DID? Local currency? Anticipated blockchain-based services in 2020
[Jess' 3Picks] QR-code payments at street stalls, buying beer in convenience stores without an ID card, certificate-free authorization processes. Such are the benefits of China’s wallet-less society. But there’s no need to be jealous. Korea is also on the verge of an era in which you can leave the house with nothing but a smartphone. From digital currency to mobile IDs, we summarized a list of blockchain services in 2020 that can actually make a difference. Blockchain’s development is not just about decentralized apps Since last year, the Ministry of Science and ICT has been offering 15 billion won in government support to six major blockchain-related initiatives and projects headed by the Korea Internet & Security Agency, the National IT Industry Promotion Agency and other private institutes. A host of these services are expected to launch this year. One notable service is decentralized identification (DID). Having started tests last year, Raon Secure and Korea’s three mobile carriers are starting to launch the service in full scale. These will be among the first examples of blockchain use to emerge from Korea’s public sector. Apart from DID, license issuance and regional cryptocurrencies published (?) by local governments are also underway. Paper bills gone; local-based cryptocurrency on the way Korea’s local-based cryptocurrency started in 2018 with the Nowon coin, issued by the regional office of Nowon District in northern Seoul. Kimpo Pay sold more than 30 billion won worth of coins last year and sold off another 2 billion won on Jan. 1. The Korea Minting Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corporation raised revenue of 500 billion won by issuing blockchain-based gift cards. At large, this can be seen in line with the expanding usage of cards and digital payment methods. Local-based cryptocurrency can be traced to see where it was used, reducing the possibility of illegal distribution and preventing local assets from leaking outside the region. This makes is easier for regional governments to oversee asset circulation within their boundaries. Physical ID cards to be replaced by blockchain ID With three major data bills having passed the National Assembly, Korea has officially become a data economy. The most important tasks are security and management. Details on blockchain-based ID services are coming out with a focus on protecting private information. Once DID is commercialized, it will become possible to prove identification across multiple agencies with a single registration. At the public institutions’ end, this can reduce costs in issuing and managing personal data, prompting them to invest in the sector, as well as financial companies. The three most active players are The Initial DID Association, led by Korea’s three mobile carriers, My ID Alliance by Iconloop, DID Alliance of Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute and Raon Secure. As for Raon Secure, the company already released an online platform that receives civil complaints for the Military Manpower Administration (MMA). This platform can be accessed via MMA’s mobile app to apply for the army or alternative service. Paperless, DID-based licenses are coming Blockchain-based government licenses, working in connection with ID verification, are also on the way. Blockchain technology can be applied to prevent ID fabrication and personal information theft. The three DID alliances are preparing to officially launch services this year. Iconloop, which leads the My ID Alliance, released Broof on Jan.7. The blockchain-based service issues licenses and certificates by comparing the institute’s data and the user’s identity. Icon’s network can keep track of records of issuance and user statistics. Seoul Metropolitan Government and Pohang University of Science and Technology are among its clients. The Initial DID Alliance will also release the mobile app, Initial, in the near future. The app issues electronic diploma and school transcripts for college-graduate job seekers to simultaneously send them to multiple companies at once.