How COVID-19 Affected Blockchain Technology

When COVID-19 broke out in the US last March, businesses were forced into remote operation. How were they to adapt to the change in location and to the new means of communicating with clients and employees? How were they to generate profit? This shift to a virtual platform didn’t just affect financial and retail businesses, but also businesses that focused largely on data and analytics like blockchain technology, since blockchain technology allows companies to keep track of their tangible and intangible assets through a digital ledger. 

But be aware, blockchain is not a perfect one-size-fits-all solution. It didn’t negate the effects of COVID. Businesses that already utilized blockchain technology were no better off than those that didn’t. They also had to figure out how to operate their ledger within a remote world. They couldn’t just leave things as they were because the company would then lose revenue, especially if said revenue dealt with the food & beverage industry or healthcare. Blockchain is helpful and can be a solution, but it isn’t perfect–an important thing to take into consideration.

In a 2020 article by MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, Alexander Pfeiffer writes about how the government bought protective equipment only to find that the product was either faulty or counterfeit. He argues that blockchain technology could potentially have solved this problem. 

“Where blockchain can be used is to verify that, for example, the goods were not exchanged during transport. Smart Contracts can additionally be implemented for payment transactions and other aspects such as warranty, which will ensure more secure processes for all parties involved, from the manufacturer, sales, logistics companies and wholesalers to the end customer,” Alexander Pfeiffer notes.

With blockchain, it’s possible for companies, particularly those that surround healthcare, to create a system that allows them to not only track where the product is going but also ensure the product’s safety. Additionally, Pfeiffer writes that blockchain technology can also help in creating delivery routes, noting that as things are, someone could either make an incorrect entry into the route or intentionally hide information that could jeopardize safety of the product.

Although COVID-19 affected the blockchain technology business by forcing their employees and clients to go virtual, the pandemic still affected the social aspects of a country in a way that increased the use of blockchain tech. Pfeiffer does note that there are a number of areas in which blockchain technology can play a role during the coronavirus pandemic including:

  • Verification of text, image and video sources to protect authors’ rights and prevent fake news.
  • Voting within companies, universities or other entities
  • Political votes
  • Public elections
  • Maintaining a health passport and implementing health requirements for certain activities, taking into account privacy and data protection.

Although each of these fields has been affected by the pandemic, blockchain technology offers some solutions to help companies stay afloat during changing times.

A 2020 Withum article titled “Managing COVID-19 Disruptions with Blockchain Technology” writes that many companies, especially within the food and beverage and healthcare industry are seeing the benefits of blockchain technology and how it is enabling them to increase efficiency and transparency, reduce costs, minimize waste and improve the safety and quality of the product or service.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, killing many and damaging the economy, whether the food & beverage industry or healthcare. Blockchain technology, although not suffering the more damaging effects of the pandemic, has still had to adjust to an ongoing problem. 


“Managing COVID-19 Disruptions with Blockchain Technology.” Withum, 12 Oct 2020,

Pfeiffer, Alexander. “What role can blockchain technologies play during the Covid-19 crisis (and beyond)?” Comparative Media Studies, Accessed 24 March 2021.


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