Austria Backs Pandemic Blockchain Initiative

Fibo Quantum

The government of Austria is backing the creation of a pandemic-related mobile application based on the blockchain, CoinDesk reported.

Its Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs provided a grant of $67,600 to the QualiSig program that taps into portions of the country’s digital identity infrastructure to make prototypes involving wellness data, fraud prevention and fake news.

One prototype lets people verify coronavirus testers. It has the testing representative provide a QR code that citizen can scan with a phone to visit a verification page. Another prototype brings together signed coronavirus test results with the digital citizenship of an individual to let them go to a musical performance or travel by plane, while an additional prototype seeks to stop fake news.

The prototypes harness the Ardor blockchain. It was reported that they will not be ready to go into a live environment for eight months at a minimum. Separately, the Stopp Corona app of Austria has reportedly not been hugely popular and is said to have had just 400,000 downloads.

In other news, those who use the Singaporean ridesharing service Ryde will have the ability to keep and change bitcoin to “RydeCoin” without any transaction costs beginning next week, CoinDesk reported.

Users can add up to a little more than $700 in bitcoin to use toward payments for trips.

The firm started to work on bringing digital currency functions into its app last year. However, the health crisis made cashless transactions more appealing, and the firm sped up the creation process. Ryde is not the only ridesharing service to take payments via bitcoin, but it is said to be the earliest one to institute digital currency as a payment method natively into its own platform.

Ryde, for its part, provides an array of choices for payments without cash, such as credit cards, debit cards and Apple Pay.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.