The World collectively battles an invisible enemy. Coronavirus has bought the world into a standstill with its impact on almost everything from the economy to our daily routines. While it is going to take time for things to return back to normal, there are multiple tools that can help in effective functioning during this pandemic.
In this article, we are going to explore one such tool that can empower societies and create new opportunities. Case in point: Blockchain technology.
While bitcoin continues to gain adoption, it is the tech behind it that holds the real wonders. Today blockchain technology is explored for a number of applications including healthcare, supply chain, real estate, governance, philanthropic use and more. Moreover, its key characteristics of transparency, traceability, immutability, and decentralization make it a powerful tool.
Blockchain Technology: A Tool to Curb Coronavirus Effects
Using key functionalities of blockchain, a faster, transparent, and effective ecosystem for a number of areas can be created. Specific to the pandemic, blockchain can be integral in sectors including healthcare, employment, pharma, banking, and remittance.
Let’s explore these segments one by one and analyze what blockchain can bring to the table to empower us in fighting against Covid-19.
Better Management Through a Shared Portal
The Coronavirus pandemic has confined job-workers to their homes. Organizations across the globe have started doing remote work online. However, this has subsequently created an overload on systems and software. The result is that even prominent tools like Microsoft teams are crashing.
Blockchain technology enables a shared system or a shared portal that records data and documents. The shared platform enables frictionless functioning such that minimal coordination is needed between any two entities. This further creates effective working models with all pieces of data synced between the multiple parties of a blockchain network (like an organization).
Tracking of Medical Supplies
Across the globe, vital medical supplies including masks and ventilators are facing a shortage. Moreover, this has resulted in another significant concern of counterfeit tests, masks, and other protective gear. In fact, during its peak, China seized more than 31 million fake/counterfeit face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as the demand is increasing this has become a bigger issue.
Blockchain’s distributed and decentralized ledger enables the tracking and tracing of medical goods and supplies. Using RFID tags, medical supplies can be traced back to their origins. This further ensures accountability with manufacturer’s as well as critical supplies. While the blockchain is already considered as an important tool in pharma supplies, its prominence is now more than ever.
Donations and Charity
A significant issue, especially faced in developing nations, is corruption and frauds in government funding. Apart from various governments, a number of philanthropies, NGO’s, charitable organizations are joining hands with rolling out massive donations. At such a vulnerable time, tracking of funds has become a necessity.
Blockchain can be a significant tool that can enable a medium through which funds spent are tracked. A decentralized ledger can monitor tracking for funds at each level that can further enable transparency. Using blockchain, a donor can exactly know where the funds that they donated were spent or utilized. This directly reduces loopholes for fraudulent activities. Moreover, any data remains permanently embedded on the blockchain. Hence any corrupted activity can be traced back to its defaulter at any point in time.
Manage Supply Chain
The global trade of the food supply chain is terminated amidst the pandemic. This has created a panic among citizens of various nations that have resorted to hoarding. Although governments have repeatedly assured citizens that there is enough supply of food and essential items. But a fearful environment has reduced a degree of trust.
Blockchain is the key to create a trustless environment by assuring people of sufficient supply of essential goods. Moreover, blockchain can be used to effectively create a balance between supply and demand by utilizing data available at hand. This data can be effectively analyzed and items can be supplied at locations in proportion to the demand. A reliable infrastructure of supply chain data can minimize uncertainty and fear pertaining to the food supply during this pandemic. This can also ensure citizens and thereby eliminate the problem of hoarding.
The economy is bound to have an impact as economic activities have come to a standstill. However, despite such conditions, blockchain-related jobs are on a rise. Some prominent cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken and Binance are looking to hire in huge numbers. It is true that blockchain was one of the top-ranked skill sets for the year 2020. But this brings further assurance to employment opportunities in this sector.
Apart from this, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) of the U.S also regarded ‘blockchain managers’ working in the food and agriculture industry under critical infrastructure amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
Cross Border Remittance for Migrants
As countries are closing their border to curb and control the pandemic, it has become a level of concern for a specific asset class- the migrants. Most of these are stuck in countries where they work. Moreover, while financial services are operative to an extent, blockchain provides a better tool to provide relief to migrants and their families.
Cryptocurrencies are considered to be one of the most optimum solutions to cross border transfers. In comparison to other traditional remittance industries, cryptocurrencies enable a much faster and effective way of transmitting money overseas. Using blockchain-empowered crypto, any migrant worker can instantly send money across any part of the globe with negligible transfer fees. This makes blockchain a financial tool to bring relief amidst Covid-19.
One of the leading examples working towards this dimension includes Ripple. It leverages the blockchain network to enable faster payments and lower transaction fees especially for cross border transfers. Gluwa is another organization that aims to create a borderless financial infrastructure empowered through blockchain technology.
Blockchain can be considered one of the tools that can provide a better functioning system during this tense situation. Moreover, such innovative solutions can help bring a ray of hope that times will indeed get better. We certainly pray well being of each and every individual and families. Meanwhile, let us do our bits in fighting it. Practice social distancing, stay at your homes, wash your hands, and take care of your well-being.