In order to break into this industry, the Dentacoin Foundation is relying on the power of crowdfunding to harness its goals.
Key Features of Dentacoin
Dentacoin is both a financial tech tool and logistics platform. Unlike many other decentralized p2p (peer-to-peer) cryptocurrencies on the market (like Bitcoin and Litecoin), the Dentacoin token is not intended to be the new means for global payments. Instead, it’s viewed as a non-competitive cryptocurrency which will solely focus on progressing the global dental industry. Although reinventing the industry proves challenging, Dentacoin outlines a series of tools to better illustrate the team’s goals:
- Blockchain Based Trusted Review Platform: Platform enabling patient reviews to be published in an unbiased manner, creating optimum market research value for dentists. Reviews are rewarded with DCN, which in turn can be used to pay for future treatments.
- Dentacare Mobile App: Offers a three-month incentivized gaming program that educates users (e.g. appointment reminders, brushing techniques, nutritional guidance) on how to maintain proper dental hygiene. After three months, the hope is that these repetitive, beneficial hygiene actions become permanently integrated into the individual’s routine. The app also includes an emergency service function that puts users in touch with dental specialists in the network.
- DentaVox Opinion Platform: Customer intelligence tool that rewards users for giving feedback on various dental topics. This data is useful for dentists, suppliers, manufacturers, the media, and essentially all those who have access to said data.
- Dental Assurance Concept: Smart contract between dentist and patient that is tradable on the blockchain. Dentists must perform the job to the best of their abilities, but patients are also required to keep up certain hygiene standards. Monetary rewards are given to both parties if these obligations are met. “Super smart contracts” will also be implemented to protect the patient in case of dentist insolvency or death.
- Healthcare Database: The blockchain offers secure data exchange while simultaneously allowing storage of medical records to be shared among dentists and patients (upon given permission).
- Trading Platform: Removing lengthy supply chains, dental products and equipment can be traded worldwide using DCN. This helps avoid excessive tariffs and fluctuating exchange rates.
How Does Dentacoin Work?
To understand how Dentacoin works, it helps to understand the concept of smart contracts. The project’s whitepaper also gives a good explanation of smart contracts, describing them as “computer protocols in the Ethereum blockchain that facilitate, verify, negotiate and conclude contracts between individuals and their contracting party.”
This may sound complicated to those not in the tech industry or new to cryptocurrency, but a simple way to think of the DCN smart contract is to relate it to the processing of a check. Someone writes a specific amount on the check with their name and signature, the check is then delivered to the bank who “clears” it, and the intended receiver is given the money. Only if all these conditions are met can the transaction be successful.
As with DCN smart contracts, a string of events must take place and obligations filled (such as a completion of a service) before DCN’s can be transferred. Yet, you don’t need a bank or middleman to verify that obligations are met. Hallelujah for smart contracts!
Moreover, users can send or request DCN tokens to any Ethereum based wallet. Both parties taking part in DCN transfers will be able to view their transaction history on the ledger with complete transparency as well as view account balances in the contracts continually updated state.
The Dentacoin Foundation encompasses roughly 20 core team members and was founded by Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrakiev, Philipp Grenzebach (business developer), and Jeremias Grenzebach (core developer).
Member of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Prof. Dr. Dimitrakiev holds more than 25 years experience in financial markets and is a “highly respected university lecturer”. Philipp Grenzebach is considered the “Economic Brain behind Dentacoin”, while Jeremias Grenzebach is considered the Dentacoins “Code Wizard”. It’s interesting to note that Jeremias Grenzebach contributed to the development of major projects like Ethereum, Waves, and ZCash (among others) and has been in the blockchain scene for 8 years.
In July of 2017, Dentacoin purchased a brick and mortar dental clinic in London called “the Dentaprime International Plc. London” for a value of $90 million USD entirely with DCN tokens. The team plans to expand its acquisition of dental clinics as the project moves forward and implement their technology to each of the clinics.
To gain insight into future plans and other significant feats like the purchase of the dental clinic, refer to the roadmap below:
Dentacoin Coin Supply
You cannot mine Dentacoin, and it has a total max supply of 8 trillion tokens. The circulating supply is currently around 325 billion DCN and has a total market cap of $553,021,732 at the time of this writing.
The company plans on slowly distributing 76.1% of the tokens in “Timelock” contracts each year between 2018 to 2042. The founders will receive 5% DCN, with core team members to receive 2.4% DCN. To gain more insight into the allocation of the coin supply and to personally verify the Timelock contracts, visit their Github page here.
Dentacoin Trading History
Dentacoin started trading in early August for a fraction of a cent and still remains that way. While DCN reached ATH’s (all-time highs) on January 8th of $0.006 cents, the price was still below virtually every other coin and fell to its current level of around $0.0015 cents.
Where Can You Buy Dentacoin?
You can buy Dentacoin on popular exchanges such as EtherDelta, Mercatox, Coinexchange, and HitBTC. In order to do so, you must deposit either Bitcoin or Ethereum onto your respective exchange wallets.
The team here at CoinCentral suggests using reputable sites when initially purchasing cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Bitstamp are popular choices that allow for credit card purchases and bank transfers, however other sites like CoinMama will also get you initial cryptocurrencies in exchange for fiat money.
Where Can You Store Dentacoin?
While you are able to store your Dentacoin on exchange sites, it is highly suggested to move your DCN over to non-exchange wallets in case of cyber attacks. Since Dentacoin is an ERC20 token, it is storable on Ethereum based wallets.
Popular Ethereum wallets include MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, imToken, and Coinomi. For hardware wallets, Trezor and Ledger Nano S are reputable brands that will help further protect your digital assets.
The plausible use case for this project is hard to ignore. Other medical related blockchain projects like that of MediBlocs have also found success in targeting the healthcare industry in general and its dire need for adjustment. While Dentacoin focuses solely on the dental industry, the similarities between the two projects (such as decentralizing healthcare records and rewarding community contribution to the platform) should be noted, as MediBloc could potentially attempt to dominate the overall global healthcare industry, including dental.
Dentacoins founders don’t own a majority of the coin supply (like Ripple’s) and the development team seems to be strong, which are good signs. Dentacoins whitepaper also gives readers a detailed roadmap with a view into their short-term, medium-term, and long-term target markets, up to the year 2042. Moreover, they locked up a token amount of 4.1% for the years after 2042 (if needed).
That being said, this is one of the blockchain projects out there that clearly defines its goals with numerical values (as seen in concrete detail in the whitepaper). Moreover, it’s one of the few projects out there that has a working use case, as seen in their London dental office purchased in 2017. If the project accomplishes what it says it will, it could do the world a lot of good.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin is a Brooklyn based cryptocurrency enthusiast & writer. Nomad at heart, you can often find her at the airport heading to her next adventure.