Today the Chopra Foundation, an organization created by alternative-medicine advocate Deepak Chopra, announced its partnership with Hedera Hashgraph, a decentralized public network. The Foundation seeks to use Hedera’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) to create a platform to combat rising suicide rates and support mental health by sharing the resources of the Never Alone Campaign. This project is not to be confused with the Never Alone Initiative that supports the surviving families of military personnel.
Deepak Chopra expressed the Foundation’s long-time vision in creating a network ‘to democratize access to mental and emotional health resources.’ He further stipulates the importance of such resources being authentic and trustworthy, and believes that Hedera’s DLT could help. According to Chopra, Hedera’s Consensus Service would ‘guarantee the authenticity of content through a verifiable, timestamped log of events.’
It must be remembered that a hashgraph or blockchain does not prove the authenticity and trustworthiness of the actual stored information, it only guarantees that the information has not been changed from its original source.
Some consider a few of Chopra’s views controversial, as highlighted in a recent interview with The New Yorker. Chopra once claimed that people with HIV and aids were susceptible to the disease because of their ‘own interpretations’ of their reality, that when they accept that they have the disease, ‘they make it happen’ as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ In fairness, he regretted making the comments. Chopra was also criticized for selling products that claimed to ‘help cure cancer or other diseases’ through meditation. However, he removed the video from his website and clarified that meditation helps to aid relaxation as part of therapy.
DLT is considered a tool that could combat misinformation. Last year The New York Times started to tackle misinformation in the media with its blockchain-based News Provenance project, which would verify the source and check whether the information has been changed in any way from this source.
For Hedera, this is the ‘perfect chance’ to use their technology in solving ‘societal and health issues,’ as stated by CEO Mance Harmon. Hedera, which is a for-profit organization, is now owned and governed by 15 of some of the world’s leading enterprises, including Boeing, Avery Dennison, and IBM, with Google joining in early 2020.
What sets Hedera apart from most public blockchains is that it’s not a blockchain, but a hashgraph focused on enterprise-grade solutions. Hedera appears to be succeeding in its efforts of becoming the enterprise public blockchain. It initially raised $124 million for its platform before its network launch, and currently has a token market capitalization of $250 million, up from a $25 million valuation at the end of January.