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Mexican Company Launches Blockchain-Powered COVID-19 Test Certificates

The COVID-19 crisis panic seems to be dissipating after almost two years; however, governments around the world are still searching for tools to control its expansion and allow their citizens to return to normal life.

A Mexican company is using blockchain technology to improve the reliability of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, using cryptography and the real-time auditability of the blockchain as a way to prevent counterfeiting and fraud.

Fighting COVID-19 With Decentralized Technology

According to a report by Hispanic news outlet iProUP, medical services company MDS launched a rapid test application and interpretation service, as well as home PCR sample collection specifically designed to react to COVID-19. The results are delivered physically and digitally 24 hours later and will be certified with blockchain technology to guarantee in real-time the application of the test and the authenticity of the results.

Representation of a Digital Certificate protected with blockchain tecnhology. Image: MDS
Representation of a Digital Certificate protected with blockchain tecnhology. Image: MDS

As explained on its website, MDS produces a unique hash associated with the results of each test and generates a QR code that links to a digital certificate with personal information of the person who took the test, the results obtained, the physician responsible for administering the test and the date the test was taken.

To avoid the falsification of negative results, we began to certify the SARS-CoV-2 detection tests with blockchain technology and cryptographic signature, which protects the information in a unique, immutable, and unalterable QR Code that can be verified worldwide.

Mexico: Pro-Blockchain, Anti-Bitcoin

Mexico is one of the Latin American countries where the application of blockchain technology has known use cases that transcend the monetary.

As an example, the local Congress of Quintana Roo in Cancun, Mexico, experimented with the implementation of the Avalanche blockchain to digitize the records of the local public administration. The project was successfully implemented in March at the cost of 600,000 Mexican pesos (USD 290,000).

However, the week the congress decided not to renew the contract on the grounds that the use of blockchain was “overqualified” for the needs of the Legislative Branch, i.e., the costs outweighed the benefits.

Similarly, the National Chamber of Commerce (CANACO) of Querétaro, Mexico, had already announced the availability of a digital vaccination passport issued in alliance with the blockchain company Xertify, which would allow locals to digitize their physical certificates issued by the authorities after a payment of about 400 pesos.

However, when it comes to finance, the use of cryptocurrencies – especially Bitcoin – does not enjoy the same support from the authorities.

The country’s Central Bank has already stopped an initiative by the president of Banco Azteca to offer Bitcoin compatibility, and acted against 12 cryptocurrency exchanges for being linked to criminal cartels. Even last week, the country’s president even ruled out the use of Bitcoin as legal tender.

So, at least for now, in Mexico, the financial revolution and the blockchain revolution will walk two very distant paths.

AWS IoT – Unique Keys per each device – Data encryption

(Probably not the right board to ask. But here goes) I’m designing an IoT Solution with RPi as client and AWS as the server. On the client hardware, I have an Security Chip that can securely generate and store ECC, RSA, AES Keys/Pairs and can perform variety of cryptographic operations including ECDH, ECDSA, KeyGen, etc.,::Listen

(Probably not the right board to ask. But here goes)

I’m designing an IoT Solution with RPi as client and AWS as the server. On the client hardware, I have an Security Chip that can securely generate and store ECC, RSA, AES Keys/Pairs and can perform variety of cryptographic operations including ECDH, ECDSA, KeyGen, etc.,

My broader objectives on the cloud side are the following:

  1. On AWS Server side, I want to generate Unique ECC Keys per device, store them in HSM, perform ECDH to generate symmetric keys for encryption. I don’t want anyone (including me) to have access to the private keys generated by KMS (Or any other AWS Service – Encrypted or otherwise).
  2. I would like for the encryption and decryption operations to be performed by AWS services (preferably in a dedicated hardware made for that job). This is to avoid abuse of implementation bugs in my code.
  • While I can generate Data Encryption keys using KMS, I believe, I have to decrypt the private key in the code to use it. This means I have access to the private key.
  • I didn’t yet find way to do ECDH and then securely store the keys generated in that process.

Can you please help me the following:

  1. How to securely generate and store the ECC Keys for ECDH and ECDSA?
  2. Is there any service that can help me do the cryptographic operations (Encrypt, Decrypt, ECDH, ECDSA, etc.,) without me having to write the code for them?
Thanks!
tC

Mexican Company Launches Blockchain-Powered COVID-19 Test Certificates

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