Governments look to blockchain technology to help in the fight against COVID-19

Blockchain is now being deployed to augment efforts against the spread of the coronavirus 

Health worker with coronavirus vial
Blockchain technology can mitigate the need for human touch and help make the fight against the virus more efficient, transparent and targeted

Governments and institutions around the world have invested massively in financial and human resources to continue the fight against the pandemic. These efforts are augmented by the use of technology: artificial intelligence for research, for example, as well as 5G for increased dissemination and transmission of information.

While blockchain technology is traditionally associated with cryptocurrencies, it does have the potential to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Its most recent application is in healthcare and food supply chains.

These industries, in the midst of the pandemic, benefit significantly from blockchain platforms because it can be used to monitor pandemic material distribution, distribution of relief goods and donations in a quick and transparent manner, without the technology violating user data.

Another application of the blockchain platform is through digital identity. Corporations can collaborate with one another through blockchain platforms when it comes to researching ways to combat the coronavirus or developing a cure for it. Contact-tracing applications can also be built on the blockchain to allow for anonymity.

Reliable medical data is crucial in the fight against the coronavirus, and several organisations have been accused of manipulating data throughout the pandemic. Blockchain can help by significantly mitigating the capacity of third party users to edit or change any details on the blockchain, ensuring that only transparent and immutable medical data is made available.

One other way that this technology can be used against the coronavirus is to plot out a global pandemic map that is based on the blockchain. This can be used to track the spread of the virus, the number of citizens that have been infected, the number that have passed and the number that have successfully recovered.

Decentralised payment methods can also play a role in defeating the virus. It allows companies to receive payment through cryptocurrencies without having to take the risk of spreading the virus through the use of cash.

In addition, high-speed crypto payment systems are capable of facilitating cross-border transactions in mere seconds. This allows the transfer of funds through distributed ledger technology, with the use of multiple synchronised ledgers and processing nodes. This has the potential to reduce the risk from a single point of failure.

Blockchain is currently being used in donation campaigns, raising money for medical research and equipment to provide relief materials during the pandemic. One example of that is the Covir blockchain project partnering up with Octopus robots to fund biosafety licenses for robots, which are responsible for decontaminating large buildings during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the Covir blockchain project is to help more Octopus robots gain licenses so that they can be deployed worldwide.

Blockchain technology can promote transparency during fundraising and donation campaigns. It can also provide a way for people to track the origin of the funds and ensure that they are used for the right purposes.

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