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Mexican Company Launches Blockchain-Powered COVID-19 Test Certificates

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Medical services company MDS Mexico is using blockchain technology to prevent the forgery of fake COVID-19 tests in the Latin American country.

The COVID-19 crisis panic seems to be dissipating after almost two years; however, governments around the world are still searching for tools to control its expansion and allow their citizens to return to normal life.

A Mexican company is using blockchain technology to improve the reliability of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, using cryptography and the real-time auditability of the blockchain as a way to prevent counterfeiting and fraud.

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Fighting COVID-19 With Decentralized Technology

According to a report by Hispanic news outlet iProUP, medical services company MDS launched a rapid test application and interpretation service, as well as home PCR sample collection specifically designed to react to COVID-19. The results are delivered physically and digitally 24 hours later and will be certified with blockchain technology to guarantee in real-time the application of the test and the authenticity of the results.

Representation of a Digital Certificate protected with blockchain tecnhology. Image: MDS
Representation of a Digital Certificate protected with blockchain tecnhology. Image: MDS

As explained on its website, MDS produces a unique hash associated with the results of each test and generates a QR code that links to a digital certificate with personal information of the person who took the test, the results obtained, the physician responsible for administering the test and the date the test was taken.

To avoid the falsification of negative results, we began to certify the SARS-CoV-2 detection tests with blockchain technology and cryptographic signature, which protects the information in a unique, immutable, and unalterable QR Code that can be verified worldwide.

Mexico: Pro-Blockchain, Anti-Bitcoin

Mexico is one of the Latin American countries where the application of blockchain technology has known use cases that transcend the monetary.

As an example, the local Congress of Quintana Roo in Cancun, Mexico, experimented with the implementation of the Avalanche blockchain to digitize the records of the local public administration. The project was successfully implemented in March at the cost of 600,000 Mexican pesos (USD 290,000).

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However, the week the congress decided not to renew the contract on the grounds that the use of blockchain was “overqualified” for the needs of the Legislative Branch, i.e., the costs outweighed the benefits.

Similarly, the National Chamber of Commerce (CANACO) of Querétaro, Mexico, had already announced the availability of a digital vaccination passport issued in alliance with the blockchain company Xertify, which would allow locals to digitize their physical certificates issued by the authorities after a payment of about 400 pesos.

However, when it comes to finance, the use of cryptocurrencies – especially Bitcoin – does not enjoy the same support from the authorities.

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The country’s Central Bank has already stopped an initiative by the president of Banco Azteca to offer Bitcoin compatibility, and acted against 12 cryptocurrency exchanges for being linked to criminal cartels. Even last week, the country’s president even ruled out the use of Bitcoin as legal tender.

So, at least for now, in Mexico, the financial revolution and the blockchain revolution will walk two very distant paths.

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Blockchain

Asia’s Richest Man Is Bullish on Blockchain

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Mukesh Ambani has adopted the “blockchain, not Bitcoin” narrative

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, whose net worth is estimated at $92.6 billion, spoke favorably about blockchain, the technology that underpins most cryptocurrencies, at the Infinity Forum earlier today, according to local media reports.

Ambani noted that there is a significant difference between blockchain and crypto, adding that the former offers a slew of promising use cases: from ensuring supply chain transparency and enabling fast transaction settlements to digitalizing art and ensuring data privacy:

Using blockchain, we can deliver unprecedented security, trust, automation and efficiency to almost any type of transaction,” Ambani said. It can be used to modernize our supply chains that form the lifeblood of our economies.

Unlike some other ultra-wealthy individuals, the Reliance Industries shareholder had been silent about his stance on cryptocurrencies. In early 2018, there were numerous reports about Ambani launching his own cryptocurrency, called “Jio Coin.” The project, however, never saw the light of day.

Ambani is not the only billionaire with the once-pervasive “blockchain, not Bitcoin” attitude.

