A Vancouver-based tech company has recently acquired an effective quarantine monitoring technology, now being used in Hong Kong, to combat the spread of COVID-19. The adaptation of its Bluetooth enabled bracelet and software technology gives Blockchain Holdings Ltd. (BCX:CSE) the potential for explosive growth in the coming months.
The Hong Kong government alone is rapidly expanding its use of the system, coined TRACEsafe, to manage its quarantine program for foreign visitors at all of its points of entry.
Based on the success of the program in Hong Kong, BCX expects to roll out TRACEsafe in multiple countries in the coming weeks and months, with early adapters including the larger Asian countries. Built on a software as a service (SaaS) platform, and utilizing a simple, hospital-style bracelet produced by an outsourced manufacturer, BCX is poised to scale significantly to meet a truly global demand as COVID 19 continues to gain momentum in the coming months.
"Blockchain Holdings is rated a buy with a close stop if it does as expected and opens up." - Clive Maund
Earlier today, BCX announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the TRACEsafe assets from California-based WiSilica Inc. As described in its news release, "TRACEsafe is a global health product directed at governmental and corporate organizations as they fight a global pandemic and try to keep global commerce flowing." BCX will pay TRACEsafe a total consideration of US$1,574,189, composed of 6,000,000 common shares of BCX at a deemed price of CA$0.305 per share and the remaining US$250,000 in cash payments. To fund the acquisition, BCX is raising CA$1,000,000, of which CA$250,000 will go towards the cash component of the acquisition and the rest will go to establishing partnerships in new markets. In their favor, return on equity and the payback period is fast, once the system is in place.
Technical analyst Clive Maund wrote on March 23, on Blockchain Holdings, we "stay long and it is rated a buy with a close stop if it does as expected and opens up."
The TRACEsafe System
TRACEsafe is a ground-breaking suite of patent-protected medical products including the flagship identification bracelet and software system used to enforce quarantine guidelines set out by governments for travelers.
The first to implement the technology was the Hong Kong Supply Chain and Multi-tech R&D center, which started monitoring foreigners entering Hong Kong over the bridge from Macau. Understandably Hong Kong was an early adapter as it was hit hard by the SARS outbreak in 2003.
To enforce compliance upon re-entering the country, Hong Kong had citizens install a What's App or WeChat on the users' phones using the locationing features of these applications. This was easily circumvented as a user could simply leave their phone at home with someone else.
The TRACEsafe pairs itself to the hospital-style wristband itself with Bluetooth, so once the connection is broken by distance, or if the bracelet is removed the Hong Kong government levies a steep fine of HK$25,000 and six months in jail. Upon entry to Hong Kong, each bracelet has its own unique QR code which is scanned by a customs agent, the app is downloaded onto the phone, then paired to the bracelet. After required quarantine period the bracelet is simply disposed of.
Hong Kong's overall quarantine measure are now translating to flattening the coronavirus trajectory amongst other world centers. Recent data from John Hopkins show the trajectory of cases throughout the world as of March 14, 2020. Sadly, a heavy-handed approach seems to yield the best results. TRACEsafe CTO Dennis Kwan says, "The system is less invasive than what is being implemented in some countries such as Israel, which has turned to anti-terror technology to counter coronavirus."
According to Al-Monitor, "Israel's government approved on March 15 emergency regulations that would enable the Shin Bet to perform mass surveillance of phones belonging to Israelis who contracted COVID-19. These measures are not designed to monitor quarantined people but to retroactively track the movements of those found to be carriers of the novel coronavirus in order to see with whom they interacted in the 14 days before they were diagnosed. Subsequently, people who were in contact with persons diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive SMS messages instructing them to enter home quarantine."
Alternatively, the TRACEsafe system uses a permission-based system, whereby the user is asked to allow access to their location via their phone's GPS. Undoubtedly, the use of GPS enabled monitoring systems brings up a many questions around privacy, cost and implementation logistics, but as the virus continues its spreads world-wide, this type of technology may be a good compromise in hot-spot areas such as what Wuhan has become. Governments are getting more and more serious as this disease progresses. Already there is "coronavirus" hotel in Washington's King County for those can not quarantine at home.
With more preventative measures in store around the globe, TRACEsafe and its parent BCX.C may be one of the few companies that see its valuation rise at the height of this unfortunate crisis.
Want to learn more about TRACEsafe? Watch the video below.
Knox Henderson is a journalist and capital markets communications consultant. He has advised for a broad range of small cap companies in the resource, life sciences and technology sectors for more than 25 years.[NLINSERT]
1) Knox Henderson: I, or members of my immediate household or family, own shares of the following companies mentioned in this article: None. I personally am, or members of my immediate household or family are, paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: Blockchain Holdings Inc. My company has a financial relationship with the following companies mentioned in this article: None. I determined which companies would be included in this article based on my research and understanding of the sector.
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Clive Maund does not own shares of Blockchain Holdings and neither he nor his company has a financial relationship with the company.