South Korea To Roll Out Blockchain-based Identity: Report

The South Korean government will launch digital blockchain-based IDs via citizens’ phones as it prepares for post-pandemic era


Seoul, South Korea | Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Citizens will be able to access their digital IDs via their smartphones
  • The tech-savvy nation ranks highest among developed markets for smartphone use

South Korea plans to leverage blockchain technology for the use of digital identity cards as the country pivots towards a post-COVID-19 era of remote work and online verification processes.

The country’s government will allow citizens to verify their identity via digital IDs embedded into their smartphones, replacing Korea’s resident registration cards by 2024, Bloomberg reported Sunday.

It comes as South Korea — one of the most digitally developed countries globally — seeks to bolster economic growth following the pandemic. The country was among the most significantly impacted among developed nations.

According to a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade Development, the pandemic accelerated the shift toward digitization. As such, cybersecurity concerns are front and center in an increasingly hostile environment safe storage of sensitive data.

Blockchain-based IDs are one attempt to alleviate some of that strain placed on countries seeking to bolster their defense against cyberattacks which have, at times, wreaked havoc across Europe, the US and Australia.

The initiative will leverage the benefits of storing user data in a decentralized manner while keeping citizens’ phone data, including how and where they use their digital IDs, private from the government, per the report.

South Koreans rank as some of the most technologically-savvy individuals across the globe.

Research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment in 2011 showed its younger generation topped other nations for use of online learning.

South Korea also ranks at the top for smartphone ownership, with roughly 96% of all Individuals of any age owning at least one smartphone and using it at least once per month. The US stands at roughly 80% on the same metric.

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