Blockchain is gaining ground as an innovative technology that can propel the world into the next generation and increasing its utility across all industries by putting value on data. At a time burdened by a pandemic, there may be nothing more important than healthcare data.
And VXPASS, a blockchain-based digital vaccine card provider, has recognized the need to use a different and more efficient approach to COVID-19 vaccination records. Paper vaccine cards are trickier to keep track of and can easily be misplaces, damaged or lost, while paper vaccination records need to be encoded into a computer to be able to monitor vaccination rollouts of counties, cities, states and countries.
By capitalizing on the immutability, transparency and security of records afforded by blockchain technology, VXPASS has developed a more convenient yet efficient way of checking vaccination records, as well as presenting proof of vaccination to businesses that require it of their customers.
San Francisco is the first city to realize the value of vaccine on blockchain and has included VXPASS in its list of approved digital vaccine card providers, making it the first-ever implementation of a blockchain-based vaccine card in a city in the United States.
VXPASS has previously been contracted by the African nation of Lesotho to provide the digital infrastructure that will manage, record, validate and verify its first 560,000 vaccination rollout, with the full expected number of vaccinated individuals to reach 1.2 million by the end of this year.
“At VXPASS we always wanted to create a verified health record instead of some copy or digital version of a paper vaccination card. We got through because our solution is verified through state databases and they trust our system enough to say that any VXPASS is one hundred percent valid. So, not only do we feel validated by San Francisco, but San Francisco feels safe enough to believe in our validation,” VXPASS Executive Director of International Affairs Justin Pauly said.
The VXPASS app generates a QR code, and this, together with a photo identification, can be presented to businesses in San Francisco as proof of vaccination. Instead of carrying around a paper vaccine card, cardholders can just use the VXPASS app on their mobile phones.
What sets VXPASS apart from other digital vaccine card providers, is that it provides a digital version of the vaccine card that immutably exists on the blockchain, all information of which is underwritten by certified pharmacists or other licensed medical practitioners.
“The other solutions are essentially self-validation and are not really verified—they are essentially just a picture of your card. Ours is verified against a credentialing body—sometimes its doctors, most of the time its pharmacists,” Pauly explained.
“The pharmacists would look at that [identification]. They then look you up on the database, make sure that the information is correct, and then they essentially stake their name and their operational ID against that record, validating that it is correct. The interesting thing about VXPASS, and this is why it’s a verified health record instead of just an electronic health record, is once we put it on-chain, it’s immutable—it’s on-chain, its unchangeable,” Pauly added.
The people of San Francisco can obtain VXPASS at vaccination sites as they are vaccinated. And for those who are already fully vaccinated, people may still go to vaccination sites and be directed to VXPASS-certified pharmacists so they can encode, validate and verify vaccination records.
VXPASS has decided to build on Bitcoin and leverage the powerful capabilities of the BSV blockchain, which is the largest public blockchain that has the ability for limitless scaling. This essentially means that as the network scales constantly, the blockchain can handle bigger data blocks and increase its throughput to millions, even billions, of transactions per second at transaction fees that only become lower.
Current BSV transaction fees are only at fractions of a penny, and it will be lowered even more as the network scales, making VXPASS a lot less expensive than their competitors, where companies would even need to pay monthly fees to monitor vaccination rollout.
“BSV is viable and reliable, and it’s quick enough that we can do it in a live demo. You don’t have to sit and wait – it just always works. The cool thing is that with BSV we could literally write 10 billion records a month and have plenty of bandwidth left over to do whatever else we wanted,” Pauly revealed.
Because of these capabilities, the process of obtaining a VXPASS digital vaccine card is so unbelievably fast that, according to Pauly, they had to slow it down so people will be comforted that their vaccination data have truly been recorded.
“In VXPASS, when you sign up as a new patient and you go through the process, our biggest complaint was that it happens too quickly and people couldn’t believe that we’d written something to the blockchain. So, we had to put information slides within the application’s sign-up process,” Pauly stated.
And again, because VXPASS is built on the scalable BSV blockchain, it can accommodate vaccination records of cities, states and countries. The City of San Francisco is just the beginning. In fact, VXPASS has already onboarded about 50,000 pharmacies and its current rate of onboarding is at 900 per hour. At the rate VXPASS is going, vaccine on blockchain will soon take over the U.S.