Blockchain technology can be used to create digital records, such as certificates, public registers, or agreements, which can be stored, shared, and amended online. As products or materials change hands, records can be added, inspections and deliveries can be logged, and payments can be automated. Anything that happens to these records can be automatically documented and encrypted for security: showing amendments made, and who sent or exchanged them. There’s no need for a third party, such as a bank or a regulator, to verify these actions because it’s a shared process, secured by cryptography. Organizations can pinpoint fraud or contaminants with speed and accuracy. The technology can also be used to issue warnings about inconsistencies or trigger an automated dispute.
Bitcoin changed the world by turning silos of monetary information into one big, global ledger. This global covid-19 pandemic is having a similar effect on science.
Up until now, scientists have increasingly worked in competition with one another. While collaboration does exist in research, especially in academia, there are increasing levels of competition when it comes to access to funding, patents, and intellectual property rights. However, as coronavirus has swept across the world, scientists are sharing their research in ever-increasing numbers.