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BLOCKCHAIN AT THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

Is it a useful resource? How is it helping society at this crucial point in time? Distance learning, the validity of news and fake sites, protection of consumer products from inflated demand.



Author: Niccolo Manfredi Scattoni


Our world is now facing incredible uncertainty, as we have never seen before. The complexities our society has built, thanks to the technological progress of the last 20 years, are now a problem to manage, pretty hard to solve in a super-connected world, that needs to breathe. Half of us are confined in their homes, some lucky ones have the opportunity to work remotely, others lost their jobs and are now at the mercy of a “shell shocked” economy that is paralyzed, voluntarily, due to this incredibly unforeseeable circumstances. It may seem our world has stopped; however, this is not the case. There has been a slowdown, but the human race has a peculiar ability: adaptation. However, it might be easier to adapt to new circumstances by having the right tools. In this article, we’ll investigate how Blockchain is being applied in different environments to help in this crucial situation.


Students all over the world have adapted the way they learn and attend class, thanks to what has been called “Distance Learning”. It is probably the biggest observable phenomenon in our generation, moreover thanks to Blockchain technology it is possible to realize platforms offering an integrated online learning and digital certification system, ready to be used by students and teachers while schools reopen. In this scenario, ODEM (a Swiss blockchain company active in the education industry) proposes a different but equally effective solution: a 100% free platform, where in-person courses can be moved to online after which a certificate is issued. In addition, ODEM records students’ progress and can be integrated with an existing learning management system. Their decision to make the platform available to everyone at no cost lies in the hope of becoming the global reference for a solution that protects the right to study.


Blockchain has been useful in a very important sector in the last month: Healthcare. In China and in Hong Kong several Healthcare providers have enabled blockchain-based solutions to allow payments with Bitcoins and to allow patients to follow their practices in record times, thus enabling doctors to have a clearer idea of the patients’ medical records thanks to the decentralized nature and the independency of Blockchain. Additionally, developers worked hard to build platforms that reduce the number of paperwork clinics have to produce, eliminating the previously required human interaction.


In Holland, a group of firms has launched an initiative to fight price speculation on goods such as hand sanitizer, face masks, protective gloves and many more. The initiative is called Tech against Corona, where many firms offer free technological support to healthcare workers, humanitarian operators, and hospitals. There’s a company called TYMLEZ that has specialized in guaranteeing the validity of the supply chain of medical products, to protect them from becoming a speculative good. TYMLEZ also tracks down web sites that divulge fake news and that try to hack healthcare software and databases with malware. 


Many probably thought that Blockchain would have been a crucial partner in tracking down Coronavirus cases, recoveries and deaths. Well, this is exactly what was achieved at The Johns Hopkins University, where the Center for Systems Science and Engineering has developed an interactive, web-based dashboard that tracks real-time data on confirmed coronavirus cases, death and recoveries for all affected countries. The dashboard reports cases at the province level in China; at the city level in the USA, Australia, and Canada; and at the country level otherwise.


Another innovative application of Blockchain that is taking place during the coronavirus pandemic is about news tracking systems. Amid the global pandemic crisis, the importance of ensuring trusted information is getting more crucial as fake coronavirus news poses a direct threat to the life and health of people worldwide.

This is why ANSA, Italy’s main news agency, has launched a news tracking system based on Blockchain to bring more trust between the company and its readers. Called ANSAcheck, the blockchain-powered tool purportedly allows users to verify the origin and history of news published on its platforms, its affiliated publications as well as third parties such as social media or other platforms.


There are many initiatives that aim at helping society in a lot of different ways by using Blockchain applications to ensure better information, less human contact, well-functioning learning platforms and in particular to help healthcare workers in their daily fight against Covid-19. 

We’re happy to share this information with you and to raise the general awareness about the great technologies and possibilities that surround us in our daily “locked down” life.





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