The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the launch of a “digital sandbox” designed to stimulate the development of blockchain solutions to combat the new coronavirus pandemic.

The regulator studied this concept before the outbreak of COVID-19, but in the end, decided not to hesitate any longer and start a pilot project in order to quickly create an enabling environment for testing and developing proof of concepts.

The “Digital Sandbox” will provide digital firms with advanced versions of the functions available in the innovative FCA hub, the “regulatory sandbox” and the TechSprint program.

The regulator will also play an active role in maintaining an “open dialogue” with industry participants to stimulate collaboration.

FCA expects to accelerate the development of “access to synthetic or anonymised data sets to enable testing and validation of technology solutions..”

The regulator expects the initiative to become a kind of “observation deck” and lead to the creation of marketplaces with applications that will demonstrate increased confidentiality, transparency, and efficiency.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the productivity of blockchain solutions in addressing issues related to data collection, privacy, and traceability.

Distributed registry technologies have become increasingly used in epidemiological research, monitoring and drug supply, and in confirming the immunity to the virus