With the past year being a wave stirrer in the lives of one and all, the pandemic has certainly left us all hoping for better things to come. The advent of the coronavirus has largely impacted industries, businesses, communities, and countries as a whole. By affecting each and every path of life, the pandemic has made it difficult for individuals to attain a gasp of air.
With the number of cases increasing day after day, the death toll had been skyrocketing on to time. As a result, the economy is hit by a hard blow with Sensex falling every other day. It resulted in most of the brands being shut down with big companies facing the loss of a few million.
This emerged the dire need for having a technological solution addressing the growing concern. With governments largely scrambling to address the underlying issues, a number of solutions based on Blockchain Technology in COVID-19 have emerged to address the worldwide health crisis.
Overview of blockchain technology as an application to combat the pandemic:
A blockchain is an important tool that establishes a transparent and efficient healthcare business model, completely based on a high level of accuracy and trust. This is because the technology is a tamper-proof one, and creates the first line of rapid protection, supported by a vast network of connected devices.
This is where the primary goal lies in staying alert about the outbreaks and hence the use of the platform is largely beneficial to address the situation and prevent pandemics. Blockchain Technology as an Application does so by facilitating the early detection technique and efficiently tracks drug trials while managing the impact of treatment and outbreaks.
Can blockchain aid to prevent pandemics?
The technological solution helps individuals and organizations to share any information, data, and transaction in a real team between the relevant parties. The information is shared as nodes in the chain, in a completely secured manner.
The onset of such a technology would have managed to combat the pandemic, had there been a blockchain that WHO and the healthy Ministry in each country and hospitals were connected through. This would have enabled them to share relevant information about any communicable disease such as covid 19. This would have helped to spread the word faster and stop the pandemic from spreading.
How does blockchain help to combat Covid 19?
Blockchain solutions during covid-19, as mentioned earlier, is helpful to track public health data surveillance, and especially with the outbreaks of diseases like this. With increased transparency, it helps to attain a more accurate and efficient response. This can help treatments to prosper swiftly as they would allow for rapid data processing. This enables early detection of symptoms prior to them spreading to being epidemic. This will also enable the agencies to keep track of the virus spread and combat new cases.
With trust being a major issue in this situation, blockchain has a cure here too. With its help, donors can view the places where there is a dire need to attain funds. This can help them to track the donations until and unless they are offered verification of the contributions being received. The technological solutions embrace transparency to regulate donations and their usage.
Blockchain has the ability to alert the public instantly about the advent of the virus and by global institutes such as WHO. Apart from this, blockchain can also enable governments with recommendations of not contracting the virus. It helps to secure a platform for all concerned authorities including medical staff, governments, health organizations, media, and more to stay updated and update each other on the same.
Track medical supply chain:
The spread of Covid 19 witnessed a shortage in the supply of sanitizers and facial masks. As a result of the shortage, a few ill-deed individuals were taking advantage to generate fake products and earn more. Blockchain technology can fill the gap and offer smart contracts and accurate data for the technology to eliminate any occurrence of the breach between the needy and the supplies.
As the supply chain involves multiple parties, hence the entire process promises a tamper-proof procedure, enabling individuals to track the process. The technology is largely helpful in streamlining the medical supply chain and ensures that both doctors and patients have equal access to the tools whenever needed.
Thus the usage of the blockchain to share the information would have saved the world from succumbing to the pain and how. With the world being completely naive to something as disastrous as Covid 19, it is extremely important to reassess decisions made and embrace new promising technologies. This is how both regulations and technology can bank on one another to safeguard the world from such pandemics ever in the future.
Blockchain Technology as an Application to Combat Covid-19
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Pele NFTs to Drop on Ethernity Chain from May 2
NFTs is about capturing value of precious moments compliantly. Ethernity Chain does this brilliantly, this time by dropping a new collection of NFTs honoring the legacy of the iconic Brazilian soccer player, a world cup winner, and a legend in soccer halls, Pele.
Pele is coming to Ethernity Chain
An announcement from Ethernity Chain—a differentiated platform introducing authenticated NFTs, on Apr 16, said Pele’s collections would be available in two weeks from May 2.
