Crypto Weekly #3 - How the World Will Change After a Pandemic And Blockchain’s Role in It.


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We’re all living in this strange new reality right now and adjusting our schedules, our jobs, and our very livelihoods. And while things will certainly go back to normal soon, for now, well, now’s a great time to review how this new economy affects the blockchain industry, and what changes will come once the pandemic is resolved.
The few prerequisites that make this current situation a great testing ground for all blockchain products:
  • Isolation: the situation where you need a trustless system like blockchain for all types of communications.
  • Financial crisis: the perfect time to test stablecoins for stability.
  • Infection: Paper documents, money, and couriers can’t be used in situations where viruses can live on surfaces for days on end.
People tend to change their behavior slowly - but the pandemic can serve as a catalyst to start using new products, which is why I’ve asked blockchain founders how they view the current situation and what they think will come after pandemic.
But first let’s look if there are any market signs indicative of the fact that these new blockchain-based products are increasing in popularity.
Blockchain in logistics and supply-chain management:
This industry depends largely on communication and document exchange.
Here’s a good analysis from Gartner that was made at the beginning of Feb 2020. It’s good reading if you want to find both the short and long-term plans of all parts of the supply-chain market.
The COVID-19 crisis has put unprecedented strain on the global supply chain of every product, but critical medical supplies are the most heavily impacted.
But luckily, several products are on the rise now in this field: Alipay’s Xiang Hu Bao Online Mutual Aid Platform (One of the newest functions is to process coronavirus claims, helping the firm to reduce paperwork and the need for back-and-forth document delivery to clinics).
Alipay, along with the Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission and the Economy and Information Technology Department, has launched a blockchain-based platform that enables users to trace the demand and supply chain of medical supplies. This includes the recording and tracking of epidemic prevention materials, such as masks, gloves, and other protective gear.
The shortage of facial masks has been one of the biggest challenges in China so far, with the National Development and Reform Commission (China’s top economic planning commission) being tasked with managing the very limited supply. According to the NDRC, daily production is around 15.2 million masks per day, with demand estimated to be anywhere between 50 and 60 million units. (Based on:
Blockchain for cross-border payments.
When the world is locked down and different regions need support, for sending donations and payments becomes critical. But this is precisely where blockchain shines above all else.
In a bid to accentuate the relief process for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian Red Cross society is ramping up its modes of accepting payment, with the latest development introducing support for the premier cryptocurrency – Bitcoin.
This was made possible courtesy of the blockchain startup Helperbit. For the uninitiated, Helperbit offers a platform to raise money for charitable causes including the COVID-19 mayhem that has taken a firm grip over the planet. (Based on:
More news has come from China regarding this same topic: donation tracking.
The payment processing platform managed by Alibaba, Alipay, introduced a platform that runs on a blockchain in order to allow donors and charitable organizations to better cooperate in a more transparent manner. (Based on
Blockchain in Healthcare
A good read by Carlo R.W. De Meijer (Senior Economist at MIFSA) goes over the current problems with cross-border healthcare data management while scientists all over the world are trying to track and visualize pandemic distribution.
Two products - HashLog and IBM Food Trust - showed its aptitude for solving data-management and disease-tracking problems.
Another real-world product based on blockchain that would help to solve the data-management problem was launched in alliance with WHO, IBM, and Oracle - learn more about it here.
Blockchain will, of course, not prevent the emergence of new viruses itself. But what blockchain can do is create the first-line of rapid defense through a network of connected devices whose only purpose is to remain alert about disease outbreaks. The use of blockchain can help prevent pandemics by enabling early detection, fast-tracking drug trials, and positively affect the outbreak and treatment management.
As we can see, there are several real applications of blockchain technology that can be utilized in critical times, such as what is going on now. To learn more, I’ve asked several blockchain project founders about what the role of blockchain technology will be after the COVID-19 pandemic passes. Their insights are below.