How do Chinese authorities use blockchain to fight the coronavirus outbreak?

The global informational and digital connectivity grants instant access to relevant information about the coronavirus and the extent of its impact on people from all over the world. The importance and relevance of this problem are hardly debatable, as the virus spread is an event of global significance concerning the entire Earth's population in recent months. Thanks to advanced technologies, data about the spread of the virus become publicly accessible so that the authorities can carry out more precise monitoring and prevention.

According to current data, the infection has caused more than 2,000 deaths over the globe so far. The circumstances thus necessitate enhanced not only security measures but also advanced prevention, adequate handling of data on the spread of the virus, and an extremely careful approach to citizens at risk.

Local authorities report that in the first two weeks of February, more than 20 blockchain applications have been put into use in China to help battle the coronavirus epidemic. Their functions are mainly directed at managing medical data, tracking the supply of virus prevention materials, and furtherly consulting the general public.

Here are some of the specific ways blockchain-based applications and platforms are delivering tangible results in a particularly responsible task which Chinese authorities are currently facing:

  • In the capital of Shaanxi, blockchain technology is adopted for online consultations and screening, as well as for the secure administration of patients' health records.
  • Access Pass, a mini blockchain application that generates individual QR codes, is officially used in Zhejiang Province to give residents access to isolated communities.
  • In Jinan, Shandong Province, blockchain technology is used for generating the official daily reports that provide statistics on the spread of the virus. It achieves an exact collection of epidemic data, thus eliminating word-of-mouth information and helping citizens to grasp the epidemic objectively and reasonably.
  • Dozens of Chinese businesses have received loans worth more than $200 million thanks to a pilot, cross-border blockchain financing platform aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises in the country cope with the harmful effects of coronavirus on local businesses economy.
  • Xiang Hu Bao is an online assistance platform, which uses blockchain technology, to offer individual health plans to over 104 million users. It recently added the deadly virus to its database as a reason for users to receive a one-time payment of 100,000 yuan ($ 14,334). Among other things, the application provides reliable monitoring of the spread of the virus.
  • In collaboration with the government, Alipay's mobile and online payments platform implements a blockchain component that enables charities and initiatives to collaborate more effectively and transparently. The app allows users to track the distribution of charitable supplies while giving the option to view, record, and follow the demand and supply of medical equipment.

Toshev & Boteva Law Firm strongly believes that blockchain is a technology with tremendous potential to deal with crises and disasters, including epidemics.

Based on this perception, our team is a pro-active participant in both the development and training related to blockchain, as well as in the process of legally establishing blockchain as a vital part of public and private business areas.


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