- The IOTA community has developed a tracking app to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The app is based on the Tangle to anonymously store data of contact persons.
- The project was developed as part of a hackathon of the German Federal Government.
Crypto and blockchain projects around the world are committed to fighting the coronavirus and finding solutions how the technology can help. The Cardano Foundation, for example, is participating in the worldwide “Folding@Home” campaign by making computing power from its computers available to researchers trying to find a cure via the Folding@Home software.
In Germany, the IOTA community has come up with something different. As part of an online hackathon “WirVsVirus” initiated by the German government, IOTA community members have developed the TrackCovidCluster app. The app is inspired by the apps released in China, South Korea and Taiwan, which enable the tracing of contacts up to the enforcement of quarantines as well as the location of infected persons.
Over the past weekend, i.e. exactly 48 hours, the participants of the hackathon had time to submit technical solutions for combating the corona pandemic. After the end of the hackathon, the best projects will be further developed and financed by funds already applied for.
IOTA community vs. the corona pandemic
As the project’s website states, the example of Taiwan shows that rapid, decisive action by all those in contact with an infected person can help to contain the pandemic.
At the moment there is great uncertainty (i.e. recklessness to panic) in the population as to how high the individual risk of infection really is.
TrackCovidCluster wants to solve this problem by storing contact person data anonymously on the IOTA Tangle, so that potentially infected people receive a risk warning. It is not necessary to use the movement profiles of all citizens. Rather, the contact details are only revealed in the event of a detected infection. According to the developers, the system is also scalable across national borders.
Affected people who have tested positive for the coronavirus can use the app to share this anonymously with their fellow citizens. Non-infected people can use the app to find out if they have been in the vicinity of infected people. In addition, if a user becomes newly infected, the app will automatically warn all people who have been near the infected person in the last 14 days.
The following video was created by the developers to explain what risks exist in everyday life despite the curfews and how the app can help. However, it is currently only available in German.