A pandemic affected world now lives in a strange reality of lockdowns and social distancing, carrying the strain of an economic downturn, while we adjust our way of living around this novelty. Since the pandemic hit home, we have been bound indoors trying to go on with our daily lives that now comprises of remote working, taking care of the usual household chores and keeping track of the outbreak and its economic repercussions.
However, nothing is permanent and this storm too will blow over, putting us back to normalcy. When that happens, what can we expect from the post-pandemic economy from a technological standpoint? What Role will the Blockchain industry get to play in shaping the new future?
Blockchain in the Time of Corona
All new-age technologies have been playing an active role in our ongoing fight against the pandemic. But the Blockchain industry deserves a special mention for its immense contribution. The present situation has served as the perfect testing ground for multiple DLT projects across geographies, which were fast-tracked in an attempt to bring the situation under control.
As we live under lockdowns and in isolation, blockchain offers a trustless system for various kinds of communications. Blockchain-based systems that minimize human involvement and paperwork have been initiated in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. It is being used to share and authenticate information and track the virus spread.
The economic crisis has broadened the scope and appeal of the crypto market. With the traditional financial markets on bear mode, people have been testing the stability of the stable coins and trading in cryptos, a lot more than they used to.
Pandemic Use Cases of Blockchain
Here’s a sector-wise run-through of all pandemic induced Blockchain projects, that paved the way for a change in the legacy systems.
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management
The logistics and supply chain management, which majorly depends on the documentation and communication has been one of the best success areas of Blockchain adoption.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has put unprecedented strain on the global supply chain. But the one that got impacted the most is the supply of critical medical products. However, the blockchain industry rose to the occasion offering effective solutions to streamline the process.
In an attempt to reduce paperwork and human involvement related to coronavirus health claims, a Chinese firm has initiated that the whole process is conducted over a DLT network. It has been a great success in a time when human involvement has been put under restrictions.
Another blockchain project involving the Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission and the Information Technology Department has been initiated by the second-largest courier company in China. It has been helping in keeping track of the critical medical supplies through a blockchain platform.
Similar projects have been deployed in other geographies as well, in an attempt to fight the health crisis. The Dutch “Tech against Corona” initiative includes a blockchain platform to track and bring transparency to the medical supply chain in the country.
- Cross Border Payments
Staying under lockdown it becomes difficult to conduct cross border payments for business or donation reasons. However, that’s the ruling area of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Both the Italian Red Cross and the Dutch Red Cross, amid this crisis, have expanded their modes of payment for accepting relief. Their website now accepts Bitcoin for donations, other than the traditional fiat.
Blockchain is been heavily used to track donations in China, with multiple payment processing platforms allowing donors and charitable organizations have better cooperation through a transparent DLT network.
Blockchain has empowered global healthcare machinery with enhanced and seamless data management and disease tracking.
The WHO launched its DLT platform for the early detection of contagion hotspots through the sharing of trustworthy data. It will also aid researchers and medical practitioners to come up with advanced treatment procedures, drugs, and vaccines to eradicate the disease.
Blockchain may not be able to prevent the outbreak, but it has proved to the first line of defense via a network of connected devices tracking every movement of the pandemic and keeping the concerned authorities informed about it. In the coming days, as we keep battling the pandemic, we can be hopeful that blockchain will be able to fast track drug trials, enable early detection and augment the outbreak and treatment management in health care.
To summarize, it is safe to say that the pandemic has accelerated Blockchain adoption across verticals with the world being less conservative in accepting these new-age systems. With the growing popularity of these DLT products, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that blockchain will play a major role in shaping the post-pandemic future of the world.