How blockchain helps industries put the COVID-19 pandemic behind them? Let’s understand the answer to this question through this blog. Blockchain and COVID-19 both don’t go together immediately. But off-course technology can play a role in putting the pandemic behind us. The early days of the pandemic were like the gold rush of the wild west. There are almost 2000 cryptocurrency projects, but out of all, only a few dozen are worth mentioning.
Blockchain is and always will be much more than just a get-rich-quick scheme.
Blockchain is more than Bitcoin.
We build cryptocurrency on underlying technology named Blockchain. But we can’t limit a definition to its capabilities to overlook its extraordinary features and wide-reaching application potential.
The interest in the power of blockchain and other innovative applications lies in our health systems. When Innovate UK (government innovation agency) announced a series of grants to fund potential projects during the COVID-19 crisis, more than 8000 applications were received in a matter of days, and out of it, only 10% were awarded. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; various government bodies receive thousands of innovative pitches weekly and claim to improve efficiencies and reduce cost.
Many solutions are likely to have blockchain elements, and some may even look good, but the COVID-19 outbreak made it difficult for authorities to filter effectively. To find the effective potential of such an array on different projects is challenging.
The blockchain COVID challenge
Let’s keep COVID-19 at bay and try to approach it the same way we would do in other challenges. Blockchain applications might fail because of certain COVID reasons—the COVID-19 acts the same as a challenge when we urge solving a problem or fix an issue. Many are thinking of blockchain as a magic wand that will fix everything automatically by just waving it.
Let’s look at the two challenges created by COVID and will it match the unique use cases developed by blockchain’s unique value proposition.
The frangibility of global supply chains
COVID-19 revealed many weaknesses of the global supply chain, including countless reports of PPE, lack of food in impoverished areas, and a breakdown of business-as-normal even in places where demands remained constant.
The keystone of trade is trust, and the question is about your trust in supply chain partners at a time of epic failure. Because of decentralised nature, blockchain creates a transparent ecosystem where you can trust and see the mechanism and how it is fair for all. The mechanism can provide an instant overview of entire supply chains and highlight issues as soon as they arrive. By using smart contracts, it is possible to implement a live failsafe, and this removes the need for trust in the first place. The World Economic Forum developed the blockchain Deployment Toolkit, which set high-level guidelines to implement best practices across projects. These forums have worked with more than 100 organisations and help organisations solve real-world problems with blockchain.
Re-opening society and high-density venues
It is an economic and social need to re-open society the way it is safe for everyone. But how the high-density venues will re-open along with reducing the risk of creating a new COVID cluster?
Most proposed solutions involve gathering attendees’ personal data, but this has a fatal flaw in deep GDPR-related challenges and security issues. The most popular among all which gained attraction is the use of health status certificates.
A health status certificate is a proven way to inform the public that they are not a danger to public health. The blockchain app with an old cryptographic concept known as zero-knowledge proof actually proved extremely relevant for health status and maintaining privacy and security of data. Blockchain technology helps just as the question is over the ethics of its implementation. The World Health Organisation has warned against the creation of such health status certificate as it can create a series of new issues out of which one is discrimination.
History has always proven that crisis is a fertile ground for innovation. Though blockchain won’t be able to do anything immediately, it will tackle the COVID crisis and play an innovative role in solving many significant issues, and wider raised challenges.