The Use of Blockchain Technology Beyond Cryptocurrency in Asia
Conceived by an elusive developer, or team of developers, known only as Satoshi Nakamoto, who was also behind Bitcoin, blockchain functions as a database where data is stored in blocks that are chained together. The revolutionary technology has sparked off many other ways for blockchain to be used beyond the concept of cryptocurrency.
With the ongoing pandemic and vaccination efforts continuing across the world, countries such as Singapore and Malaysia are looking at the possibility of mutually reopening their borders. In doing so, the two nations must establish a reliable system to ensure that those crossing the borders are properly vaccinated.
It has been reported that Singapore and Malaysia will be utilising blockchain technology to verify vaccination certificates. This technology will allow both countries to access the details of travellers’ vaccinations and verify their credibility, as all the information about the inoculations will be traceable, right down to the specifics of the vial of vaccine administered. The deployment of blockchain technology in this instance will allow for the safe reopening of borders – something that other Southeast Asian countries, and the rest of the world, may emulate.
As it stands, blockchain technology, alongside artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, has already been critical in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process, easing the logistical nightmare of storage and distribution, and ensuring a smooth-flowing supply chain. As the vaccines are being transported to countries worldwide and swiftly administered by nations to their citizens, traditional methods of data keeping are not viable to enable traceability. Blockchain has allowed for all the relevant data to be stored in a decentralised database, making it accessible to every department involved in the supply chain.
Within the field of COVID-19 vaccines, blockchain technology has also effectively combated the problem of fake vaccines in China and South Africa. To prevent these fakes from being distributed, Asia’s healthcare giant Zuellig Pharma developed a vaccine management system, known as eZVax, allowing end-to-end management of “vaccine distribution and administration”. This blockchain-based system provides access to real-time data to allow for proper strategic planning of the vaccination drives.
Blockchain technology is also being used within the education industry. For example, in Vietnam, fake education documents are prevalent, resulting in cases of fraud. As such, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam has decided to use TomoChain, a Singapore-based company, to implement a National Qualifications Archive. All education documents will be issued only through the blockchain-based system, which will allow for immediate verification of the records by employers or any other institution or organisation.
The adoption of blockchain technology is extensive, as companies can see the benefits beyond its regular uses. To encourage sustainability, Gillette has announced a new brand, Planet KIND, for products designed with 60% recyclable plastic. To ensure complete transparency and traceability, it has partnered with Plastic Bank, a social enterprise dedicated to reducing plastic waste through a blockchain platform.
Blockchain technology is gradually being adopted by many different industries in Asia, including real estate, air travel, food, and more. As technology continues to evolve, enterprises will capitalise on this valuable knowledge, transforming how data is processed and using it to advance their causes further.
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