Blockchain in the context of COVID-19

Maciej Zieliński

16 Apr 2020
Blockchain in the context of COVID-19

The world's pandemic is constantly affecting our daily lives, forcing us to redefine our view of many branches of life and business. Recent days have brought many dynamic changes, and more are constantly appearing on the horizon. But are there also new opportunities besides new problems? Where can blockchain allow us to adapt to the current situation?

Supply and distribution of medicines and medical equipment

In crisis situations, the management of the supply of medicines and medical equipment is a key issue which, as the covid-19 pandemic shows, should be secured globally, and any mistake can have tragic consequences for hundreds of patients. The current situation shows how flawed modern systems can be, which are unable to protect us e.g. from periodic shortages of products as important as masks.

 The supply chains of protection agents or medicines are extremely sensitive and susceptible to manipulation, and many parties with different and sometimes even conflicting interests are involved in them. Blockchain provides a secure platform to solve this problem, introducing greater data transparency and better product traceability. Because a blockchain record can only be verified and updated with a "smart contract", manipulating the block chain is also very difficult. 

Blockchain allows to work out a compromise and trust at protocol level between all parties involved. This is crucial in situations where demand for a particular product exceeds supply and product availability may prove to be inadequate to actual demand. Blockchain can allow us to create a decentralised system for the distribution of medicines in which the interests of one party do not take precedence over the other. 

One of the companies working to secure the drug supply chain using blockchain and IoT technology is Chronicled. The company has been on the market for several years now, implementing decentralized supply chain ecosystems and building a protocol-based solution to improve global trade in key industries, including pharmaceuticals.

Banking services  

The world's coronavirus pandemic forces us to redefine our view of many branches of business. Sources such as The Economist and Forbes have been telling us for several weeks about the real risk of a global economic crisis comparable to that of 2008. One of the sectors that are certainly facing dynamic changes is the financial one. 

Before 2008, banks had little competition, which allowed them to monopolise financial services. This allowed them to charge high commissions, add hidden fees to the rates offered or overstate currency margins. It was them who dictated the conditions - if the consumer needed money he could only go to them. When it comes to the financial services market, there was practically no other choice. Customers often followed the rules created by banks, which were often unfavorable for them, because they usually had no other viable options. 

However, the events that started with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 led to an accumulation of aversion to the financial system at the time, which was accompanied by a general lack of confidence in the banking sector. Changes in customer mentality triggered a demand for different solutions from the previous ones, which created an opportunity for new players to enter a market where they started to offer better, more competitive services. This has triggered dynamic changes in the industry. 

An example of using blockchain technology on the banking services market is Request. This decentralised network based on Ethereum enables users to, among other things, perform transactions between themselves, send or request payments or issue invoices. Whereas developed by Symbiont and Ipreo companies Synaps  using blockchain-based smart contracts seeks to improve and automate the market for credit syndicates. 

Today, when the coronavirus pandemic brings with it another threat of financial crisis, the demand for fintech is likely to increase sharply again. Many consumers will lose confidence in the traditional form of banking services and start looking for alternative options. Again, this will create an opportunity for those who will offer new, innovative products based on modern technologies such as blockchain, offering opportunities such as peer to peer transactions or the decentralisation of asset transfer. 

Verification of identity

The reduction of social relations contributes to the growing popularity of remote communication tools. This will create a demand for solutions for authentication of digital certificates and identities verified by cryptography, not by the participation of a person. Basing the verification process on blockchain is simply cheaper and more secure than using a third party.  At a time when the lack of trust in relationships, especially business relationships, seems to be a common problem, obtaining it at the level of IT protocol seems to be a solution created for the needs of the modern market 

An example of a company operating in this area is Spanish Validated ID provide digital identity solutions designed primarily for remote working and e-commerce. Their ViDSigner is a comprehensive electronic signature service that allows users to issue honored signatures in several ways - including a sliding card, biometric signature or automatic seal.

New, safer asset transfer methods

Transferring business interactions to the Internet will increase the demand for secure asset transfer methods. Blockchain seems to be the ideal solution here. For several years now, we have been observing how the tokenization and trading of assets in a decentralized system based on it is gaining popularity in various industries, including those as different from each other as real estate and music. When a blockchain occurs, the need to engage an external third party disappears, so that asset transfer processes can be faster and become cheaper to maintain. Additionally, recording transaction data in the blockchain reduces their vulnerability to manipulation or fraud. 

Such solutions are implemented by 2014, among others, by the company Bitmark, which claims that although modern societies have developed property rights and intellectual property rights, they have not protected digital content. Therefore, through the use of blockchain technology, it enables the transfer of digital content in a peer to peer system, including health data, digital art collections, music rights and medical records.  

Certificates of authenticity based on cryptography

According to Maciej Jędrzejczyk. CEE Blockchain Leader’a at IBM  may reveal many inaccuracies in the supply chain depending on demand and production from China. This will lead to the disclosure of counterfeit certificates of authenticity of parts of the products originating from there. As he predicts, "this will lead manufacturers to use irrefutable proofs of origin based on cryptography rather than on authority".

