How Might Blockchain Technology Help the World Recover from COVID-19?

How Might Blockchain Technology Help the World Recover from COVID-19?

By Chris Roper - min read

As news of Coronavirus dominates the world media and is the primary concern of all, it is difficult to think of anything else. But it is possible to look past the crisis and what may help to get us there. Here, we will look at some small but important contributions in which blockchain technology may help us on the road to recovery.

A global pandemic is terrifying for everybody. It makes no discrimination between gender, race or social hierarchy. As we unite our efforts to stem the spread of this disease, innovators and creative minds around the world are continually thinking up ways in which we may return to our normal lives.

Blockchain technology certainly does not have the power to cleanse the planet of this deadly pathogen, but it can help us to manage the task ourselves.

The most obvious solution that blockchain provides resides in what it was initially designed to facilitate. A global peer-to-peer cash payments system. The ability to make frictionless, digital payments across borders at a fraction of the cost that traditional systems carry may throw a lifeline to some businesses that are beginning to buckle under the economic strain that the virus has caused.

Then of course, there is the use of cash itself. The COVID-19 strain has proven to live on surfaces for several hours, and it is this characteristic that has been the leading cause of its rapid spread. I think that we all are feeling less inclined to touch any surface when we venture outside, and the idea of cash changing hands will now seem repellent to most people.

There are other ways in which blockchain can help as well. It provides a trustless environment for the exchange of more than just cash. A completely transparent sharing of information between nations that is not vulnerable to manipulation.

As countries continue to battle the virus from within their own borders, there is a chance that potential breakthroughs in research may not be shared in time, or to all who need it. By setting up a blockchain to be used by scientists and medical research laboratories around the globe, millions of our finest minds could operate as one body to deliver unprecedented results.

This may seem far-fetched to some, but blockchain technology allows for this level of global collaboration, where researchers across several areas of discipline would work off each other’s progress that is documented in real time.

If we continue to look to the short-term, cryptocurrency allows for some companies to hedge their funds a little against potential losses, as local economies begin to struggle over prolonged closure. This would be especially useful to those who operate in the food, leisure and travel industries, where income has been frozen, yet wages still must be paid.