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How Can Blockchain and AI Help Combat the Wuhan Coronavirus?

With the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) spreading and becoming an international pandemic, Syren Johnstone – an academic from the University of Hong Kong, suggested there are more efficient ways to fight this on-going crisis by using modern technologies like Blockchain and AI.

Syren Johnstone published a report for the Oxford University Faculty of Law Department blog on the 5th of February, urging China’s tech-industry to step up and take the lead in this battle against the virus.

The problems

According to Johnstone’s report, the public donations for the Wuhan crisis are being funneled to five government-backed charity organizations. He pointed out this centralized approach hindered the ability to channel and distribute donations effectively to the ones in need.

“the funneling order implicitly assumes that the five government-backed charities are fit for purpose and better able to manage the current crisis. That assumption may be at odds with historical and more recent evidence suggesting organizations responsible for responding to crises appear to struggle to manage their core responsibilities.”, he criticized.

He also added that this is a step backward and put China back to 2016 before the Charity Law of China was introduced to enable the establishment of private charities. At the moment, the Red Cross in China is in the crosshair of public anger since there are “mishandled” cases of the donation and this impacts the public’s willingness to donate.

The Solutions

Johnstone also supports his argument by saying: Previously, China President Xi Jinping has said that opportunities presented by blockchain technology must be seized. However, despite blockchain and other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence are currently being used by many Chinese tech companies – why not use it with charities?

Technology like a private blockchain network would allow the donations to be tracked – whether it will be money or masks. It also makes it possible to hold a person or organization to account, from the start to the end-use of the donations. He also added that the transparency of blockchain could reduce the mismanagement and ensure the donors that their contributions will truly reach their final destinations.

“The time to develop borderless solutions based on fit-for-purpose technologies is now. Let us not wait and find ourselves in the future again talking sentimentally about ‘lessons that were learned.”, he concluded.

You may also want to read: Binance Charity Initiates Australian Bushfires Donation Campaign with BNB

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