In a tweet dated April 12, 2020, crypto expert Sydney Ifergan stated that privacy-preserving cryptocurrency project Zcash – in partnership with the Temporary Contact Number (TCN) coalition – is making coronavirus contract tracing possible without compromising the privacy of people.
Contact Tracing Raises Privacy Concerns
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill not witnessed by the vast majority of the current population ever before. With more than a million infections worldwide, the pandemic looks far from being over with “normalcy” still being a distant dream.
The quickest, and arguably, the most effective weapon against the virus, to date, has been social distancing.
A significant number of countries across the globe have implemented national lockdowns in hopes of, if not eliminating the virus altogether, at least slowing down its spread to a pace where it doesn’t overburden the health facilities and buys the medical world enough time to come up with an effective vaccine.
These lockdowns are aided with tracking and contact tracing of confirmed and potential COVID-19 carriers. But there’s a caveat here.
Although noble in its intentions, contact tracing has raised the eyebrows of those afraid of the long-term repercussions on their personal privacy.
The rise in global surveillance employed by totalitarian regimes has added to such fears that despite the immediate COVID-19 threat, not all might be necessarily on-board with privacy threatening contact tracing apps.
Enter Zcash and TCN
In a bid to mitigate such fears, privacy-focused blockchain project Zcash, in association with the Temporary Contact Number (TCN) coalition, is developing an open-source alternative to contact tracing that doesn’t put individual privacy under threat.
“Ideally, we need contact tracing technologies which do not steal our privacy. We need to really think beyond the pandemic. Good that Zcash Foundation is a part of making contact tracing without surveillance vide the TCN Coalition.”
Similarly, the TCN Coalition is an open-source, free of charge, and extensible, privacy-first protocol that can be readily implemented to develop and run blockchain applications.
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