Founder and CEO of Omnia Markets, an artificial intelligence firm providing data analytics on the digital currency industry.
The current pandemic has had a tremendous effect on global markets as many companies have been forced to close, temporarily halt their operations or attempt to work from home. Additionally, it has revealed the weaknesses in the daily operations of companies across the world, namely in supply chain management, resource allocation and data security and sharing.
As the world begins to shift into an even greater digital age, we have seen many companies across the world attempt to move their operations from the office to homes while remaining accessible to their consumers. This new digital age has shown the struggle that companies are facing to remain productive, care for their employees, operate at consistent levels and have their employees truly feel that they are a part of the company rather than simply working for it. Companies have turned to various online applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others to help do this; however, companies are still facing issues when it comes to overall digital operations.
This is where blockchain technology comes in. We have seen many companies turn to this still relatively new technology to answer the many operational problems they are facing. The industry that we have seen the largest push into the adoption of blockchain technology, perhaps not surprisingly, is health care. As a matter of fact, many countries have actually turned to blockchain technology to also help the fight against Covid-19, such as Honduras, which has rolled out health care-focused blockchain solutions. China has also rolled out about 20 “DApps,” or decentralized applications built on blockchain for various Covid-19 related tasks, such as an online screening system and a secure health management and record system.
One of the first areas blockchain technology helped health care companies was in record-keeping. Records can be kept safely and securely while also having the ability to be accessed and shared immediately. This technology has brought reliability, transparency and security to health care record-keeping. We have also seen various health care companies use this technology to help track Covid-19 cases, medical material distribution, relief distributions and general supply chain management across the board.
Helping health care companies is just one area where blockchain technology has had a positive impact. While we have seen many countries across the world struggle to implement appropriate stimulus packages to boost their economies and get money back in the hands of its citizens, many investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies as a safe store of value. Specifically, we have seen investors and users invest in stable coins as they are backed by a fiat currency, such as the U.S. dollar. They are more stable than other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and still include the benefits of being a cryptocurrency, allowing investors to transact freely, quickly and at little to no costs, unlike fiat currencies.
This leads to the idea of tokenization. Even SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has recognized this, saying that “it may be very well the case that those all become tokenized” when referring to traditional stocks. Through tokenization, companies can digitize their resources and assets, allowing them to divide those assets and bring investors in an easier and more secure manner. These investors would then become token holders of that company and receive all of the rights that come along with that.
Businesses that are interested in blockchain technology can explore implementing it into their current systems to solve issues brought on by the pandemic and to improve the speed and reliability of their systems. The first step would be for businesses to understand what blockchain technology is and the various benefits and challenges it brings. From there, businesses can then explore utilizing blockchain technology to solve specific issues in their current systems. As this industry continues to rapidly expand, there are also many companies that can help businesses understand blockchain from strategizing to implementation if needed.
Many countries are looking into passing appropriate regulations for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, allowing it to become more easily adopted and implemented across the world. As we continue to navigate this new world that we are all facing for the first time, we are surrounded by so many different technologies that can help us continue to push forward and come out better than we were going in. I believe we’re seeing blockchain as one of those technologies with its many use cases over the past several months, not just in health care but in many other industries forced to move operations into the digital realm.