Amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, China has turned to blockchain technology to manage medical data, track supply of virus prevention materials and consult the public.
For the first two weeks of February, China saw the launch of as much as 20 blockchain-based applications designed to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, domestic news outlet People’s Daily Online reported on Feb. 17. Most of the apps are used to manage citizens’ personal data as many people are returning to work this month.
Blockchain is on guard for medical data security
Local authorities noted that blockchain lets them effectively track and secure collected information. Thus, Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, applies the tech for online consultation and screening, as well as securely manage health records. In Hangzhou, tech company Vastchain Technology rolled out a WeChat-based program dubbed Access Pass. The program generates a QR code that residents can use to enter gated communities.
In collaboration with the Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission and the Economy and Information Technology Department, mobile and online payment platform Alipay introduced a platform that enables charity organizations and initiatives to collaborate more efficiently and transparently.
Specifically, the app allows users to track allocation and donation of relief supplies, as well as the review, recording and tracing of demand and supply chains of medical supplies.
Coronavirus’s impact on businesses
The coronavirus has indeed compromised the normal course of things in Asia, forcing a number of cryptocurrency-related conferences to postpone. Hong Kong-based blockchain remittance startup Bitspark also abruptly announced its closure. The closure came along with the coronavirus outbreak in China and anti-government protests in Hong Kong, where Bitspark’s headquarters is located.
Crypto mining firms such as Bitmail, MicroBT and Canaan also published notices on their websites of delays in their after-sale services due to the outbreak of the virus.
As Cointelegraph reported earlier in February, insurance firms in China use blockchain to manage coronavirus-related claims amid the outbreak. Thus, online mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao added the coronavirus to the list of illnesses eligible for a maximum one-time payout of around $14,300 (100,000 yuan).
Blue Cross Insurance, owned by the Bank of East Asia is reportedly helping to decrease the bureaucratic impact of the coronavirus outbreak with a medical claims app.
In the meantime, it has been reported that China started a quarantine of its used bank notes to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.