Covid-19 Pandemic Impetus For Blockchain And Cryptocurrency?

Leave cryptocurrency aside for a moment, it is blockchain that has really carved a niche and admirable reputation for itself in recent months. The pandemic has raised some urgent needs related to medications, medical equipment, health related statistics data, supply chain logistics and more – blockchain has chipped in with its power and utility in almost every case. 

Schools and colleges have been able to rapidly develop and deploy, blockchain based applications to help with remote education. Global research related to COVID-19 treatment, medications and vaccines need to be monitored and analyzed across the globe. Blockchain has been able to shoulder this very challenging and vital responsibility. 

The above information relates to the utility of blockchain during the pandemic, this is not related to the fact that it forms the foundation of launching and trading cryptocurrency. Not so long ago, the utility of blockchain was limited to managing cryptocurrency. The unknown and untapped power of blockchain was left in the background. While things did start to change gradually, the pandemic has improved the utilization and understanding regarding blockchain at a rapid pace. 

While blockchain continues to garner a niche for itself from operations ranging from finance, public utility to health services – cryptocurrency has not been far behind. The severe slowdown in economy activity during the pandemic, has forced governments to provide financial aid to the people. Generating the funds with decreased government income was not the only challenge, the task of efficiently disbursing government financial assistance was equally tough. The existing concept of finance, money and banking revealed glaring weaknesses. It was not long before administrators started realizing the benefits of digital currency. 

Until early 2020 China seemed to be the lone taker for the concept of CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency). Simply put this implied an official national cryptocurrency, one issued by the apex bank of the nation. The health crisis saw nations warm up to the idea of cryptocurrency. Debates and discussions on the pros and cons of CBDC became louder and bolder. We now see no less than a dozen nations, getting ready to launch test or currently testing their own CBDC. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has in recent months, been suggesting – a cooperation between government and the private crypto industry to design and launch CBDC. 

It is not just official national cryptocurrency that has found support during the coronavirus pandemic, private crypto markets have also shown clear signs of firming up. As governments print more money, to run their economic stimulus packages, experts warn of severe inflation in the coming future. This has prompted a significant number of (adventurous) investors, to buffer inflation by investing in cryptocurrency. We must say that, this is little more than an experiment – little to prove at this time that crypto can act as a buffer during inflationary times. 

Leading crypto exchanges have reported a steep rise in the number of new accounts on their exchanges. The net impact of this on crypto investment and prices is yet to be assessed. It is however fair to presume that, the emergence of CBDC will increase crypto knowledge among a large number of people. This would have a positive impact on private cryptocurrency. 

Going by this report it does seem that, better days are lined up for both blockchain and cryptocurrency. The industry needs to see this as an opportunity to improve and develop. Weaknesses in the existing crypto framework including security challenges and crypto crime, will only be magnified with time. It is time that the industry started looking within itself and put its house in order. The impetus provided by the pandemic should motivate improvement rather, than induce complacency. 

 

GLITZKOIN: A quick recap of the Glitzkoin project and the GTN crypto token.  The project was launched to improve the demand for natural diamonds and to enhance, the efficiency and productivity of the multibillion dollar industry. 

The DiaEx diamond trading platform was developed using Stellar blockchain resources. The GTN token was launched as part of the project and is designated, as the mode of payment on DiaEx. Promoted by second generation diamond veteran Navneet Goenka, Glitzkoin assigned a multifaceted role to the GTN token.  

The trading platform was completed in 2019 and was put through rigorous testing in early 2020. A team of diamond dealers subsequently did a pilot run on DiaEx with, actual transactions made on the platform.  This process was largely successful and revealed a few areas for improvement. The Glitzkoin tech team was handling the minor adjustment when, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns slowed down the process. The management will reschedule the full launch of DiaEx once the health crisis eases. 

Talking about the multifaceted nature of the GTN token, the project is also focused on further increasing usage for the crypto – this aside from crypto exchange trade and the payment usage on the DiaEx platform. The concept is to have operators of various businesses, accept the GTN token as a mode of payment in their operations. Moving this idea forward Glitzkoin has confirmed a partnership with online ticketing giant Myticket.asia, wherein clients of the ticketing portal could use the GTN token as a mode of payment. Technical requirements for the integration of systems on both sides is at an advanced stage, nearing completion. Reviewing the challenges that the entertainment industry has been going through during the COVID pandemic, both managements have decided to set a launch schedule when the situation starts to normalize. The arrangement setup between Glitzkoin and Myticket.asia will form the blueprint, for similar deals to be negotiated with other business operators.  

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