New York State Releases IBM Blockchain COVID-19 Passport Application

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In Brief
  • Governor Cuomo approves the use of Excelsior Pass to help businesses and entertainment venues reopen in New York.

  • The Excelsior Pass is based on IBM’s blockchain technology.

  • Both Madison Square Garden and Times Union Center will use the pass.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved the use of an app based on IBM’s blockchain technology to help revive the local economy.



New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved a new application that uses IBM blockchain technology. According to an official announcement made on March 26, the ‘Excelsior Pass’ will help fast-track the reopening of businesses and entertainment venues in the state.

Governor Cuomo said of the application,

“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,”

The pass is entirely voluntary and will allow hodlers to validate the fact that they have tested negative for COVID-19. The pass has already undergone a pilot. With the official release, it will first be tested in theaters, stadiums, arenas, wedding receptions, and other events.

Among the locations that will use the blockchain-based pass are Madison Square Garden and Times Union Center.

Images of the Excelsior Pass show a QR code with an individual’s information. The app is entirely free, and the official page describes it as a “mobile airline boarding pass.”

While individuals can use alternate methods to prove that they are negative for COVID-19, the Excelsior Pass is one of the more convenient ways to do so.

Blockchain Technology Showing Its Uses

While cryptocurrencies are becoming more accepted by mainstream entities, including governments, blockchain technology is already well on its way to global adoption. Several countries and companies have announced various applications based on the technology.

The most notable of these are CBDCs, in which China is leading — but France, Australia, and Japan are all reviewing it as well. India has shown interest in applying the technology to its real estate sector. Companies, meanwhile, are eager to disintermediate human resource-heavy processes especially in supply chain management.

To that end, more companies have been devoting resources to blockchain and CBDC technology. This includes the likes of Visa, which is hoping to remain competitive against a fast emerging rival. Cryptocurrencies themselves may still be rubbing against incumbents the wrong way. However, blockchain technology has already entrenched itself deeply in the world’s economy.

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Rahul Nambiampurath is an India-based Digital Marketer who got attracted to Bitcoin and the blockchain in 2014. Ever since, he's been an active member of the community. He has a Masters degree in Finance.

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