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Even those who are on record as caustically skeptical about the prospects for bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies find themselves intrigued by the technology underlying them. While bitcoins themselves are a worthless joke that will come to a bad end, everyone on Wall Street thinks the blockchain has a bright future.

This blockchain thing is real,” Jamie Dimon, elsewhere seen calling bitcoin “a fraud” that “will eventually blow up” and “worse than tulip bulbs” and those trading it “stupid,” says. “I’m enthusiastic about the blockchain technology,” says Vanguard global chief economist Joe Davis, in pretty much the same breath in which he says cryptos will probably go to zero.

Thing is, blockchain hasn’t yet lived up to the admittedly high expectations that it will change everything in finance. It’s been great for committing crimes and maybe helping people (cryptocurrency fraudsters?) make bail and getting Kodak back in the headlines for a minute and endangering John McAfee’s reproductive organ, but we are still awaiting the revolution. However, like other revolutions, the COVID-19 epidemic may be giving our blockchain destiny a bit of a fillip.

Employees developing the projects say blockchain could be an efficient way of connecting health-care providers in need of medical equipment with global suppliers they might not otherwise find on their own. The technology could also help validate a person’s immunity to Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, data that authorities could use to better understand and respond to the pandemic…. The goal is to have a range of trusted global suppliers on the blockchain network that can provide health-care organizations with about 15 types of medical equipment, including masks, ventilators, dialysis machines and oxygen masks…. “Blockchain will hopefully help these parties trust each other quicker,” Mr. Treshock said, adding that monetary transactions won’t be done on the blockchain but rather separately between the suppliers and buyers.

Of course, we are talking about a cryptocurrency-related technology, and therefore must also talk about fraud.

The data being put onto the blockchain could be illegitimate data, she said. Stringent procedures are needed to verify that there are no counterfeit products, such as test kits, on the blockchain, she said.

“You could end up baking bad data into a trustworthy model, and nothing could be worse,” she said.

But hey: She said “trustworthy model.” That’s got to be good for at least a small crypto rally.

A Cryptocurrency Technology Finds New Use Tackling Coronavirus [WSJ]
Bitcoin Hits April High; Crypto Portfolios Get Stimulus Injection [Forbes]



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