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  Are we ready to adopt digital currency ?  

Just like commodities to commodities-backed currency replaced by current paper money (fiat, banknote), global economy has been introduced by new form of medium of exchange called cryptocurrency. It is basically a digital money that is created to simplify the transaction process in digital environment (like internet). Currently there are around 280 Cryptocurrencies exist and the most popular one is called Bitcoin (Al Shehhi, 2013). Unlike normal banknote, there is no central bank that distribute/print the money. In Bitcoin case, people have to “mine” the currency by installing a software that will be solving mathematical problems in order to get the “coin”.

Before it was founded by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, cryptocurrency idea was introduced in 1998 by a member of cyperphunks mailing list group (in which Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, was an internal member). He tried to achieve privacy by the creation of anonymous transaction method called b-money, that would allow untraceable pseudonymous entities to cooperate with each other more efficiently (Grinberg, R., 2012). However, 10 years later the idea grew beyond its initial purpose and had since become one of the technological hype.

There are several reasons why cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin has become so popular. Firstly, it has no transaction cost at all. The reason is, during the transaction, the program will create a peer-to-peer network between the sender and receiver. In other words, its simple infrastructure, and no intermediary, allows the currency to be more cost-efficient as compared to normal credit card and online payment vendor like PayPal (Zielke, 2013 ). Secondly, there is no risk of inflation, which means low risk of collapsing its value. The program (Bitcoin miner) will change the complexity of the problems and subsequently adjust the distribution of the currency in a predictable rate. Lastly, it is secure and anonymous. Receiver will never be able to track down the information of the sender and the sender cannot revert the transaction, preventing any scam behavior.

Spenkelink (2014) interviewed professionals from different industries and discovered hacking and direct cryptocurrency theft are apparently perceived as minor issues. According to his article, as long as the process is easy to use, the price is stable, and the “decentralized” aspect is maintained, general public will be more likely to adopt it.  Likewise fiat money that is backed solely by government regulation and law, cryptocurrency will have to rely mostly on public’s confidence and trust (Grinber, 2012). Thus, it is very important to maintain the aspects Spenkelink (2014) described so as to make it more sustainable in the long run. Furthermore, the benefit of full privacy enjoyed by the users might become a drawback for local governments. That is because cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin) allows criminal activities (e.g. money laundering) to slip through government surveillance easily.

In conclusion, cryptocurrency is still in infant stage and very few studies have  ever studied the field. However, in developed countries where internet connection is prominent and where privacy issue is very sensitive, this type of currency is very highly demanded. However it may take years before the joint-benefits among all the stakeholders (such as government, users, and firms) can be manifested.


Sources :

Al Shehhi, A., Oudah, M., & Aung, Z. (2014, December). Investigating factors behind choosing a cryptocurrency. In Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), 2014 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 1443-1447). IEEE.

Grinberg, R. (2012). Bitcoin: an innovative alternative digital currency. Hastings Sci. & Tech. LJ4, 159.

Spenkelink, H. F. (2014). The Adoption Process of Cryptocurrencies-Identifying factors that influence the adoption of cryptocurrencies from a multiple stakeholder perspective.

Zielke, B. (2011). Why Credit Cards Are Not the Future of Online Payment. Retrieved from:






Beginning era of Online Health Service

There are so many business idea opportunities out there, but none of them is more challenging than online health consulting service. Health is a not just a matter of preference, everyone cares about it. For that reason, people are very selective and careful in selecting type of health services they can get. On the other hand, medical professionals are also in need of better tool to increase their capacity in delivering health services to more people, especially health consultancy.

In 2013, there were around 15000 medical apps (David Lee Scher MD, 2013) but only few of them were successful. Apple created a healthcare app called iDR 24/7 with the purpose of providing health consulting service at any time, however consulting with professional doctor (in USA) charges user some amount of money. Other examples are HealthTap and iTriage that are available in iOS and Android. Both of them allow you to reach high number of professional doctors and yet provide other advanced features such as daily health tips, smart symptom diagnosis, or even searching for nearest hospital. Likewise iDR 24/7, there is small fee for a doctor’s advice. Last example of famous health-related app is Urgent Care (Android and iOS) which is focused on delivering health services from professional medicals at any emergency moment.

The next question is: why so many health apps fail? In providing health advice and consultancy, good enough is never enough, patients always demand the best possible service when it comes to their health, whereas doctor only wants a tool that helps them simplifying all the health service delivery process such as prescribing medicine, setting up new arrangements and archiving the records of the patient. Beautiful design and sophisticated feature are merely additional as long as the basic functionality works. Thus, involving medical experts in the platform development itself is very important.

