Several crypto projects, including Icon (ICX) and VeChain (VET), are rolling out features to accommodate vaccine passports. But Cardano will not be joining them in providing this technology.
During a recent live stream, Input Output Global (IOG) CEO Charles Hoskinson echoed the misgivings of many people by saying he’s worried that vaccine passports may be used in ways “beyond the initial scope.”
“The big concern behind vaccine passports is that they’re being extended significantly beyond the initial scope and concern.”
In a world of cancel culture and censorship, Hoskinson’s views make for a refreshing change. More so, that a learned, high-profile figure is brave enough to challenge the mainstream narrative.
Why have vaccine passports?
“Vaccine passports” refer to a system that shows whether individuals have been vaccinated against covid-19. Some governments are keen to introduce them to sanction cross-border travel. This, they say, is necessary to keep infection risks under control.
Although “passports” infers cross-border travel, some countries, for example, France, have already extended this into a “health pass” for use in domestic public venues, such as in restaurants or concerts.
With this in mind, the primary concern here is that eventually, only immunized people will be allowed free movement.
Aside from the moral issues of coercing vaccinations, some people have also expressed concern over storing personal health information on such a system.
However, authorities point out that the use of blockchain technology nullifies this issue. They say data cannot be faked on a blockchain, and nor can it be modified once written. What’s more, using a private key, only authorized parties can access the data.
As such, blockchain technology is being hailed as the ideal solution to administrate a vaccine passport system.
What are the reasons Cardano won’t get involved?
Sharing his thoughts on vaccine passports, Hoskinson expressed unease over discussions on making them a condition of public life.
“The concern now is that there many nations discussing using vaccine passports as a criteria for public life. Going to a restaurant, going to a nightclub, going to a coffee shop, attending a concert, any public gathering citing public health concerns.”
He added that while doing this may yield some marginal health benefits in the short term, his overriding concern is that tyrants could use the infrastructure for illicit reasons.
“my deep concern is that such infrastructure, if it is used to restrict the freedom of movement, be a denial mechanism, will inevitably be used by those who have more totalitarian thoughts…”
Considering this, Hoskinson said that without immutable social constraints on a vaccine passport system, IOG would not get involved with them.
“To us, it matters a lot that things you are promised are not misused and mishandled.”