Blockchain firm Kadena has launched its own app to verify COVID-19 tests and store patient results, the company announced on Thursday, June 25.
The firm founded by former members of JP Morgan’s Blockchain Center for Excellence has released a COVID-19 test tracking and storage app which is open-source and available for immediate use. Through projects like the COVID-19 testing app, the Kadena team aims to highlight the versatile applications of blockchain technology. In the spirit of accessibility, users do not need a Kadena wallet or token to use the app.
“The COVID-19 app that we have developed and that we’re giving away for free really showcases all of the strengths of blockchain and the strength of our platform without the drawbacks of your traditional blockchain applications,” Monica Quaintance, Head of Research and Networks at Kadena, told Bitpush. “Specifically, most large applications require people to have a wallet and buy crypto and deal with the cryptocurrency-like aspects of a public blockchain application.”
Kadena’s test-tracker app’s user-experience is similar to that of any other web-based application, without the user needing any knowledge or experience with blockchain technology. The app is powered using Kadena’s high-throughput blockchain system which utilizes 10 chains working in tandem. The company announced on Thursday that it will soon expand to 20 chains, which it flags as a scalability breakthrough.
“We created Kadena to fix the fundamental scaling problem with Bitcoin, which has been a barrier to mainstream adoption,” Will Martino, Co-Founder and CEO of Kadena, said in the announcement. “Growing from 10 to 20 chains means that the infrastructure exists to service the needs of the digital economy. Kadena has solved the previously long-standing problem of how to securely scale a public blockchain; we’re the only project that has done it.”
Quaintance emphasized that Kadena is dedicated to maintaining a proof-of-work system which preserves the trustless nature of blockchain.
“What’s amazing about proof-of-work is that it really is completely trustless in every way, anyone can participate in the system,” Quaintance said. “So, we really wanted to stick with what we consider to be the true innovation of Bitcoin and just figure out how to have more of it, how to be able to make it go faster, use it more and give it more features.”
In order to showcase blockchain’s utility, Kadena developers created the COVID-19 test tracker app. The app tracks tests from manufacturer to medical professional using QR codes. When the results come in they can be stored and shared on Kadena’s blockchain, without fear of third party interference. Patients can also access their results at any time by scanning the code associated with their test.
Validating the origins of a COVID-19 test has proven an important task. On Friday, June 26, the FBI released a warning about potential fraudulent COVID-19 antibody testing. These fake tests could provide false results, which poses a public health risk if individuals with false negatives stop social distancing. Fraudsters could also use the tests as a pretense to gather personal and medical information from individuals. By verifying tests using Kadena’s blockchain-based app, threats like these would not be possible.
Kadena developers settled on a COVID-19 test tracking app after looking for a project which would capture public attention and demonstrate the benefits of the technology, a step Quaintance believes is crucial to growing the industry.
“[We wanted to] show people how this technology can be used and that it can actually provide real benefits,” Quaintance said. “I don’t think that we’re going to see the adoption we need for the industry to really grow and thrive until we bring in non-blockchain people and show them why this is useful and valuable.”
While users may not even be aware the app utilizes blockchain because of the easy-to-use interface, the data is still stored with all of the benefits the technology provides. It can be tracked, verified, and there is a public access station of the records. Quaintance intends to spend at least the next year working to develop more apps like the COVID-19 test tracker to continue to highlight dapp’s capabilities.
“Rather than thinking about blockchain as a cool thought experiment, we thought about how blockchain is amazing and we can give people the tools to use it correctly,” Quaintance said. “We’ve always from the very beginning thought about what can we make that’s going to be the most useful and the most interesting to people.”
Quaintance also hopes to introduce a stablecoin to the Kadena network within the next 6 to 9 months so that the Kadena team can start to create and explore the possibilities for future financial products.
By Emily Mason