The potential applications of blockchain technology go far beyond just cryptocurrency. Digital currencies are just the tip of the iceberg of what blockchain can be used for, especially in terms of digital health, and using technology to fight the pandemic.
What makes this method much more secure for large-scale data driven operations is that if one block is hacked or tampered with, all the ones that came before becoming invalid, signaling foul play across the chain.
Everyone on the network has a record of the blockchain. The integrity of each block is verified by everyone on the chain starting from its inception. This means that everyone on the blockchain can verify everyone else’s data block, one link at a time. This does slow down the time it takes for data to travel, but it does guarantee safety, accuracy, and reliability.
One area you might expect to see applications of blockchain technology is in contact tracing apps. Developed to warn people of contact with COVID-19 infected people, such apps have a dark cloud of potential privacy violation hovering over the very name. With the security offered by the technology, contact tracing users need not worry about third-party interference.
In another example, IBM announced “rapid supply connect” a supply chain solution meant to aid against COVID-19 supply shortages by employing blockchain. Suppliers sign up to a network once, and their information becomes accessible to authorized buyers. This greatly reduces the time it takes to order supplies and delivery.
The applications of blockchain technology have also been quite useful in ensuring the right people get the right amount of cash support, with little to no risk of corruption, interference, or security breach.
In our brave new digital world, security and trust must evolve to meet the growing ubiquity of data driven infrastructure, technology, and business. Blockchain technology is the inevitable next step in transforming our world into what we want it.