New York is the first state to offer COVID-19 vaccination passports with blockchain technology. This new tool will allow citizens to prove that can return to normality.

In recent days, New York launched the US “COVID-19 passport”, which uses blockchain technology. Now the citizens of the state can prove that they have received the vaccine or got negative test results.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that the state is the first in the country to implement this technology. Before this, they had conducted two successful pilot demonstrations.

First COVID-19 Passport Using Blockchain Technology

The COVID-19 passport is based on IBM’s Blockchain-based Digital Health Pass. It allows verifying and sharing the identity of users, their vaccination history, and their test results. This is possible without revealing any independent personal information.

Cuomo announced the launch of Excelsior Pass, a COVID-19 passport using blockchain technology, for use across the state. The governor said that “New Yorkers have shown that they can follow public health guidance to roll back COVID-19. Therefore, the innovative passport is just one more tool to fight the virus.”

It is important to know that the state of New York has fully subsidized the COVID-19 passport. For that reason, the companies that participate voluntarily receive it for free use.

In this sense, Cuomo said that “large spaces will begin to use the COVID-19 passport in the coming weeks. Among them are Madison Square and the Times Union Center.”

Vaccination Passport Will Allow Returning to Normality

The public needs new tools to gradually and safely return to normality. The development of this passport is one of those promising tools.

Steve LaFleche, CEO of IBM Public and Federal Market, commented that “New York is a model for the rest of the country.” He believes that they prove “how new technological approaches can help to make economies safely. At the same time, they strive to protect public health.”

The executive predicts that the open standards of blockchain technology will allow other states to join the effort. He believes that it will allow the economy to reopen across the country.

Operation of the COVID-19 Passport

Excelsior Pass is a free and voluntary platform that New York State developed jointly with IBM. It uses blockchain technology to protect the data of its users.

This passport is an app based on blockchain technology. It will allow proving that a citizen has received the vaccine against COVID-19 or has gotten negative test results.

Users will be able to download the app, submit their basic details, and answer a few questions that demonstrate that they are registering themselves. People receive a digital pass with a secure QR code, which they can print or store on their smartphones.

Participating businesses and venues can scan the customer’s QR code. That way, they can check if the people who buy there are COVID-19 free.

The app will be in art spaces, private or community events, and entertainment centers. This initiative can help make New York once again the epicenter of large-scale social and cultural events.

By Alexander Salazar


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