Cov‑ID Project

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will use our existing smart ledger (aka blockchain) identity documentation exchange system to record covid-19 tests, both antigen (RT-PCR/swab tests) and antibody (serological/blood-prick tests). This identity documentation exchange system would then enable people to share their status - unexposed, active, recovered - easily in any digital medium. Cov-ID it might be called, a covid-19 passport if you will. The benefit is an authoritative way for people to know that they can responsibly allow people to congregate, e.g. employers at work, managers of social settings. Technical mobilisation would be measured in weeks. A prototype in two weeks, testing and finalisation in two more. Four weeks total. We know this because we would be adapting existing technology. The hard part of the project is social, gaining acceptance by government(s) and then society for a rapid rollout.

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Our ChainZy system already handles a number of live timestamping and documentation exchange applications. Our functioning prototype system, the basis for Cov-ID, is IDChainZ. There are already Android and iPhone apps.

Z/Yen has significant domain expertise in health and software development, running the software and timestamping for the largest clinical assessment trials in the world - https://www.chainzy.com/case-studies/timechainz-clinical-assessments/ - using ChainZy. There is an obvious need for the vast testing data that is being compiled to be shared on a proper basis with controls and GDPR compliance. The infrastructure has been stress-tested for up to 1 trillion transactions per day (well exceeding the need) by the UK's National Physical Laboratory.

IDChainZ technology is not new, the underlying ledger technology dates to the mid-90s and IDChainZ itself was built in 2015 to demonstrate a smart ledger approach to the then forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect in 2018. The new element is the social use, via phone app/web, of secure and controlled exchange among people of information they don't normally share in real-time. Cov-ID would, for example, let somebody attend an event and flash their phone showing an unalterable photo with a digitally-certified certificate of covid-19 recovery. The big advantage is simplicity. The exchange of identity and other documentation, e.g. digitally certified governmental documents, can be done in a distributed, fast, and secure way with a superb audit trail.

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Total costs of the infrastructure are less than £1M per annum. There are no intellectual property issues, no third-party software. Longer-term finance is pennies-per-person-per-year, and many related applications can be built alongside.

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A more complete background and description of IDChainZ is contained in this report:
To Be, To Have, To Know: Smart Ledgers & Identity Authentication
Hugh Morris, Long Finance (February 2019), 89 pages.





Cov-ID needs to build a critical mass of support that will kick off the network effects needed for the success of such a system. The project intends to provide open source and open architecture solutions. The consortium now consists of:

  • Z/Yen, the City of London's leading commercial think-tank - providing the core ChainZy and IDChainZ products, as well as programme and project management, e.g. done for London Ambulance Service, UNISON, and the Church of England;
  • Catenae Innovation plc, an intellectual-property client of Z/Yen using ChainZy - providing expertise and their own propriety technology which is currently deployed across the Sporting, Man-guarding and Facilities Management sectors whose clients include Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) where Catenae’s SaaS is used by CACT in fulfilling their numerous service contracts to The Royal Borough of Greenwich.
  • fm2x, a specialist software provider working with Z/Yen for over 25 years - providing secure systems to Cabinet Office and running youthinmind's systems handling over 15 million clinical assessments per year;
  • SI Units, a data science company of young researchers specialising in bespoke projects connecting interdisciplinary expertise - providing novel forecasts, using machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science and physics.

If you would like to participate or develop this idea further, please contact Guy Meyer at guy.meyer@catenaeinnovation.com.

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