U.S. Congressmen Urge Blockchain Use for COVID-19 Relief Work

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In Brief
  • U.S. Lawmakers have urged government to combat the COVID-19 crisis using blockchain.

  • Nine Congressmen have signed a letter addressing President Donald Trump and other federal officers.

  • Blockchain can help identify and authenticate individuals, streamline supply chains and create a registry of medical professionals.

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Members of the Congress of the United States have urged the federal government to use blockchain technology for COVID-19 relief work.

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Nine Congressmen have signed a letter addressing President Donald Trump and other federal officers, to use blockchain for “mitigating the effects of Coronavirus.” The lawmakers of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus have sought their support to establish a “reliable, accurate and secure” digital infrastructure,

There are numerous examples in which blockchain technology can ease the way in which we interact digitally. Among some of the potential solutions blockchain can assist with include identity, supply chains, and registries,

the letter read.

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Additionally, lawmakers urged private and public sector heads to meet and develop a coordinated strategy for facilitating relief using blockchain.

Potential Use-Cases

The lawmakers listed potential use-cases for seamless individual authentication, using the built-in architecture of blockchains.

They also proposed supply chain management for food safety, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies that are “critical for government and consumers.” Deficiency in these fundamental supplies has given a “wake-up call” across the nation to immediately address these issues.

According to the Congressmen, blockchain can also serve as registries for licensed doctors, nurses, and health care providers. This addresses the need for identifying and deploying skilled resources and professionals during crisis times.

An Ongoing Urge

The members of Congress have already put forth the proposal to consider using innovative technologies to solve the pandemic crisis.

Eleven lawmakers called on the U.S. Treasury Department to ponder blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to streamline cash-flows and supplies for an economic boost during these hard times.

In April, a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pointed to blockchain technology as “new mechanisms” capable of moving money quickly, securely, and transparently.

The April letter noted,

We thus strongly encourage the Treasury Department to utilize private sector innovations such as blockchain and DLT to support the necessary functions of government to distribute and track relief programs and direct that all guidance support the use of technology to facilitate the delivery of CARES Act benefits.

Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch proposed a bill a week after sending the letter to record national stockpiles on a blockchain.

The bill was created in response to the failures of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to provide personal protection equipment, ventilators, and other vital equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

He urged adopting a private blockchain system to monitor and track the availability of supplies in the SNS,

By adopting a private blockchain system we can verify the status of biodefense capacity in real-time.

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Sujha reports on cryptocurrencies, blockchain developments and markets, operating from the South East Asia timezone. Her work has appeared in CoinDesk, CCN, EconoTimes and Venture Capital Post. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies. sujhasundar@gmail.com

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