Dutch company GUTS has come up with a novel blockchain-based system for managing crowds in public places to minimize risks as pandemic restrictions are eased.
As more and more countries seek to ease strict lockdown restrictions, challenges lie ahead managing social distancing in public places to mitigate the risks of a second wave of infections.
GUTS, a Dutch blockchain ticketing company, revealed on April 22 that it has devised a digital access system to regulate crowds and demographics in public spaces. The system is a modification of its existing system and app, which has been in use since 2016. The company said it can be up and running at new sites in as little as one week.
How does it work?
The system works by providing a unique digital wallet tied to a mobile phone and a verified phone number. Users request access to a specific public space while waiting at home and then receive a digital entrance ticket valid for a specific period.
Access can be granted or denied depending on how crowded the public place is at the time or based on various demographics — elderly people may get priority access during specific time slots for example. Members of the public can also use the app to see which spaces are busy or not and receive recommendations on whether they should visit depending on their own risk profile.
The Amsterdam company says the application complies with security requirements and all data can be deleted easily when certain measures are no longer necessary. However they acknowledge there are privacy concerns around tracking apps:
“When it comes to the invasion of fundamental rights there is always a consideration about what matters more: our health or our privacy. In this specific case we have come to the conclusion that our health prevails, but we are of wholehearted opinion that this is only the case under strict conditions.”