Blockchain ID verification coming to South Korea

More than 30 firms in South Korea are teaming up to develop and implement an ID verification system underpinned by blockchain technology, the Korea Herald reported.

The goal is to streamline the consumer process in areas such as renewing of loans and opening bank accounts. This new ID system is made to be interoperational between several different service providers and is why more than 30 businesses and firms in the country are on board.

This decentralized ID system will be launched later this year. Referred to as “Initial,” it will be tested to see how effective it is in identifying the individual with documents such as their graduation or employment certificates. It should help to streamline and create a more secure system for receiving or renewing loans as well as for applying for jobs. All of this, it is hoped, will be accomplished through a single mobile app.

By using the decentralized identities (DiDs) system, customers will be able to use their smartphones to connect directly with their bank. This will enable them to send digital documents remotely from any location. All of this can be done through a few clicks on their devices. Once the institution is able to authenticate the DiD, it is then stored in the customer account which will then enable them to use that authentication to verify their identity in the future.

The use of blockchain technology will be the basis for the decentralized system. This technology is already being used in many institutions and industries, including banks, which is why it is being received so favorably. The Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute (KTFC) is hoping that this new system will replace physical identification materials that people use now, including such things as driver’s licenses.

The service will be initially rolled out to six universities, enabling students to be able to download their graduation certificate or academic records for use when they’re applying for jobs, sending transcripts to other universities or even for personal use. Employers will also be able to use to system to verify graduation certificates.

Seven initial members help to get this project underway. They included KT, SK Telecom, LG Uplus, Samsung Electronics, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, and fintech firm Koscom. The new members include BC Card, Hyundai Card, Shinhan Bank, and NH NongHyup. This consortium was first created under the Korea Internet and Security Agency.

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