Immunity passport key use case for blockchain, says CEO

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Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson has claimed that immunity passports amidst the coronavirus pandemic may provide the ultimate use case for blockchain technology.

This, he claims, will ensure consumers can travel around the world while feeling safe that they aren’t at risk of contracting the virus.

Overstock has turned to two startups, creating apps that allows users to create a blockchain-based medical record.

“I think the solution we are investing in developing is solving a problem that people are going to want solved,” he said in an interview with PYMNTS. “An immunity passport is what that is going to look like for a lot of industries. If I can prove that I’ve got the antibodies or have steered clear of infection entirely, and I can show that on an immunity passport, that’s pretty powerful.”

He went on to say that it will also be important if sporting events are to continue going ahead later this year, stating that you can’t have thousands of people in one space at once if they haven’t all been tested.

“If you are the Cleveland Indians or the Browns or Cavaliers, your biggest interest right now is getting people back into the seats and watching games in their stadium,” Johnson said. “That creates their incentive to require these.” He added.

Johnson doesn’t believe that the primary use case of cryptocurrency is payments as he admits waiting for confirmations on the blockchain can be inefficient, but he admits that medical records could be where blockchain technology really thrives.

“I don’t think it is quite immediate enough for payments in some cases,” he said. “It’s tough when I’m in a 7-Eleven and I have to wait for the bitcoin blockchain to confirm the sale. That is not going to work for most people.”

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