American mogul Warren Buffett, one of the harshest Bitcoin critics, said that blockchain was “important” in early 2019.

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India scraps its crypto ban

As reported by U.Today, the Indian government recently backpedaled on its plan to impose a blanket plan on crypto, but crypto projects and exchanges will have to comply with new regulations.

During the interview, Ambani backed “forward-looking” regulatory proposals introduced by India’s lawmaker, including the hotly anticipated cryptocurrency bill that is expected to be cleared by the cabinet by mid-December.

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Jack Dorsey Takes A Big Bet on Blockchain and Crypto, Rebrands Square to Block

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Two days after appointing India-born Parag Agarwal as the new CEO of Twitter, founder Jack Dorsey has set himself for another mission. The Twitter founder is hinting at putting a major focus on developments in the blockchain and crypto space.

On Wednesday, December 1, Dorsey’s financial services firm Sqaure Inc. announced its rebranding to Block Inc. hinting at a major transition into blockchain. In its justification for the rebranding, the company said that Sqaure Inc has grown beyond just a financial services company citing its recently acquired majority stake in music streaming service Tidal. Speaking of this development, company CEO and cofounder Jack Dorsey noted:

“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs. Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.”

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The lagal transition from Sqaure Inc. to Block Inc. will happen by December 10, 2021. However, the company’s NYSE ticker symbol SQ won’t change by this time.

Block Inc. – Signifying Company’s Accelerated Growth

The change of name to Block Inc. majroly acknowledges the company’s growth. Since its inception in 2009, the company has added multiple businesses like Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975. Despite the rebranding, all these businesses will continue to maintain their individual brand.

Block Inc. will serve as an overarching system of different businesses united with a common purpose of economic empowerment. It includes a community of sellers, developers, individuals, artists, and fans. The official press release notes:

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The name has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome.

Jack Dorsey stepping down from Twitter shows that the he will stay more focused towards further developments in blockchain and crypto. Dorsey has been a strong Bitcoin proponent and believes in its ability to be the currency of the internet.

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Grayscale predicts metaverse gaming market could reach $400 billion

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Revenue generated from blockchain-based metaverse games could reach $400 billion in 2025, according to a report published on Thursday (25) by digital asset manager Grayscale. The company estimates that the new market, leveraged by NFTs and metaverses like Decentraland, could reach $1 trillion in revenue a year in the long term.

According to Graysacele in the publication entitled ‘The Metaverse, Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies’, the metaverse is a market opportunity that is still emerging. “The metaverse is in its early days”, says an excerpt from the document, which highlights that many important elements have yet to take shape.

Web 3.0 is understood as the new generation of the internet, that is, decentralized, which is aligned with the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTS) and the ‘play-to-earn’ modality (play-to-earn), is revolutionizing several sectors, such as e-commerce, media and entertainment, even real estate, says the report.

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Grayscale highlighted revenue of $180 billion noted last year and revenue generated in the last quarter of this year, estimated at $8.2 billion. Of that amount, the report says, at least $1.8 billion came from Web 3 and blockchain game-based economies.Graph with revenue generated by decentralized platforms (Image: Reproduction)

To make the estimates more clear, Grayscale took, for example, the economics of the play-to-earn game in Decentraland’s metaverse, powered by the MANA token, which has gained millions of users globally.

Example of blockchain-based games (Image: Playback)

Another point, the report says, is interest in the potential of the new ecosystem by big companies that are focused on Web 3.0, like Facebook, which last month announced its new name, Meta.

“At this inflection point, other leading Web 2.0 technology companies likely need to start exploring the metaverse to stay competitive, and the spotlight has spawned a new wave of investment in this emerging cryptoeconomy category,” says an excerpt of the document.

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On the metaverse concept, the authors defined it as “interconnected, experiential 3D virtual worlds where people located anywhere can socialize in real time to form a comprehensive, user-owned internet economy that extends so far into the digital world as for the physical world”.

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