American filmmaker and founding partner of Heisenberg Capital, Max Keizer, once said: “If Bitcoin had arrived 10 years earlier, September 11 would never have happened!”
It was just speculation about the cancellation of something that had already caused a lot of damage. As Bitcoin arrived on the scene in 2008, eighteen years after this fateful September 11, 2001, humans are once again facing a massive crisis. And this time, it could very well define the future of the human race.
With one of the worst pandemics in history gripping the world with fear, can the blockchain – the much-lauded foundation of Bitcoin – save the day now?
The truth is that Covid-19 cannot be simply solved by medicine or technology – it needs human behavior to change. Man is a social animal, but to survive this period, each person needs to be cut due to precautionary and preventive measures. And blockchain can be extremely useful in the fight, as agreed by some of the largest international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.
It could also be understood by the fact that, despite the extensive damage done, China has managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic to a greater extent. And, among the different key technologies implemented to fight the pandemic, there was the blockchain.
Yes, even the UN in its official bulletin recently applauded Ant Duo-Chain, a blockchain-based supply chain finance platform to help SMEs cope with financial constraints during the Covid-19 pandemic. Leading Chinese investor Ant Financial, also owner of AliPay, launched a blockchain-based online information platform for epidemic prevention materials in Zhejiang Province, ensuring that the supply chain and use of materials such as masks and protective clothing is more transparent.
One of the biggest problems in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is that people are hesitant to be tested for reasons of confidentiality and social stigma to be labeled as a suspect case. Talk to Inc42, Vaideeswaran Sethuraman, founder and CEO of the blockchain start-up Param Network, said that with the help of blockchain, test centers could publish data pseudo-anonymously and track positive cases. This would help the government to act quickly on quarantine and foreclosure policies for affected neighborhoods
“Today, many small communities act in isolation in cities like Bangalore, but they can create a much greater impact if they can collaborate and act. Blockchain can be a decentralized platform to build something like creating funds at the city level, managing everything transparently. “
Patient monitoring without violating privacy
The World Health Organization (WHO), in its document “Global surveillance of COVID-19 caused by human infection with the COVID-19 virus”, asked member countries to track and publish travel or medical history. stay of Covid-19 patients in a location reporting community transmission of Covid-19 within 14 days of onset of symptoms.
There are of course the conventional means of publishing information online. In fact, various states such as Karnataka have published the information online, without paying due attention to the privacy of patients.
This is where the blockchain comes to the rescue. Talk to Inc42, Preetam Rao, co-founder and CEO of Quillhash Technologies, said it was the best use case for blockchain in the fight against Covid-19 “how we can keep patient data private and share it with others, and how we can track and trace a patient on the blockchain “
Gurugram-based Quillhash Technologies actually developed a Blockchain-based architecture called QuillTrace Covid-19 to solve this problem. According to Preetam, the proposed architecture will only store key patient data, while storing private data (medical records, standard of care) offline, in encrypted form or not stored at all if it is not needed.
Based on the Ethereum blockchain protocol, all data in the blockchain layer is “hashed”, thereby providing data protection. Preetam has already published a white paper in this regard that the architecture will provide simple APIs for –
- Patients via decentralized applications or existing mobile applications (COWIN-20 / COVA)
- Test labs for reporting status on interplanetary file systems (IPFS) for storing offline test results. IPFS is also a blockchain-based file sharing protocol used for storing offline records. It offers the same level of data protection / scalability.
- Hospitals to report patient status via simple APIs showing transactions as they go.
- Government authorities need to listen to other “nodes” and generate information based on real-time data
- APIs for third-party developers and companies
Regarding implementation, Rao informed that they are currently in talks with various governments and are participating in hackathons.
No need for government oversight
In addition to QuillTrace, San Francisco-based HACERA, in partnership with IBM, launched MiPasa, a blockchain-based platform to synthesize data sources, correct inconsistencies, help identify errors or misrepresentations, and integrate transparently new credible flows.
According to Jonathan Levi, CEO of HACERA, “What MiPasa provides is proven data using three types of validations between disparate data sources: reconciliation of disparate data sources like WHO figures, CDC figures and other; ensure that the new data entered into the system corresponds to the original, and a third level of validation comes from the public, who could report inconsistencies or bad data and give public health officials a transparent means of analyzing and respond to public sentiment. “
The MiPasa project is an open platform for documented coronavirus data based on Hyperledger Fabric and draws data from WHO, the Center of Disease Control, the Israeli Ministry of Public Health and any qualified agency.
At a time when the Indian government launched the Aarogya Setu app, which clearly states that “your data will only be shared with the government of India, the app does not allow your name and number to be disclosed to general public “, using crowd data and validating the same thing, MiPasa not only bats for privacy, but the project also points out that there is no need to even monitor the government.
