COVID-19 has affected all sorts of countries, communities as well as businesses in countless ways. Over the last few months, several initiatives have come up in aid and help deal with the global health crisis. One of the many industries that have been able to master new opportunities to help amid the pandemic is the blockchain technology.
In a bid to revitalize the stagnant economy and help tourism, South Korea-based leading blockchain technology firm, ICONLOOP.Inc announced that it is all set to help in providing private, secure COVID-19 contact tracing. The company will be mainly targeting the country’s most popular domestic tourist destination, Jeju Island, which has nearly 15 million visitors every year.
In the first of its kind initiative, ICONLOOP and the island’s Special Self-Governing Province have signed a cooperation agreement to introduce the COVID-19 disease prevention system.
As per the official document, the visitors will use a mobile app called ‘Zzeung’ and verify their identity using a Korean telecom service which can also be used to check into tourist destinations and businesses on Jeju Island using QR codes in the app. All the data will be kept private unless a COVID-19 case is discovered, in the event of which the island’s crisis response team will conduct “rapid epidemiological investigation” and tracing.
Talking about the latest development, Jong-hyup, Kim, CEO of ICONLOOP stated,
“This cooperation with Jeju Island is opening new possibilities for real-life application of blockchain DID authentication in the post-COVID-19 era. As more users directly experience safe and convenient DID service at scale, we will realize many more new ways that blockchain technology can be applied to their daily lives.”
Blockchain to the rescue
Blockchain can not only help in tracking public health data surveillance for infectious disease outbreaks by helping the agencies to keep track of the virus activity, of patients, suspected new cases, and more, it can also solve major issues pertaining to donation at a grim time such as current one.
Blockchain can further help in assisting global organizations such as WHO and other health organizations to come together and update each other about the current situation, tackling methodologies, breakthroughs and work towards a common goal to prevent it from worsening further.
The World Health Organization was reportedly working on blockchain and other tech companies on a program to help forward data about the ongoing pandemic, named MiPasa. Built on top of Hyperledger Fabric in partnership with IBM, computer firm Oracle, MiPasa is expected to help with early detection of the virus as well as identify carriers and hotspots.
Even cryptocurrency firms were not far behind. Binance was the first crypto-exchange to respond to the global outbreak. The CZ-led platform launched the “Binance for Wuhan” project and committed to a donation of medical supplies worth $1.4 million.
Following its suit was BitMEX’s operator HDR Global Trading Limited, which announced a grant of $2.5 million to help fight the virus. The grant was reportedly directed towards Gates Philanthropy Partners, Nuclear Threat Initiative, OpenMined, and Our World in Data.
The Stellar Foundation, as well as its rival Ripple Labs, announced donations worth millions for the cause.
Additionally, a decentralized AI hackathon launched by the Decentralized Artificial Intelligence Alliance [DAIA] in a bid to support the medical community in providing solutions and brought together global AI and blockchain projects and developers to create intelligent decentralized tools to combat the pandemic and reduce risks from future infectious outbreaks.