These valuable collections are created by Kingsletter and Visual Lab–leading Australian Concept artists. It is the first time the legend’s trading cards have been released digitally.
The second batch will be Pele NFTs will be released later this year.
It is easy to see why the physical vintage cards of Pele are worth millions and considered the most valuable in the world.
Pele’s Golden Records make his NFTs Valuable
Pele is award-winning and honored severally in the last 60 years or so.
Together with Diego Maradona, they are joint winners of the FIFA’s Player of the Century award.
He was also instrumental in three World Cup-winning teams of 1958, 1962, and 1970.
Besides, he was unplayable during his playing years. Thus far, he remains the highest goal scorer in Brazilian national team history, scoring 77 goals in just 92 appearances.
Before retiring in 1977, Pele scored 500 goals for Santos—a professional football club in Brazil.
For this, Pele is adored and endeared by football fans and bodies globally for his contribution to Soccer and tireless efforts in eradicating poverty. Through the Pele Foundation, the mega football star is empowering Children battling poverty.
For this reason, 90 percent of Ethernity Chain’s sales will directly benefit the charity.
Jason Heuser’s NFT Collections Sold out for Big Dollars
This collection will be the second following Ethernity Chain’s partnership with Jason Heuser, which saw the drop of the “Welcome to the Internet” collection.
It was an immense success since the “Legendary Edition NFT” eventually sold for $162k from 22 bids. The NFT hard a reserve price of $35k.
Other NFTs—the “Limited Super Edition” sold for $173,824 while the “2012 Original” was scooped for a whopping $224,800.
Mergers and acquisitions are rising, leaving crypto assessments in question
Fintech, cryptocurrency and mergers and acquisitions are poised to intersect significantly in the coming year. M&A activity is expected to rebound quickly — more than 60% of decision-makers at large companies who were surveyed by FTI Consulting for a February report agree that their company has recently been a target of aggressive M&A, and 39% say their companies are looking at M&A as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the cryptocurrency market is making strides toward mainstream acceptance.
As a result, there’s likely to be an uplift in deals involving cryptocurrency assets and valuations throughout 2021. While this trend is likely to spur some exciting developments in the financial sector, it is also starting to raise unprecedented questions about whether cryptocurrency and these complex business models can be accurately assessed and verified in the context of dealmaking.
Digitizing the world of finances
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have driven significant shifts from physical to digital services across a wide range of industries — none more dramatically than in the financial services industry, in which S&P Global has reported that an estimated 420 billion transactions, worth $7 trillion, will switch to cards and digital payments by 2023, reaching $48 trillion by 2030.
PayPal further legitimized cryptocurrency when it began accepting it in November 2020 and announced its acquisition of Israeli crypto startup Curv in March. Visa has also been active in the fintech arena, most recently with its $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid in January. Investors are also keeping a close eye on the developments that will follow Coinbase’s recent debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Naturally, all of this activity is generating a lot of interest in fintech and cryptocurrency companies among traditional financial services institutions and big tech corporations. Even amid market lows during the first half of 2020, cryptocurrency-related M&A hit $600 million, more than the total for all of 2019. All signs point to an even larger year in 2021.
The need for due diligence
Of course with M&A, IPOs and capital raises also comes the need to conduct due diligence, market assessments and valuations. But when cryptocurrency is involved as the primary asset or a key asset, there are additional, complex layers to standard due diligence processes.
Buyers and target companies need to consider conducting a technical assessment of the digital assets at play. Potential buyers will want to know how to verify the cryptocurrency assets and ensure that the target company’s reported assets are accurate. Because cryptocurrency companies often operate under unconventional business models, and due to the very nature of distributed ledger systems, it’s not always clear what’s what. The crux of the issue is to find out about any problems, risks or inaccuracies in a target company’s cryptocurrency assets, framework and business model and whether they have the correct procedures in place to support their crypto-based business activities.
Likewise, cryptocurrency companies that are looking to raise money or sell their business to a larger technology or financial services corporation (or file for an IPO) can help position their business by conducting in-depth assessments that will demonstrate their differentiators and value to potential buyers, and support subsequent valuation and due diligence activities.
