The COVID19 Coronavirus pandemic has brought to light the glaring gaps that industries across the world face, from health-care to logistics. Specifically, supply chains have taken a knock, which has disrupted (and ultimately led to the shut down of) countless businesses at a global scale. Retailers are suffering, which is causing a crippling ripple to the economy which will be felt for decades.
Over the past few months, it has become painfully obvious that there is a significant absence in connectivity and data exchange built into supply chains. Despite the fact that technology is at the pinnacle of the fourth industrial revolution and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is almost commonplace knowledge, there are still staggering difficulties in logistics.
This is where blockchain, and the powerful potential the technology carries, steps in with its elegant solution: Scalable interconnectivity with transparent technology.
How Blockchain Can Help Fight The Virus
In the effort to introduce cleaner (both for healthcare and for the environment) methods of conducting business, the adoption of blockchain technology across industries is a necessity. With blockchain tech in place, platforms can be built in a way which can help ship more sustainably, with visibility, traceability and more oversight of packages at all points across a delivery’s journey.
For example, having distinct timelines of arrival and full knowledge of where a parcel is is crucial at this time, when shipping medical supplies, for example, is so time-sensitive. Not only does blockchain aid in the traceability in supply chains, but it has the increased advantage of providing efficiency to systems, which can lead to better focus on more pressing issues.
Mariam Obaid Al Muhairi, Project Manager at the Dubai Future Foundation weighed in on the importance of accelerated adoption of blockchain, pressing that:
“We cannot afford to continue operating in the dark.”
Blockchain And The Media – The Secure Spread Of Information
Not only does blockchain offer a solution for supply management challenges, but it also provides an answer to the problems related to false information. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has come under tremendous scrutiny over the past few months over false information. This hasn’t helped do anything to combat the spread of the virus – in fact, it has made it more difficult – as people don’t know what information to follow and what to discard. With blockchain as the fundamental technology for news and media, verification and validity of news at a decentralised level become possible. To pilot this concept, the Center for Disease Control, partnering with the WHO and IBM, has set up a project to harness blockchain technology to track, store and distribute relevant and sensitive information in real-time. This means that health centres can receive information which can help manage effective and uniform strategies in reducing the spread of the virus. With this sort of technology in place, future pandemics can be halted (or avoided entirely) before leading to a global outbreak.
Blockchain Reducing Health Costs
According to a recent study reported by Bisresearch, blockchain, if adopted and used correctly, can save the healthcare industry up to $100 billion USD annually by 2025. With a shift towards transparency and a step back from malicious providers, fake counterfeit products, and avoidable third-party clients, the safety of patients and the sector can be improved.
How Bitcoin Can Help The Economy During The Pandemic
Blockchain, when considering the financial sector, offers the potential to vastly improve the facilitation of cash-flow management. This can be a game-changer for small businesses and startups who rely on timely payments and cash injections for survival. Accepting payments from global clients without delays and massive banking fees can make or break some businesses and cryptocurrency offers a tidy solution.
While Bitcoin as a payment’s platform might not be the quickest in transaction time, the underlying technology has harnessed been in other cryptocurrencies. This means that digital currencies offer a secure, decentralised way for businesses to accept (or make) payments across the world, meaning their cash-flow is more reliable and streamlined. The survival of small businesses has a positive knock-on effect down the line, as they are crucial in keeping the economy running.