Blockchain community thought leaders share their insights on the effects of COVID-19 on blockchain technology

We’ve teamed up with blockchain technology thought leaders where they share their thoughts on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on blockchain technology. COVID-19’s impact on the world economy and how we use technology is undeniable. Here are the insights we’ve gathered from Crypto Traders Pro and Bitcoin Chicago co-founder Kurt Wuckert Jr. who contributes to CoinGeek and Diego Rodrigues from Brazil who is working on practical solutions for businesses to benefit from Bitcoin SV. We also received input from Brendan Lee, the training and development manager at the Bitcoin Association and the CEO/founder of Coinstorage Pty Ltd. based in Brisbane, Australia.

What are you currently working on? How did you get involved with blockchain technology?

Kurt Wuckert

Kurt Wuckert: I’m currently working on a written bitcoin history series for CoinGeek Media, putting in overtime to secure the pandemic “work-from-home” rush with GoVanguard.com, and I’m spending free time with my wife and baby boy. I got into Bitcoin in 2012, when a guy offered to pay me for some printed posters. From there, I fell into mining and development in 2013-2014 and have worked as a bitcoin educator since 2017 with CryptoTradersPro.com. On the weekends, I manage meetups, participate in a bunch of beta testing, and have my hands in a few notable projects that I help with marketing and outreach.

Diego Rodrigues

Diego Rodrigues: I am working and trying with social networks to create sources of income with micropayments with TonicPow, HandCash, and social networks. This is so that people in countries around the world have some opportunity to work to add value with your ideas and generate income and help each other mainly in countries where some small fraction of Bitcoin can help a lot in these people's lives. I see Bitcoin as an opportunity for everyone. And nobody needs to be very technical to do that. 

My goal is for people to understand how Bitcoin is simple and useful and can easily add value in their lives. Bitcoin has been wrongly presented so far by some heavyweight twitter influencers as complicated, expensive, slow and useless systems. 

I am also working on a project to publicize stores that accept BSV in the world (@usebsv) to help merchants and all add value and open their businesses worldwide. and a website in Portuguese for bitcoin education in Brazil although Brazil is one of the countries in the world most talked about "cryptos". People still don't know the real benefits of bitcoin and that it was not created by Satoshi simply to be a speculative and unused asset. This is my goal here in Brazil!

I'm also working on a new page @bitcoinsvgames to post news about games and igaming, how the #bsv blockchain can change and help make games fair and regulated, improve their forms of communication and payments and encourage industry and players in general. And also news and updates about the game on #bsv #blockchain @CryptoFights

I also intend to advertise online and physical stores that accept Bitcoin bsv as payments for buying games, services, and betting etc.

I first heard about Bitcoin from a friend telling me that Bitcoin would be worth a lot of money and that I should buy a fraction. I didn’t have the money for it but I went to study about it and it opened my mind which led to a lot of opportunities later on. When I started studying about Bitcoin blockchain and its technology, I met its creator, Craig Wright, and also Calvin Ayre. I started to have a totally different view of what my friend had introduced me to and I saw a huge opportunity to help people with Bitcoin.

Brendan Lee

Brendan Lee: Currently I’m working on building a curriculum for teaching people about Bitcoin and continuing to work on the BitcoinSV wiki project. I got involved after I bought some BTC in late 2017 and discovered that it was a sham which wasn’t actually Bitcoin. Prior to that I had been captivated with the idea of a ‘lifebook for humanity’ which anyone could use, which wasn’t run by some corporation or government, but which was more a way for us all to be connected and share ourselves. As soon as I saw the real Bitcoin I realised it could be this thing, but it has to scale 100,000,000x from where it is today before we are even close to that.

As for ‘blockchain technology’, I think that ‘blockchain’ is actually a scam word used by people to make other people think they know the secrets of the universe so they can sell you a token. Bitcoin is much more than just a chain of blocks and I am very public about my desire to see people start talking about it as a ledger that is secured by a block chain built by nodes on the network. People using Bitcoin don’t actually write to a blockchain! They write to a ledger that is structured as a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Nodes then take those transactions and use them to build blocks in a time chain that is a separate and distinct DAG! There should be far less focus on the block chain as the core of this technology and much more on the system of economic incentives that so effectively causes enterprise level investors to build the infrastructure that we need to use the ledger.

What are your thoughts on the effects of COVID-19 on blockchain usage? Have there been any changes at all during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic?

Kurt: There has been a significant uptick in people focusing on development. I have working relationships with a lot of developers and entrepreneurs in the space, and they seem to be treating this as crunch time to get ahead of the curve! A friend started a think tank to help newcomers learn to code cooperatively so they can be productive from home too. It seems like this could end up being a catalyst for a new explosion in productivity in the long term.

Diego: I believe that a major post-pandemic problem is going to be the lack of resources for people and accessibility to important products. You have a problem today with several medical points to fight COVID-19 in the cities of mainly continental countries such as the United States, China, Brazil, and others. With the use of centralized networks, each one with its data and proper networks, every medical procedure in a place with a specific patient cannot be accessed from another point on your centralized networks. You now wonder if one of these points has a problem with your database and all data from that place is lost. Valuable research we won’t have for now and for the future. This is a big problem. We have many examples of years of important research and data being lost in the world, all of this could simply be solved using the BSV blockchain. Even better, the BSV blockchain can reduce costs facilitating data communication, validation, and more importantly, saving many lives.

