Governments and private firms are scrambling to test the public and identify, localize, and trace COVID-19 cases in their countries. Blockchain can help.
Real-time tracking of cases has widely been cited as the pivotal factor necessary to re-open economies as it would allow active cases to be isolated from the rest of the population. However, governments around the world continue to grapple with precisely how to approach the problem with a standardized model.
In the US, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the CDC provide tracking metrics, but they lack granular details. They also don’t account for the supply chain modeling of medical supplies, potential blood donors, or the efforts of non-profits clambering to help. A more efficient and transparent allocation of information is necessary amid all of the current uncertainty.
In particular, all of that information would be better served if it was funneled into a single interface. That’s precisely where blockchain platforms are striving to make an impact, and it’s quickly grabbing the attention of some governments.
A Unified Monitoring & Communication Application
Combining multiple sets of data into a single interface would enable governments to better trace the trajectory of the pandemic and make swift decisions about resuming economic activity.
However, there remain some notable hurdles regarding how such vast surveillance systems would be implemented. In particular, many people are concerned about the potential privacy abuses of the joint Apple and Google tracing program.
“Privacy is a key issue during this pandemic, and as such, blockchain platforms ensure that information is shared without compromising privacy,” detailed Muhammad Salman Anjum, Managing Director of Avantas Tech, in a recent interview. “After data collection is the important task of data analytics, we are just ensuring we are adding trust to the data flow.”
The Avantas Tech team believes they have found a meaningful compromise by leveraging Maxonrow’s KYC and the privacy-enabled blockchain network.
MedsLOCK is a communication and real-time monitoring platform built on top of the Maxonrow blockchain. Designed by UAE-based Avantas Tech, the platform is designed to coalesce all of the pertinent aspects of real-time pandemic monitoring such as medical supply chain data, patient metrics, lockdown zone updates, blood donor info, and more into a single interface.
The initial version (1.0) of the platform incorporated the management of critical medical data like the JHU application alongside trusted information from authorities on the pandemic’s development. However, the Avantas Tech team has rapidly iterated the initial release to include synchronized supply chain data and coordinated welfare activities (e.g., donations) into the second release. Now on its third release, MedsLOCK embedded authorized certificate releases for governments about their official COVID-19 status — a significant step forward.
For example, one of the ideas floated among governments right now for re-opening economies is to delineate between people with antibodies to COVID-19, including patients that have recovered, and active cases, which will remain isolated. Green zones and red zones for resuming economic activity could then ensue based on the real-time data provided by integrated platforms like MedsLOCK.
MedsLOCK’s current version enables people with COVID-19 antibodies or recovered patients to upload government-issued e-certificates to its dashboard, which not only incorporates the data into its model but verifies the authenticity of the document — all without exposing personal information. Moving forward, identifying people with immune defenses to COVID-19 will likely become paramount as international travel resumes and countries test visitors at their borders.
“Authorities are getting impressed during the demo sessions with the features of MedsLOCK, and its ability to easily integrate with legacy systems with low cost,” continued Anjum in the interview. “In addition, they liked the aspect that we are offering MedsLOCK based on OPEX model where they pay as they use.”
Avantas Tech is reportedly already working with the Saudi government and the International Civil Aviation Association on integrating its technology into its COVID-19 pandemic response strategies.
Rolling Developments of COVID-19 Require Efficient Data Sharing
Although the peak of COVID-19 may have been seen in countries like Italy and China, the pandemic is expected to have a rolling impact on other regions of the world. For example, India and Pakistan are both going through the early-mid stages of their quarantine phases, and countries in South America, such as Brazil, are trying to get ahead of the curve.
Persistent monitoring of the spread of the disease from disparate regulatory areas will become necessary as the rolling impact of the virus continues. In that context, the shared and transparent nature of an underlying (and regulated) blockchain like Maxonrow can play a significant role.
Blockchains are excellent mediums for sharing and verifying broader subsets of data from independent sources — a task that conventional databases struggle with. Feeding trusted information from various global governments into a shared and regulated network within Maxonrow presents a compelling opportunity to provide a more transparent look into how the disease is progressing. Many data sets remain incompatible, and it’s challenging to convert medical supply chain data into the same system as metrics tracking patient immune statuses.
