A couple of major blockchain development conferences have been canceled, and the cryptocurrency markets are feeling the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are some good news emerging from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 as it relates to blockchain technology. Let’s take a look at how distributed ledgers and digital currency tokens are being used to mitigate the current crisis:
Italian Red Cross Holds Bitcoin Fundraising Drive
As one of the countries blindsided by the pandemic, Italy is doing everything possible to contain the spread of the virus. Regional committees of the Croce Rossa Italia have been quite busy helping residents in locked down cities access medical services, and many of them operate on a volunteer basis. Flash fundraising campaigns to build triage facilities have succeeded thanks to Helperbit, a financial technology firm that helps charitable organizations implement blockchain technology.
The gravity of the situation in Italy calls for immediate action, and the Red Cross has focused on providing fast solutions. In the Colli Albani region, for example, a field triage tent was set up after €10,000 were quickly crowdfunded with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain Identity Protection Systems
The severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the Hubei province of China shows that there is a great need for systems that identify individuals who may or may not be COVID-19 carriers. These days, when people need to enter certain buildings in China, they must check in with guards at lobbies and entrances for three reasons: Taking their temperature, scanning a QR code that shows whether they have recently visited a high-risk area, and reviewing their medical history. This information is being stored in a centralized database managed by the government through a partnership with national telecommunications providers, and this is not the most ideal situation.
A blockchain development firm in Shanghai recently announced the launch of GreenPass, a mobile app that uses a distributed ledger to store personal information useful for screening COVID-19 cases. There is a security advantage in terms of using a blockchain network for storing identity and health records; whereas a centralized database can be tampered with, a decentralized network allows data encryption and hashing for each record without third-party intervention.
The next stage of GreenPass development will involve connecting the app to thermometers; this will minimize contact between individuals taking temperatures and those who are being monitored for COVID-19 risk.