It’s hard to say how exactly our life will look after the pandemic. We predict that this global challenge will create more blockchain use-cases and promote mass adoption of the technology. Will DLT become the new normal? There are at least 5 reasons why blockchain will grow big after Covid-19 outbreak.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reason #1: Growing Demand for Digital Solutions
The biggest reason why blockchain will grow big is obvious. It’s rapidly increasing demand for digital solutions. To keep afloat under quarantine, companies must continue to interact with their partners and clients and coordinate the work of remote employees. For this, they should harness the available digital tools as soon as possible.
In the recent past, you could afford to be slow about innovations and rely on the outdated but still functional instruments and protocols. From now on, you will need to embrace digital technologies, blockchain included, to have the work done and ensure the safety of your data.
Reason #2: Blockchain Startups Are 100% Prepared For Remote Work
Right now, everyone is working hard to get adjusted to the remote work model. Predictably, many businesses and individuals find themselves completely unprepared for this format. They don’t know how to deal with the basic challenges it presents.
On a positive note, this problem does not exist for blockchain startups. Due to the distributed nature of this business, they have never depended on face-to-face interaction. Therefore, the global shift to work from home means little or zero inconvenience for such companies.
Of course, everyone is missing global conferences and hand-shaking with opinion leaders. But in general, the blockchain industry is well-equipped for the current situation. It’s not the first time when these guys have to manage remote teams across different time zones. The example of Satoshi Nakamoto shows that you can work and maintain active correspondence without ever going out into the real world.
Reason #3: Growing Interest For Stablecoins
Over the last few weeks, the demand for stablecoins — the coins pegged to fiat currencies like USD or EURO — has increased. The leaders are USDT (Tether) and USDC (USD Coin) pegged to the US dollar. Among other popular stablecoins are BUSD (Binance USD) and PAX (Paxos Standard).
This intense interest for ‘digital dollars’ shows that crypto investors see stablecoins as a good way to store their wealth in times of market turbulence. Also, stablecoins allow to make and receive payments in a fast, secure and cheap manner.
Reason #4: Blockchain Can Improve Healthcare
After the pandemic, healthcare will become a major public concern. The disease made many problems of this sector visible, and the humanity will demand solutions. This is one of the main reasons why blockchain will grow big in the nearest future.
For this technology, there are several main points of application.
Medical Supply Chain
As we all know, the lack of medical masks and other essentials has been one of the biggest challenges during the Covid-19 outbreak. Frauds are using this situation to sell us counterfeit drugs, protection gear, test kits, and other products for disease prevention and cure. For instance, there has been a number of false vaccines and unapproved antiviral drugs. Needless to say, such ‘remedies’ may be more dangerous than a disease they claim to cure.
A blockchain-based supply chain would let us track every medical product down to the lab. When buying medicine, you will be sure that it’s authentic and comes from a legit source. Also, blockchain solutions may help us balance demand, manufacturing, and supply of medical goods, so every hospital or clinic could get enough and in due time.
Improving Health Data Management
Traditionally, managing health records means a lot of paperwork. It becomes a major problem in an emergency like the Covid-19 crisis. You lose precious time just because you have to move dozens of disease-related documents back and forth. Say nothing that infected papers can be dangerous for those touching them.
Besides, when there is no ‘single source of truth’ it’s hard to see the big and consistent picture of what is happening. Therefore, it’s difficult to coordinate common work.
Blockchain makes it possible to eliminate paperwork from most processes. It should facilitate all hospital procedures and greatly improve disaster management practices.
Recently, Alipay introduced Xiang Hu Bao, a mutual help blockchain platform that lets people with health conditions receive support from their peers. Any person can register and make a claim. The health data the applicants provide gets verified by the platform. The blockchain tech makes this process tamper-proof and secure. If the claim meets certain criteria, the applicant can receive a significant payout.
So far, over 100,000 users have registered on Xiang Hu Bao. Many of them come from poor communities and rural areas. Traditional insurance products are out of their reach. Without Xiang Hu Bao, they would be unable to afford significant medical expenses. It’s interesting, that the idea is not new: online mutual help platforms existed in China before. But they could not scale up due to the lack of transparency and many fraud cases.
Reason #5: Blockchain Against Mass Surveillance
As the virus spreads, governments start applying their ‘special powers’ to restrict the basic rights of their citizens. Okay, we are ready to sacrifice our freedoms for limited periods if it’s necessary to curb the disease. But we are also afraid that when the emergency is over, governments will be reluctant to give up new surveillance tools and rules. They may continue using them ‘for our own good’, just because they ‘don’t want this disaster to repeat’.
Potentially, blockchain systems can collect and manage health-related information without compromising our privacy. Instead of giving governmental authorities the right to track and store civilian data, we can use a distributed ledger for it. And, the icing on the cake, this decentralized data storage would be immune to break-ins and tampering.
Another way to protect your private life from Big Brother is using decentralized tools for communication, payments, and other purposes. Hopefully, they will be mushrooming soon.
Reason #6: Blockchain Makes Cross-Border Payments Easier
In self-isolation, the imperfections of the existing financial system become apparent — and increasingly irritating. For instance, now you cannot use cash because it may carry a virus. Or, if you are freelancing for a foreign client to make ends meet, you lose a portion of your money due to cross-border transfers. During ‘good times’ these costs seemed insignificant, but now you use our life hacks to save every penny. Finally, you cannot be 100% sure that your funds are safe with banks — in times of crisis anything is possible.
Why Blockchain Payments Will Grow Big
What blockchain financial tools have to offer, both for emergencies and normal life? There are several pros.
- Speed. Blockchain payment instruments allow us to send and receive funds in a matter of minutes or even seconds. The speed of a peer-to-peer transaction does not depend on where in the world the sender and recipient are. When you have no time to lose, it’s a very important advantage.
- Low transaction costs. Unlike banks and conventional payment systems, a blockchain network doesn’t take a percentage of the funds it moves. Instead, you pay a fee for processing your transaction. It does not depend on the amount you send. This operational fee may vary in different networks, but it’s next to zero compared to what a bank would charge for the same transfer. A and B may be isolated in different countries, but they can exchange money as freely as before.
- Security. During a crisis, banks may collapse. Even if the money you were holding there is subject to insurance coverage, it often takes months or even years to recover your savings. Besides, this protection has certain limits. In case you keep your funds in cryptocurrency, no one can take, freeze, steal or lose them. Of course, the value of your crypto depends on how the market behaves, but it’s another story.
- Increased financial inclusion. About 1.7 billion adults are unbanked, meaning they have no access to banking services. Blockchain payment instruments are available to everyone with a smartphone and an internet connection. For some third world rural areas and small cities, it’s the only option now.
Blockchain Payments For Global Charity
Easy, fast and cheap cross-border payments are essential for international and local charities. Besides, they often operate under time pressure, in unbanked areas or in emergencies. These are the conditions where blockchain shines bright.
Another well-known problem of conventional charities is the lack of public trust. Often, people don’t make donations just because they are not sure the money will reach those in need. Crypto donations mean transparent giving — you know where your money goes to and can see the impact.
Right now, there are many blockchain-based platforms and startups. One of them is Helperbit that raises bitcoins to buy medical supplies for Covid-stricken Italy. The project supports many other causes, too.
Why Blockchain Will Grow Big: Conclusion
Though things should get back to normal, the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to make the world more digital.
The reasons why blockchain will grow big in this new environment are clear. The tech will provide efficient solutions for many problems, both old and new.