Chinese internet users have turned to the Ethereum platform to expose a major pharmaceutical firm that was reportedly selling poor quality vaccines for infants as young as three months old. As the news became viral on social networking platforms, such as WeChat, drug manufacture Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology found itself at the centre of a massive public outrage.
It all started when a blogger named, ‘Beast,’ wrote an investigative story revealing how Changchun was profiting from the sale of poor quality cough and tetanus vaccines meant for babies. The story was taken down by strict Chinese monitors. Any attempt to repost the article and unmask China’s number one drug company was repeatedly thwarted by the country’s internet regulators.
Here is how the clever Chinese blockchain community used Ethereum’s platform to spread awareness about Changchun’s inferior vaccine manufacturing scandal. On July 22nd, an Ethereum address transferred 0.001 Ether (approx $0.48) to itself. The address’s owner then added the censored article in the transaction’s metadata. Since every transaction’s metadata is visible publicly, it didn’t take much longer for the story to spread like a wild-fire. Chinese authorities weren’t able to remove the article from Ethereum as it is a decentralized platform.
It is not the first time when Ethereum has been used by Chinese netizen to outwit Beijing’s strict internet monitoring policy. A student used the decentralized platform to join the #MeToo movement and write an open letter detailing how their college was preventing them from going public about a sexual assault case. The letter that was posted in April this year has not been taken down by Chinese monitors.
Ethereum is as an open software platform which uses the blockchain technology as its backbone. It can be used by developers to build and deploy applications that are decentralized in nature. It uses peer-to-peer approach and all the interactions that take place within the Ethereum ecosystem are supported only by the people who are part of the ecosystem without any central authority.
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