Brendan: I don’t think that Covid-19 has had much impact at all on Bitcoin (BSV), however I think the time is right for everyone building on Bitcoin to double down and make their next releases as great as possible. As the rest of the ‘blockchain industry’ discovers they have built their empires on mud and sand, our ability to stand tall on a foundation of rock and say ‘This is how it is meant to be’ will be all the more important. People are noticing that we didn’t just disappear. They are seeing the news about our progress on scaling, and they are hearing the message about capacity and fees.

I think that Bitcoin is probably the greatest community building and connectivity tool ever conceived by man and some of the stuff that’s coming out that uses the BSV ledger as a substrate blows my mind. I have stopped using a lot of services that are ad-supported and am trying to use Bitcoin tools as much as possible. BAEMail, Twetch and Streamanity are my favourites and I have made money through each.

What are some of the trends we can expect to see in the next 6 months with the application of blockchain technology? Do you anticipate the use of blockchain technology in the medical sector?

Kurt: The world is going to be very surprised about what comes out of the Bitcoin SV camp. People have come to expect big things from Ethereum. There are big communities of fandom around Chainlink, Tezos and a lot of other mid-cap protocols, but there is so much being deployed right now on BSV that people are sleeping on. A big one is EHRdata.com which is integrating the tracking of their entire supply chain onto BSV. The medical sector needs drug tracking, patient tracking and PPE tracking all done on chain, and it will revolutionize efficiency.

Diego: I believe that with BSV blockchain, we can apply the benefits to any type of pandemic or global disease.

Some interesting points would be with the donations tracking and managing them, being money, masks, or inputs in general. We would also have the possibility of accurate accountability until the end-use.

We could track the evolution of the coronavirus through the blockchain. This is very important for geographic data.

Brendan: I actually expect many of the things built using ‘blockchain technology’ to fail as most ‘blockchain technologies’ aren’t any good. I look at EOS, Ethereum and BTC I see systems where the problems are so structural that to repair them would be to destroy them. They work when the load is light, but as soon as the network capacity is challenged, they fall over. This has happened time and time again and it won’t be too long until they fail so badly that they cannot be recovered and it means that anyone building on them is investing their time and effort for nothing.

In terms of Bitcoin(BSV), I think we will start to see larger enterprises, banks and more waking up to the reality of how the public ledger functions, and beginning to explore the way into using the system to improve efficiency and lower the cost of existing business processes. I think UNISOT, Tokenized and others have a big part to play here but 6 months is probably not quite the timeframe in which we will see major change.

What advice do you have for businesses/organizations considering the use of blockchain technology to help them during the coronavirus pandemic?

Kurt: I think “during” is too bold, but any business use case that has been edged out due to inefficiency in small payments or the unreliable nature of distributed data needs to reconsider projects that have previously been shelved. One thing that has been on my end is the need for tracking people who have been exposed to the virus. They can have their identity private, but have their interactions tracked and risks assessed on the fly with a powerful blockchain solution. The reason this is too bold for the current pandemic, however, is that the infrastructure would take too long to build out.

Diego: I could say many things not only for coronavirus but for many diseases when it comes to the benefits communities and businesses can receive from using blockchain technology. Some important ones are:

  • Share verified and immutable information
  • Creating a short and long term rich database that will never be lost or tampered with
  • Avoid the need to repeat examinations of the same patient at different points of care
  • Facilitate access to patient exams
  • Being able to track consumer products from start to finish is more important than ever
  • Process orders for supplies and medicines, inventory control
  • Reduce bureaucracy to release resources and financial insurance to patients

In other words, businesses that use blockchain technology can see a reduction of expenses and reduction of fraud! They’ll be able to reduce the possibility of counterfeit products reaching the market.

Brendan: I would say move beyond the hype of Blockchain, and try to understand the function of Bitcoin as a public ledger. Once you can process the abstraction of block chain from ledger it becomes much easier to see how the ledger can enable you to build. With the right tools, useful applications can come together in extremely short periods of time opening the way for rapid creation of valuable information repositories and visualisation tools.

Where do you go to stay up to date with the latest developments in the blockchain community?

Kurt: CoinGeek, Twetch and Twitter.

Diego: Currently, CoinGeek.com and Satoshi’s official website craigwright.com. On Twitter, I follow Calvin Ayre as the main source of learning and news and a lot of trustworthy people. Among them, Wallstreet5, Shadders, Eli Afram, Kurt Wuckert, Alex Agut, Jimmy Nguyen, and the official Bitcoin BSV accounts.

Brendan: I’m a bit of a recluse, and I don’t really follow ‘blockchain’ at all. I keep up with Bitcoin through Twetch, some telegram groups I’m in, and through the Metanet.icu slack group. There is such an overabundance of news today that following ‘blockchain’ as well as current events is almost impractical if you want to get any work done.