Blockchain and Covid-19
Ask not what Covid-19 will do to blockchain industry; ask instead what blockchain can do to curb Covid-19.
The worldwide pandemic does not only affect our daily life, it affects the businesses, the stock market and the cryptocurrency market. It affects everything. Some blockchain application rollout plans seems to be affected too. At the same time, enterprises and governments are turning to blockchain to battle Covid-19. Donation of cryptocurrencies, tracking of medical supplies, protection of data and digital authentication of documents are some examples.
While going digital does help in sharing of information easily and make working-from-home possible, it does bring along the downside — spread of false and manipulative news. Can blockchain helps in differentiating fake news from those are genuine? No, it can’t! However, it can help in verifying the source of the news, and gives credibility to the source.
Verifying the source of the news is but another notarisation process. Blockchain is known to most as an anonymous system that covers our tracks. In contrary, it may hide your personal identity as you are represented by an account made up of a series of numbers and alphabets, but the movements of digitised assets (e.g. cryptocurrencies) in your account and information from your account (e.g. messages) are religiously tracked. This means, the origin of data can be tracked until the number zero.
Verifying the source
Says ministry of health wants to share a piece of news. It hashes it its account’s private key (An account is made up of private key and public key, cryptographically) and record it in the Blockchain. The ministry of health then create a simple website for the public to verify the news. In the website, public can copy the news word-to-word and hash with the ministry of health private key (which will be done only at designated website) to check if the hash resulting from the process match with any of the hash in ministry of health repository. If yes, it means that the ministry did publish the news. Simple steps. It works similarly as how passwords are administered.
Credibility of the source
The verification process can only tell the source of the news. It can’t tell if the news carries any weight. The credibility of the source needs to be earned by various ways, e.g. ministry of health announcing it official verification site, individual willing share some of their information and their past history and the site for verification.
Also. different from conventional database management, once the news is recorded in the blockchain, the source can never delete that and deny of ever sharing the news.
This is a simple idea that can be further sophisticated.
To safe guard their credibility, the source will be careful with the information they are sharing. To trust or not to trust a source, it is up to the readers.
History has taught us that some information we got from supposedly trusted sources are proved wrong years later. But, at least, we know who fed us those information.