Blockchain can record transactions in the supply chain and provide a unique identity for each product unit, tracking its journey in the supply chain. In addition, the unit can be paired with an NFC chip, QR code or RFID tag to enable real-time digital recording of progress. The Shanghai company is already working on this mechanism VeChain dealing with the problem of authenticating luxury goods. 

Hope for the entertainment industry

The entertainment industry seems to be one of the most affected by the outbreak. Thousands of cancelled concerts, festivals and other music events have brought and will bring losses of many millions. In a market dominated by giants such as Spotify, iTunes and YouTube, the creators will suffer most. While streaming portals are more active, the royalties paid to artists represent only a small percentage of the profits from playing their music. Blockchain-based portals such as Opus and Vezt, which are able to pay artists almost 100% of the profits thanks to the use of blockchain technology, become an alternative for artists. For many artists, they can be the key to survival in such a rapidly changing market. 

The consequences of the current situation will be coming back to us severely in the coming months. However, in addition to numerous threats, there are also new opportunities. It is up to us whether we will be able to take advantage of them and limit the losses resulting from the pandemic. The technology may again prove to be irreplaceable here. We will probably need modern solutions such as blockchain as never before.

Reducing losses, solving current problems and adapting to upcoming changes are areas where modern technology will prove necessary. In the context of an epidemic, many blockchain-based solutions turn out to be even more valid, there are also new areas where the implication of this technology may be the most optimal choice. The coming weeks will require the implementation of significant changes in many branches of business, without a doubt blockchain is a technology able to do this.


Most viewed

Never miss a story

Stay updated about Nextrope news as it happens.

You are subscribed

What is Account Abstraction?


10 Nov 2023
What is Account Abstraction?

Account abstraction is a new way of thinking about how users interact with blockchains. Instead of using traditional externally owned accounts (EOAs), account abstraction allows users to create and manage their accounts using smart contracts. This has a number of potential benefits, including improved security, enhanced privacy, and increased flexibility.

What is account abstraction?

Account abstraction is a concept that, at its core, aims to simplify the user's interaction with blockchain networks. It is a transformative approach that seeks to mask the technicalities of blockchain operations from end-users. It is making transactions as straightforward as sending an email. Account Abstr. allows users to interact with the blockchain without worrying about the underlying technical details.

How does account abstraction differ from the traditional model?

In the traditional account model, each user has an EOA. EOAs are controlled by private keys, which must be kept secret in order to protect the user's funds. Acc. abstraction allows users to create and manage their accounts using smart contracts.

Historical Context

The journey towards acc. abstraction began with the first generation of blockchain technologies, characterized by their "one-size-fits-all" approach to account management. Bitcoin, for instance, introduced the concept of accounts and transactions in a form that was accessible to tech-savvy individuals but remained perplexing to the layperson. Ethereum expanded on this by introducing smart contracts, which opened the door to programmable transactions but did not alter the fundamental account structure. The idea of acc. abstraction has been discussed in the Ethereum community for several years as a part of various Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), particularly as a feature to be potentially implemented in Ethereum 2.0. It is a direct response to the need for a more versatile and user-centric design that can cater to a broader audience and spur the widespread adoption of blockchain technology.

The Technicalities of Account Abstraction

Account abstraction is not merely a theoretical construct but a technical innovation with specific mechanisms underpinning its operation. In essence, it alters the way transactions are initiated and executed within a blockchain network.

How Account Abstraction Works

Under traditional blockchain models, initiating a transaction involves an externally owned account (EOA) signing a transaction with a private key. This transaction is then broadcast to the network for validation and inclusion in the blockchain. Account abstraction, however, replaces this process with a more flexible one. Here, every account is a smart contract, and transactions are messages sent through these contracts. These smart contracts can encode complex rules for transaction validation, beyond what EOAs can do, such as multi-signature requirements or conditional transactions based on certain triggers.

The technical crux of account abstraction lies in the smart contract’s ability to define its own conditions for transaction execution. This means that user accounts can have unique security protocols or automated operations without the user needing to understand the underlying smart contract code.

Hey! Are you interested in the latest technologies in the blockchain area? be sure to read the article 'Top Zero-Knowledge Proof Projects to watch in 2023'

The Benefits of Account Abstraction

The implications of account abstraction are profound, offering a range of benefits that can enhance the blockchain experience for users and developers alike.

Improved User Experience

One of the most significant advantages of account abstraction is the improvement it brings to user experience. By abstracting away the complexities of key management and transaction rules, it presents a more intuitive interface for users.

Enhanced Security Features

Account abstraction also allows for the implementation of advanced security measures. Since each account can define its own logic, users can tailor their security settings to their specific needs. For instance, one might set up an account that requires additional verification for transactions exceeding a certain value or restricts withdrawals to certain addresses.

