- 11 Feb 2020
- Reading time
- 5 minutes
Blockchain Technology in a New Role - Fighting the Coronavirus Deadly coronavirus brings discomfort to citizens all over the world. China, especially the Wuhan region, is at the epicentre of this health temblor that has shaken the world tremendously. The number of deaths there reached 722, while the number of infections rose to 34,546 and at least 25 other countries have confirmed cases.
The importance of being able to track the spreading of the deadly virus is huge and blockchain technology seems to have the most precise solution for this task and possibly could help in other ways.
The main benefits of this technology are security, immutability, and transparency and that is exactly what the world needs at this moment in fighting the deadly coronavirus. The whole tech. the world should stand up for this cause and help China in every possible way. Examples are starting to show up.
Understanding Blockchain Technology
Distributed ledger technology (DLT), the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, prevents the centralization of data. A database is completely decentralized and exists in multiple points of a network. The record-keeping system requires consensus and validation from all participants so data could be added to the ledger.
This mechanism allows replicating information across each node in the network. These nodes work independently and all of them check the validation of information until a consensus is reached. When the operation is approved the information gets a timestamp and it is added to the historical ledger. Then it gets replicated across every node.
There are the entire technological infrastructure and associated protocols that support this mechanism of collecting, validating, and accessing immutable data and all that together is what DLT stands for. Blockchain is a type of DLT that supports cryptocurrency trading and the main benefits of this technology are security, immutability, and transparency.
The Chinese government, although it banned cryptocurrency trading, has realized the benefits of the technology beneath. Chinese President Xi Jinping said recently:
“We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies...[We must] clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on several key core technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation...We must seize the opportunities offered by Blockchain technology. It also referred to Blockchain + solutions that support basic needs such as, among other things, the safety of medicines.”
Blockchain Technology Strikes in Two Fields
There are already several blockchain-powered platforms that could help the Chinese government at the moment in this tremendous fight against coronavirus. The blockchain innovations are being provided in two fields: first is in providing real-time data through monitoring systems for tracking Coronavirus and the second is managing global donations.
Acoer develops applications that are blockchain-based and recently they came out with a data visualization tool that tracks the deadly coronavirus spreading. The name of this tool is the HashLog data visualization engine and it’s using Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology, interacting with it in real-time.
HashLog data visualization engine tool provides real-time data about spreading the coronavirus to researchers, scientists and journalists so they can understand its trends and what is going on in every possible moment.
The data, which the tool pulls from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, are presented visually on Acoer’s HashLog dashboard.
Acoer’s CEO, Jim Nasr, told Cointelegraph:
“HashLog allows for the real-time visualization of coronavirus data and trends. This includes the overall number of cases globally, rates of deaths and recovery per infections (where we have reliable data), cases filtered by country, as well as Google trends by interest and region on coronavirus.”
Further, he explained the tool’s main benefits and advantages over similar real-time tools for tracking the coronavirus that already exists, like the map created by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering:
“With HashLog, our objective is to make data collection automated. The tool provides researchers with dynamic dashboards that change as criteria are filtered in any one widget/dashboard component. It also lets users directly download filtered data from the visualizations.”
The important thing is that the data in the system can not be changed without the change to be visible to the world. So, this ensures the trustworthiness of the healthcare and medical data which can be crucial in times of crises such as coronavirus crises.
Hedera Hashgraph’s CEO, Mance Harmon, told Cointelegraph:
“Hedera's distributed ledger technology ensures that information cannot be manipulated or changed without the world seeing it. Acoer's Hashlog takes advantage of Hedera as the trust layer of the internet to allow users to be confident in the real-time information they receive related to the coronavirus.”
This technology allows anyone to track information in real-time about anything, from healthcare to financial information with great reliability.
Blockchain Helps Managing Worldwide Donations
The Chinese government is using five government charitable organizations for channelizing donations that are coming from all over the world to support fighting the deadly virus. Especially because of Beijing’s institutional and political situations, this task has become very challenging.
This is where Blockchain enters the scene. It’s main benefits, immutability and transparency, are helping to manage this crisis effectively. A private blockchain network records and tracks every donation that is directed to support coronavirus victims.
Recently, Hyperchain, the enterprise-level blockchain platform, launched the innovation that helps in this field. Their blockchain-based platform makes sure that medical supply and donations are being traceable.
This is extremely important because donors and public control organs can monitor exactly where donations are going. This kind of transparency helps increase trust in the system and therefore more donations which will help coronavirus victims and endangered.
It seems like blockchain technology spontaneously takes over domination in particular fields. China was pretty much resistant historically when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The time of coronavirus crises simply imposed blockchain technology as a superior solution in providing real-time data and managing global donations. So, the China president’s sentiment that this is the technology China should adopt fast couldn’t be more justified.
On the other hand, several major companies in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry have showcased their intentions to fight coronavirus, such as Maltese cryptocurrency exchange Binance. As reported by BTCManager on January 27, 2020, they’ve announced a donation worth $1.44 million to China.