Taro Aso, Japan’s Finance Minister, recently stated that blockchain technology could be essential in the continuing global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Because of the technology’s capability to track contact tracing while ensuring privacy.
The comment came on August 24th during the opening remarks of the Blockchain Global Governance Conference in Tokyo, which is also known as the FIN/SUM Blockchain & Business conference.
“In the battle against widespread infectious diseases, blockchain provides one solution for contact trading,” he said.
Aso also commented that therefore, friction between the Japanese government and the country’s blockchain community must be addressed so that effective collaboration will be possible.
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“Some of the blockchain communities may still be hostile to regulators because of the belief they may hinder innovation due to a lack of understanding of the technology,” Aso explained. “What we need is to work together and collaborate to consider the best use of the technology under the best governance.”
Blockchain Could Play a Valuable Role in the Fight Against COVID-19
Aso’s comments come at a moment when COVID-19 is surging in some parts of the world and subsiding in others. According to data aggregated by Wikipedia, there are roughly 23.3 million coronavirus cases worldwide, and nearly 62,000 cases in Japan.
Therefore, the need for a practical, blockchain-based solution for contact tracing could be considered as urgent. However, even if a solution was developed, it is unclear how, when, or if the solution could be implemented.
Still, Aso is not the only one who has suggested that a blockchain-based contact tracing solution could be beneficial in the fight against coronavirus. In May, the CEO of SBI Holdings commented that blockchain could be used for supply chain tracing of essential materials, including masks and other medical supplies.
Other COVID-related use cases for blockchain technology have also been identified by various individuals in and out of the blockchain sphere. For example, blockchain platforms can be used to make fundraising more transparent; they can also be used to distribute relief funds.