Blockchain to enable tourism between China and Macau

The blockchain-powered system allows encrypted medical data to be shared between health authorities while protecting privacy

Image of the Macau skyline at night
More than 17 million people have cleared customs between Macau and the Chinese mainland so far

The Macau blockchain health code is a blockchain-based health code system established by the Macau Science and Technology Department Fund (FDCT) and Serviços de Saúde de Macau (SSM) back in May to help fight the pandemic.

It is based on China’s open-source blockchain platform FISCO BCOS and WeBank’s WeIdentity, and provides an electronic pass for access to public places by verifying health information across different organisations.

The mutual recognition system between the Macau blockchain health code and the Guangdong health code means that since September 23, Chinese tourists have been able to verify their health status and obtain visitor visas, allowing tourism between Macau and the Chinese mainland to resume.

It takes just 100 seconds to generate a traveller’s health code for the first time, and only three seconds on subsequent occasions. So far, over 17 million people have used the blockchain system to travel between China and Macau.

The technology solves the problem of sharing data across jurisdictions while still adhering to the information security and privacy protection regulations in both China and Macau by encrypting IDs and personal health data into verifiable digital credentials that can then be compared with the corresponding digital credentials recorded on the blockchain.

This isn’t the first time blockchain technology has been used to combat the pandemic – VeChain announced back in June that they had collaborated with DNV GL to release My Care, a blockchain enabled infection risk management solution for companies, which tracks health compliance across the supply chain with the Toolchain platform. Viking Line and ArcelorMittal have already adopted My Care.

Also, IBM Watson Health has launched the IBM Digital Health Pass, a blockchain-powered platform that combines data sources, such as test results and temperature scans, to allow users to store and share their health status from their mobile phones.

As governments across the world are looking for ways to lift lockdowns and restart the economy, blockchain-powered technologies could be the solution that strikes the right balance between reducing risk and protecting privacy.