Blockchain-based supply chain platforms have also been explored extensively over the last several years, with projects like VeChain and an initiative by the UN leading the way. More recently, IBM, Tesla, and BMW have begun tinkering with blockchain-based supply chain platforms as well.
Now, they may be put to the test with a pressing scenario that necessitates precise tracking and authentication at scale.
Tech startups are understandably approaching the dilemma with a slew of refreshing ideas that may prove more appealing than handing over the keys of patient privacy to major corporations like Google that are known for data abuses.
Soon enough, governments will need to settle on a unified system for managing the outbreak. There are various options available, and the benefits of privacy-preserving data sharing of blockchains may have their moment in the limelight amid a global pandemic.
Cryptocurrency Fraud is Evolving; Bitcoin ATMs Mitigate Risk
In one of the more overlooked aspects of the crypto ecosystem, it appears that the bulk of illicit activities are shifting from hacks and thefts to cryptocurrency fraud and scams.
CipherTrace, the crypto-surveillance, and analysis firm released a report at the end of Q4 2019 that revealed hacks and thefts had decreased by 66 percent in 2019 while fraud and misappropriation of funds surged by 533 percent. And beneath the COVID-19 hysteria of 2020, hacks in the crypto sector have been eerily isolated.
Outside of a few exploited flaws in P2P exchanges and DeFi flash loan vulnerabilities, the headline-grabbing hacks of exchanges for hundreds of millions of dollars have been absent so far this year. Is the industry due for another massive hack, or are stringent KYC/AML processes, regulatory crackdowns, better security practices, and blockchain surveillance working?
KYC/AML Improvements Are Reducing the Appeal of Crypto Exchange Laundering
2020 is far removed from the no-KYC wild west days of the early-mid 2010s where anonymous altcoin casinos preponderated and the Dark Underbelly of Cryptocurrency Markets thrived.
Today, bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem is becoming institutionalized with a surfeit of derivatives (e.g., options, futures, perp swaps, etc.) available on…
Top 7 AI and Software Development Companies For Startups and SMEs
Top software development companies are tasked with proffering digital solutions to practical problems by producing innovative software programs, apps, and websites. The industry has grown into a huge force and with a revenue of over $481 billion. While some companies focus on certain software solutions such as web development, mobile app development, artificial intelligence, etc., others are all-purpose.
This is a digital age, as you already know. Therefore, the success of your company would depend a lot on digitizing your services and providing your customers with high-quality software and websites.
Today, it is much easier in that you can simply outsource your software needs to a custom software development company. You have a lot of options to choose from, but the best firms are reputable and experienced, have a highly skilled workforce, and uses the best processes and tools to ensure maximum satisfaction.
This list contains some of the best software development companies you can find around, especially those focused on artificial development needs for startups and SMEs.
TopDevz is a multi-award winning software development company that has rightly earned its place as one of the fastest-growing companies in the US. Its unique model is flexible, cost-saving, on-demand and easily scalable and the company has a 96% retention rate. With…
Top 3 Trends in the Crypto Space Right Now
With the price of Bitcoin on a tearing run, it’s hard to say we’re all in this for the tech. However, luckily for the advancement of the space, beyond the speculators, there are plenty of blockchain companies building, innovating, and pushing the envelope. With that in mind, here are the top three trends in the crypto space right now.
1. IEOs (Initial Exchange Offerings)
ICOs are dead. Every man, woman, and their respective dogs know that the SEC pretty much killed that phenomenon. The downward pattern from 2018 that continued into this year shows an almost uncontested freefall.
Perhaps it was a good thing, considering that more than $1.2 billion of crypto funds were stolen through scam projects and inside deals in the first quarter of 2019 alone.
But while many people in the space predicted the rise of STOs (Security Token Offerings), that particular phenomenon is still waiting at the gates. Many company’s hands are tied or they’re halted by the regulators.
ICOs are dead
Long Live the STO!
— Josh Olszewicz (@CarpeNoctom) November 17, 2018