The global current health crisis is a turning point for us all. It has highlighted problems we did not know existed; not just in the often contentious fields of procurement and data governance, but also in our technology infrastructure and society as a whole.
Blockchain is a new multi-purpose technology that can facilitate the rebuilding process – not only as an urgent tool in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, but also to unleash trade, investment, and future finance for the economy. There are lessons for national security as well.
Those were the clear messages from the All-party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain (APPG Blockchain) evidence meeting, 8 April 2020, which met to explore the potential of Blockchain and DLT on National Security and how Blockchain Technology can be used in the fight against COVID-19.
A Consolidation of Experts
The APPG Blockchain Evidence Meeting “How can Blockchain help in the time of COVID-19?” brought together an international group of experts from diverse fields, including public policy, tech and finance.
Taavi Rõivas (Estonian MP & Former Prime Minister, Estonian Parliament), Don Tapscott (Chairman and co-Founder, Blockchain Research Institute, Canada), Marta Piekarska (Director of Ecosystem, Hyperledger UK), Andrew Tobin (Managing Director EMEA, Evernym Inc, UK), Angel Martín (Spanish representative in European Blockchain Partnership, Ministry of Economic Affairs & Digital Transformation, Spain), Geoffrey Goodell (Senior Research Associate, UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, UK), Jonathan Levi (Founder, HACERA & Unbound Network, USA).
The meeting was Chaired by APPG Blockchain Chair Martin Docherty-Hughes, Member of Parliament, and also participated by vice-Chair Lord Waverley, House of Lords.
The meeting was moved from Parliament to Webinar due to the Covid-19 crises.
Results Reveal – View the full recording of the meeting
Rapporteur of the meeting Fernando Santiago and Professor Birgitte Andersen, who leads the appointed Secretariat, Big Innovation Centre, presents the following results:
Blockchain will play an important role as we move forward into the ‘new normal’; not just as a technology that can help mitigate pandemics, but also as a pathway to a safer, more transparent digital identity for everyone.
- Radical innovation to our data infrastructure is needed throughout the economy (as opposed to fixing technologically redundant systems) if we want to bounce back from the current economic, business, social crises, including our health care responses to COVID-19. Blockchain has proven merit.
- Decentralised, autonomous, self-sovereign identity blockchain systems should be explored. These could provide people with total control over their own data, enhances the protection of electronic records in the health sector, and facilitates the tracing of people diagnosed with Covid-19 in a privacy-preserving and secure way.
- Blockchain has the potential to solve the ‘digital trust problem’, by providing people with a more secure digital identity. There is also much to consider with regards the balance of power between the individual versus the state or the big tech companies.
- Government can become a model user of blockchain. To begin, every national government should create an emergency Task Force on medical data to start planning and implementing blockchain initiatives to cope with the next pandemic wave.
- The building of blockchain ecosystems can also help mobilise and coordinate action and, ultimately, generate a single version of the truth that will allow us to work together.
APPG Blockchain Sponsors
This showcase is an output of the All-Party Parliamentary Group of Blockchain (APPG Blockchain)
British Standards Institution (BSI), Capita, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, INDUSTRIA, IOTA Foundation, MyNextMatch, PubliQ and SAP
enable us to raise the ambition of what we can achieve.
Big Innovation Centre is the appointed Secretariat for APPG Blockchain.