The normal running of the year has been majorly disrupted by the contagious spread of COVID-19 virus leading to global economic strain and saddening loss of life across the globe. In the midst of calamity, blockchain technology is hailed as a potential solution in data management during this period but recent reports from Wuhan, China – the birthplace of the virus – shows the fourth revolution is far from gaining mainstream adoption.
Wuhan’s COVID data leak poses problems for blockchain
Emerging reports on the spread and number of casualties from the Corona Virus shows the data collected in Wuhan may be grossly under-reported or falsified by the Chinese government. China recently boosted the death toll of Wuhan from COVID-10 to over 5,000 representing a 30% spike from the initial reports.
Such cases of under-reporting and falsifying information may be the leading killer of blockchain adoption. China’s false lead in the COVID-19 data releases leads to a worldwide confusion in the correct data sources raising more questions than answers. This shows that blockchain’s immutability is heavily dependent on trustworthy data – a factor that most blockchain platforms lack.
“There’s no need to have immutability for falsified data”
For blockchains to gain rapid global data management, issues in data collection and feeding oracles need to be addressed.
Despite the data challenges, countries look to have gotten into the grove of blockchain development with South Korea, China, the U.S and India –all speaking on the possibilities of launching a digital asset platform in the near future. Moreover, blockchain projects are coming up with solutions to track and trace data across the globe with an aim to reduce the infections of COVID-19.
A case for blockchain in fighting COVID-19
China has used an extensive digital platform to track and record patients in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. However, reports show that the government may be surveilling its citizens a factor that is leading to the development of more privacy-focused blockchains. Honduras in particular has created a privacy-focused app to trace patients with the virus through collaboration with Emerge Technologies and the Emergency Response Unit of the Honduran government.
Villanova University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is leading the development of a permissioned blockchain for doctors to trace positive COVID-19 cases, possibly getting ahead of future outbreaks.
All in all, blockchain remains a key pillar in the technological fight against the pandemic providing payment solutions, logistics, financial inclusion and more efficient peer-to-peer application.