Blockchain ID app accesses South Korea city’s public services

The South Korean city of Busan has taken significant steps forward in blockchain adoption, after opening up its public services to access via a secure blockchain ID app.

Powered by an app created by Coinplug, citizens will now be able to access government services in the city via the app, which is used to verify their identity.

The startup, a product of the Busan regulatory sandbox program, used Decentralized Identifier technology on the Metadium network to build the app, which will now be accessed by millions of residents in Korea’s second city.

The system stores data locally on user devices, sharing only cryptographic proof of the data with the blockchain. This helps create immutable records while also protecting the privacy of the individuals concerned, and could provide a model for other implementations of the technology elsewhere.

Citizens will be able to use the app to access a range of “non-face-to-face” government services. It also comes with a built-in digital currency wallet, with Coinplug already working on integrations with post offices.

A spokesperson for Coinplug said the app was the latest step in the city’s journey to digitalization, with blockchain set to play a prominent role in public administration in Busan in future.

The regulatory sandbox in Busan has been instrumental in supporting several blockchain innovations since it was first set up, including the launch of a local digital currency in December 2019, in partnership with telecoms giant KT.

In February 2019, the city teamed up with Hyundai Pay to promote innovation in the city’s fintech sector.

In July 2019, president Moon Jae-in said South Korea must be at the forefront of blockchain technology and regulation, highlighting identity as one of the key areas in which the technology can help in public administration.

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