Blockchain is the new hype word, along with ‘digital identity’, that determines a country’s status in economic growth, digital innovation and security. Korea is one nation that is engineering its own poll position internationally in technology development. It comes as no surprise therefore that South Korea has strived to be leaders in both digital identity and crypto blockchain, which have now merged in solutions emerging on the marketplace in the APAC region.
The term blockchain refers to a secure system in which transactions are made in a digital currency, bitcoin, across several servers that are linked in a network. Blockchain is emerging as a readily available solution in payment systems, in particular, which also cross over with the need for security, data privacy, trust and identity technology.
In South Korea, it is becoming apparent that digital identity solutions are being secured on blockchain as a growing number of people change to cashless payments. The country has seised the opportunity to leverage blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital identity together.
Hwang Seogwon, Economist at Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute, said “digitals IDs can yield huge economic benefits in finance, healthcare, taxes, transportation and other areas” but there has to be more “risk assessment technologically to make sure the danger doesn’t outweigh the benefits”. Digital identity solutions are now behind the times if they don’t embrace the mega trend of blockchain. Blockchain can enable users to have a more secure identity than just the promise of digital ID alone, achieving decentralised identity and self-sovereignty.
Blockchain’s capabilities to collect, store and exchange immutable data records is a golden credential for privacy, which governments are tapping to fight problems like fraud. The difficulty with traditional paper-based identities, or even digital IDs, is confirming identities and converging data across multiple systems. Digital ID’s on blockchain increase security value by storing data securely, while authenticating access to services and business functions.
South Korea’s government is one of the first to latch onto the opportunity of issuing national physical and digital ID cards while securing and scaling identity management systems.
India’s Administrative Service follows suit with the launch of a polygon system for verifiable cast certificates.