In the era of internet, people have access to medical information on internet even without seeing the professionals (doctors). However, for more complex situation, they still need assistance from the experts and thus the implementation of online health consultancy service will help. Not only doctors can provide more timely assistance, they can also reach people who cannot afford medical cost, especially for consultancy. Ball and Lillis (2000) predicted E-health services may educate normal people with basic medical information (general information, disease management, and clinical decision support), support the communication between doctors and patient, and increase administrative efficiency (e.g reduced paper used for medicine prescription, form, charts, etc).

In conclusion, doctors and patients are the main customers of this digital platform. Doctors benefit from the increased capacity in delivering consultancy services whereas customers will have more access to health advice service easily in timely manner. Through collaboration with medical professionals, developers (for website or mobile app) should be able to create a platform in which interaction between physicians and patients can be supported flexibly in lower cost. As health is particular concern of everybody, the advancement of internet technology will drive high demand for online health service in the next 5-10 years.

Ball, M. J., & Lillis, J. (2001). E-health: transforming the physician/patient relationship. International journal of medical informatics, 61(1), 1-10.

Belle, Mika (2013). No waiting rooms, no copay: 6 apps to get a doctor’s advice. Retrieved from:

David Lee Scheer, MD (2013). 5 Reasons why mobile health apps fail. Retrieved from :


Bringing customers into the co-creation environment is not always easy. Therefore, Kohler et al., (2011) believe virtual technology is the next crucial tool that can leverage the co-creation between firms and customers. In the study, they investigate how people can be attracted to co-create virtually. The authors pick an online game called Second Life. Basically, it is an online virtual world in which the players can socialize, connect, and do pretty much regular activities that can be done in the real world. In this world (or game), the authors conducted 3 different experiments in 3 different co-creation systems called Ideation Quests (IQ) where existing communities (frequent players) were participating. Not only it is unique, it has never been done properly before. For that reason, this article has given significant contribution with regard to how firms should design virtual co-creation environment so as to leverage co-creation.

Building upon the virtual customer experience of Nambisan (2007, 2008, 2009), the authors worked together with KTP and Philips for the first 2 Ideation Quests. After the collaboration between these companies and participants finished, the authors evaluate the co-creation systems (IQ) by conducting an in-depth interviews, observing participant’s behavior, and studying the log analysis (Heat Map) and interaction among avatars. The evaluation is used to identify what are elements of participant’s experience in the virtual world that encourage them to co-create virtually. As a result, there are 5 dimensions of experience that are believed to increase the likelihood of online players to participate in virtual co-creation process.

Firstly, pragmatic experience is measured from the information quality and technological aspect. From the study, interactive objects are seen as very important learning opportunity so customers can understand the new product/idea quickly. Furthermore, the IQ should incorporate audio, video, or even animation effects to catch customer’s attention effectively. Then, participants must be introduced to immersive type of co-creational situation that stimulate multiple senses (instead of instruction-based situation).

Secondly, sociability experience is what allows the participants to interact with others easily. Firms can create events to attract huge number of people and allow collaboration among them to manifest. The firm’s representatives should also be interacting with the customers as majority of participants expect to have direct contact with the brand as well. Subsequently, firm may help providing individual support that can reduce participants’ cognitive cost.

Thirdly, usability experience is measured by how the computer can understand what the player wants and vice versa. To avoid such confusion, the infrastructure needs to be simple and intuitive. Navigation  structure also needs to be clear, especially if the firm is using multiple places for the co-creation activity. Moreover, It is recommended that the IQ must incorporate behavioral activities that are resembling real-world activities for participants to easily understand the whole process.

Fourth experience is hedonic.  This is often seen as the source of pleasure and enjoyment. Nurturing playfulness is often associated with creativity and thus generate new ideas.  It can be done by incorporating game mechanics and playful elements. Furthermore, the inclusion of challenging tasks will drive participations from competitive and curious people from which interesting ideas might be born.

Lastly, collaborative experience encourages participants to co-create the co-creation system themselves. With that said, participants are granted with high degree of freedom to adjust the environment (together with other participants) where they will be co-creating.



Kohler, T., Fueller, J., Matzler, K., & Stieger, D. (2011).” Co-creation in virtual worlds: the design of the user experience”. MIS quarterly35(3), 773-788.

Nambisan, S., and Baron, R. A.  (2007).  “Interactions in Virtual Customer Environments:  Implications for Product Support and Customer Relationship Management,” Journal of Interactive Marketing (21:2), pp. 42-62

Nambisan, S., and Baron, R. A.  (2009).  “Virtual Customer Environments:  Testing a Model of Voluntary Participation in Value Co-Creation Activities,” Journal of Product Innovation Management (26:4), pp. 388-406

Nambisan, S., and Nambisan, P. (2008).  “How to Profit from a Better ‘Virtual Customer Environment,’” MIT Sloan Management Review (49:3), pp. 53-61