The nuances of the crypto space
Many may not understand the importance of conducting a technical assessment and cryptocurrency evaluation as part of their larger financial due diligence, or that it’s even possible. However, experts in this space are beginning to develop complex methodologies to conduct, fast, in-depth and cost-effective technical assessments of cryptocurrency assets and leverage digital forensic investigation techniques to sample and verify digital wallet ownership, digital asset ownership, as well as verify assets under custody, and the value and validity of assets.
Additional areas that buyers should examine in a crypto-focused technical assessment include:
- The full scope of digital asset holdings, including hot wallet services, cold wallet storage, business wallet services, portfolio management and other services.
- Size, locations, duties and other key details relating to technical and sales support, and development teams.
- Risks within cryptocurrency-related contracts, privacy, security, Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering, signatures and other policy controls.
- Code audits across wallets, user interface and application programming interfaces.
- Governance implications (such as regulatory requirements and standards including the United States government’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation).
- Technical structure and stability.
- Third-party partnerships, data use and obligations.
- Research and development projects and developmental coin/token support.
In addition to traditional financial due diligence and valuations that accompany fundraising and M&A transactions, buyers in this space will also need to validate and assess the technical elements of the target company’s cryptocurrency assets and structures. Doing this right will require the support of a domain expert in blockchain and cryptocurrency who understands the technical complexities and knows what questions to ask. Cryptocurrency remains an enigma to many people, but a thorough, expert-driven technical audit can reveal risks and eliminate guesswork to support the execution of high-value, disruptive deals.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Steven S. McNew is a senior managing director within the technology practice of FTI Consulting. In his role, Steven helps clients evaluate and implement blockchain solutions and builds cost-effective, defensible strategies to manage data for complex legal and regulatory matters. Steven is an expert in blockchain, information and data security, complex discovery and digital forensics. He completed studies in blockchain and cryptocurrency at MIT and has led engagements involving blockchain assessments, pilot projects and software selection and implementation. He has also led disputes involving issues related to blockchain and various forms of cryptocurrency.
AgeUSD to Launch as First Stablecoin on Cardano Network
Multinational blockchain technology company Emurgo initially announced the AgeUSD stablecoin in January 2021. The firm has since announced a partnership between the Ergo Foundation, Emurgo, and Charles Hoskinson’s Input-Output Global, the parent company of IOHK.
The AgeUSD stablecoin will be available on Cardano as soon as smart contract capabilities are launched on the blockchain, it revealed.
Do We Need Another Stablecoin?
Emurgo is aiming to prevent events like MakerDAO’s Black Thursday which emerged through vulnerabilities in its Dai collateralization mechanism. A mass liquidation of the vast majority of Maker vaults resulted in around $4 million in Dai being under-collateralized at the time in March 2020.
AgeUSD’s so-called “Staticoin” protocol-inspired design does not rely on collateralized debt positions (CDPs).
“Thanks to its design, the scenario that happened on Black Thursday is not possible for the AgeUSD protocol. Without CDPs, we do not have liquidation events nor the requirement for users to perform transactions to ensure that the liquidations actually work properly,”
The stablecoin runs on the Ergo blockchain aiming to automate as much as possible within the mathematics of the protocol itself. Reserve providers pay Ergo’s native currency (ERG) to mint reserve coins which represent the underlying collateral. Users of the stablecoin can also deposit ERG into the reserves in order to mint AgeUSD, it explained. This is only allowed by the protocol if there are enough reserves above its reserve ratio. Banks use a similar method to loan out funds.
The Cardano partnership will also enable its native token, ADA, to be used as collateral to mint reserves. However, the potential downside is that the stablecoin is only backed by these two assets whereas Dai is backed by multiple cryptocurrencies.
AgeUSD will launch on Cardano when it rolls out the Alonzo update that ushers in Plutus powered smart contracts. This is expected in the latter half of this year according to the roadmap.
Cardano ADA Price Update
As the long-awaited update nears, ADA prices have been cranking to new highs, the most recent ATH being $1.55 on April 14. At the time of writing, ADA was trading up 2% on the day at $1.45 according to Coingecko.
It is the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market cap which currently stands at $46 billion and there are 32 billion tokens in circulation. The token was briefly flipped by Dogecoin but has regained its position in the charts, just below Tether.
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