Atlanta-based Acoer is another blockchain startup that has released the HashLog data visualization engine for tracking coronaviruses. Based on the Hedera hashgraph, the tracker takes the public data made available via different sources such as CDC, WHO and Google Trends and displays in an aggregated manner and allows simple and visual filtering, dynamic changes based on the selected values and the possibility to download the selected data.
Anonymous storage of Covid-19 test data
U.S.-based startups, blockchain entities Telos Foundation and Genobank, known for their DNA Saliva kit for keeping track of all genomic datasets and reports without exposing their personal data, have teamed up to launch an open source application Agernoa for Covid-19 test data.
The application will allow users to securely obtain Covid-19 tests at low cost. The results will be stored anonymously on the Telos blockchain, where each user will control their own data and can share their results with researchers, if they wish, using health confidentiality and a new Genobank.io token. , according to the Telos Foundation. ad.
Launched this month, users of the Agerona mobile app will be able to find a source for the test kits in their country and order separately from the app without revealing their identity. Users can then use a barcode instead of their personal identity and send it to a verified laboratory for processing. Although the test results will appear on the Agerona blockchain, there will be no information to track the individual, revealing their personal identity.
The solution is introduced after many people around the world, including do not want to be tested because it reveals their personal identity and therefore their legal status.
According to the official blog, Agernoa will also have an experimental feature where users can record an audio clip of their cough, if they wish, and submit it for the creation of an AI-based diagnostic tool. This tool, based on Genobank.io technology, will try to provide people with a way to do an instant pre-test of the virus simply from the sound of their cough.
Breaking False News on Covid-19
While Indian startups such as vPhrase and MetaFact have deployed AI to fight against disinformation, thanks to its traceability, transparency and decentralized architecture, blockchain has been tested as a platform to fight against disinformation. From Google’s PoC to the New York Times’ The News Provenance project in association with IBM, many projects have been announced and are being implemented to break up fake news.
Bengaluru-based Truthshare claims to have a revolutionary invention to solve the problem of disinformation on social media platforms using a new cryptographic identity model. The startup is currently engaged with the Ministry of Information and Technology, the Indian government for the same. Talk to Inc42, Abilash Soundarajan, founder and CEO of Truthshare, said: “We have filed several patents and the basic patent has already been granted. We are currently contacting social media platforms, regulators and all other stakeholders. “
Italy, although it has one of the best health infrastructures in the world, has been one of the most affected countries in the world. It has so far lost more than 17.7,000 people in the country and so far more than 140,000 confirmed cases.
In such a scenario, the Italian news agency ANSA in partnership with Ernst and Young launched a blockchain solution called ANSAcheck to fight against disinformation on Covid-19. The solution is based on EY OpsChain traceability technology, characterized by public transactions recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.
With the ANSAcheck tracking tag, readers can trace the history and source of each news item. According to ANSA, the basis of the platform is the smart contract, which is an IT object that allows the creation of a cryptographic chain of news and allows the verification of information published by the news agency. When readers display the news on their browser, they can check the presence or absence of the digital sticker, because the sticker will be assigned by checking the settings for the news published on the ANSA website. When these parameters correspond to those recorded in the blockchain when the news was created, the published news will receive the ANSAcheck digital sticker that tracks the origin of the news.
Crowdsourcing Other requests
While VitalHub, a blockchain-based Canadian start-up, has developed an electronic screening tool for long-term care, Param’s Rao points out that blockchain could be the best solution for outsourcing various requests during lockdown , which is more or less a new reality now.
The world is becoming more and more decentralized. Many companies have already reported that the VPN is not able to support 100% of the workforce working remotely, because the central system is becoming a bottleneck, said Rao. Thus, the blockchain can play a role in the secure exchange of data in a decentralized manner with full responsibility and traceability. It also makes the data machine-readable for intelligent automation.
Rao is currently working on a crowdsourcing application for the food needs of migrant workers and supply management. “We are also building a fully decentralized e-commerce application on the Param chain which not only gives the traceability of the goods delivered, but also the list of packers and deliverers associated with customer delivery for future correlation in the event of a pandemic. situation.”
Why India doesn’t pay attention to blockchain
The Indian government, although it has recognized blockchain technology as one of the most crucial futuristic technologies in its white papers, has made virtually no progress on the implementation side. NITI Aayog’s big block chain project, IndiaChain, announced a few years ago, has not yet started.
Likewise, in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has shown no interest in adopting blockchain-based solutions. Rajesh Nair, founder and CEO of the blockchain startup Happystry, which introduced the world’s first loyalty tokens on the blockchain, explains the rationale.
There are millions of crypto traders, but the fact is that India does not have a sufficient number of blockchain developers. In addition, the moment is crucial to fight this pandemic. Developing the PoC and getting it ready for production not only takes time, but would also require funding, said Nair.