Future Implications

The future implications of account abstraction are vast. As the technology matures, it could become a standard feature of blockchain networks, potentially making the current distinction between user accounts and smart contracts obsolete. This could lead to a new wave of blockchain applications that are both powerful and accessible, bringing us closer to the vision of blockchain technology as a seamless part of everyday life.

Challenges and Considerations

Technical Limitations

One of the primary technical challenges of Acc. abstraction lies in its integration with existing blockchain protocols. Current networks are optimized for the EOA model, and introducing a new account structure necessitates significant changes to the core protocol. This includes modifications to the way transactions are propagated in the network, how gas fees are calculated, and how the state of the blockchain is managed. Ensuring that these changes do not compromise the network's performance or security requires careful planning and extensive testing.

Compatibility with Current Systems

Another consideration is the compatibility of account abstr. with the vast ecosystem of existing blockchain applications and services. Wallets, exchanges, and other services have been built around the traditional account model. Transitioning to an acc. abstraction model will require these services to update their infrastructure, which may be a complex and resource-intensive process. Furthermore, there is a need for standardization across the industry to ensure that different implementations of account abstr. can work seamlessly together.


Acc. abstraction represents a significant leap forward in the quest for a more user-friendly blockchain experience. By streamlining the transaction process and offering enhanced security features, acc abstraction has the potential to make blockchain technology more accessible to a broader audience. However, the path to widespread adoption is not without its obstacles. Technical challenges and compatibility issues must be carefully navigated to integrate it into the existing blockchain landscape.

Key Takeaways

How to Add Gnosis Chain to MetaMask: A Simple Tutorial


03 Nov 2023
How to Add Gnosis Chain to MetaMask: A Simple Tutorial

As the cryptocurrency ecosystem expands, there is an increasing need for various blockchains with distinct capabilities. Gnosis Chain enters the scene, offering a selection of unique characteristics. By integrating Gnosis Chain with MetaMask, users can access a more comprehensive array of decentralized services. We will walk you through the steps to add Gnosis Chain to your MetaMask wallet in this tutorial.


Setting up MetaMask

Before exploring the integration of Gnosis Chain, it is crucial to have MetaMask installed and operational:

  • Download and Install: If you have not done so already, visit the official website to download and install the MetaMask browser extension.
  • Setup Account: After completing the installation, create your account and make sure to remember the provided seed phrase. This phrase serves as your primary means for account recovery, so keep it secure.
  • Secure Your Account: Protecting your MetaMask account is of utmost importance. Use a robust password and never disclose your seed phrase to anyone.

Gnosis Chain

It is always helpful to have a basic understanding before incorporating any new blockchain into your wallet:

  • Gnosis Chain Overview: Gnosis Chain, a rising star in the blockchain world, brings a range of decentralized solutions to the table, such as prediction markets and decentralized trading platforms.
  • Benefits & Features: Among Gnosis Chain's main selling points are its accelerated transaction speeds and potentially lower fees when compared to congested networks.

Tutorial: How to Add Gnosis Chain to MetaMask

In the top right-hand corner of your browser, you'll find the wallet. If pinned, click on the MetaMask fox icon; if not, click the three dots in the top-right corner. The following screen will appear:

An option to expand the wallet to a new browser page is available by clicking "Expand view:"

This action will launch MetaMask in a new tab:

By clicking on the ‘Ethereum mainnet’ in the top left corner, you can add another network. Click ‘Add Network’

Choose option ‘Add a network manually’

Then, input the information below:

Network Name: Gnosis Chain formerly xDai


ChainID: 100

Symbol: XDAI

Block Explorer URL:

After saving the settings, Gnosis Chain will be added to your network.

The Benefits of Adding Gnosis Chain to MetaMask

With multiple blockchains becoming more common, integrating Gnosis Chain with MetaMask offers numerous advantages:

Expanded Capabilities: Accessing Gnosis Chain through MetaMask opens up a collection of exclusive applications and features inherent to this particular blockchain, which may include unique dapps or cutting-edge financial products.

Diversification: The crypto domain is extensive and constantly growing. By incorporating various chains like Gnosis into MetaMask, you broaden your potential investment opportunities and decentralized application experiences, ensuring no opportunities are missed.

Speed & Cost-Effectiveness: Network congestion and high gas fees on established platforms like Ethereum can discourage many users. Gnosis Chain's architecture has the potential to provide relief through quicker transaction times and more affordable fees.

In summary, as the possibilities within the crypto sphere continue to evolve, tools like MetaMask grant users access to this expanding world. By adding chains like Gnosis, users can stay ahead in this decentralized revolution.


By bridging platforms like Gnosis Chain with accessible tools like MetaMask, individuals not only amplify their engagement with decentralized applications but also fortify their position in this expansive realm. The integration of Gnosis Chain to MetaMask epitomizes the evolution of the crypto landscape – a testament to its ever-growing diversity and potential. As we continue to delve deeper into the decentralized future, tools and integrations like these will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping our digital experiences and opportunities. Whether you're seeking more efficient transactions, diverse dapp interactions, or simply a broader understanding of the crypto ecosystem, this guide's steps open doors to a new horizon.