South Korea to provide citizens with access to blockchain-powered digital IDs by 2024
The South Korean government will offer citizens blockchain-powered digital identities in the form of smartphone-implanted IDs by 2024, according to an Oct. 17 Bloomberg report.
The digital IDs are embedded as an app within smartphones and serve as a means of verification on the internet, eliminating the need for photograph certificates or log in via verification codes by text.
Citizens can use the digital IDs to access financial services, healthcare, tax payments and transport, filing applications for state benefits, transferring money and casting a vote.
The digital IDs will also be run on a decentralized blockchain, which means the government will not have access to information stored on its citizens’ phones, such as how the digital IDs are being utilized, and the time and location of the users’ activities. They are expected to be adopted by around 45 million citizens within two years.
‘Digitals IDs can yield huge economic benefits in finance, healthcare, taxes, transportation and other areas and may catch on quickly among the Korean population,’ said Hwang Seogwon, an economist at Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute.
Korea could benefit from at least 60 trillion won ($42 billion), or 3% of GDP, in economic value within a decade, Seogwon added.
This marks the second endeavour by South Korea to adopt blockchain-powered IDs. In August 2020, over one million residents implemented a blockchain-powered driver’s license, which can be used via Korea’s PASS smartphone application.
Other governments who adopted digital IDs include Estonia, where 1.3 million of its citizens have access to a digital ID to vote, sign documents and more.