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South Korea gets blockchain-powered app to issue official documents

Over 100 documents including, health insurance qualification certificates and immigration certificates to be compatible by the end of the year

South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom has announced that it will provide a service that will enable the issue, storage, and management of blockchain-powered public certificates through its digital wallet with the approval of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

According to NewsTomato, SK’s wallet was developed as part of a business agreement between the telecom company and the Ministry of Public Administration and Security in September to promote the use of electronic certificate issuance and distribution systems. The wallet is compatible with the ministry’s own Government24 digital certificate initiative designed for the digital issuance of certificates amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The digitised public certificates offered by SKTelecom include copies of resident registration cards, health insurance qualification certificates and immigration certificates, among others. These necessary documents were previously issued on paper and signed by hand.

To avoid contact in the light of the pandemic, they will now be issued through a mobile application backed by blockchain technology through a simple mobile submission and automatic verification process.

These certificates will be issued through the Government24 app and can be accessed through SK’s wallet. The digital certificates are eligible to be submitted to public entities, financial institutions, and private companies as electronic documents.

There will be 13 types of certificates that will be compatible with the wallet in the initial stage, SK telecom explained yesterday. The telecom company added that by the end of the year, the wallet plans to be compatible with “a total of 100 types” of certificates. This will include documents and certificates issued by the National Health Insurance Service and the National Tax Service.

To further its cooperation with the ministry, SK’s wallet is also preparing to enable the issuance of 30 types of electronic certificates directly from the initial app. Further, the wallet is connected to a consultation service through the company’s non-face-to-face customer center.

Oh Se-hyun, head of SK Telecom’s Blockchain & Certification Business Division, argued that blockchain is an essential technology in a society that is “rapidly changing due to the need for non-face-to-face solutions where we need innovation in the process of submitting and processing certificates centered on paper documents and manual work.

Highlighting the security benefits that blockchain technology could bring to the process, the exec explained that convenience and safety were the top priority.

Recently, one million South Koreans replaced their physical driver’s licenses for a blockchain-powered digital alternative used in conjunction with the PASS smartphone app.

Written by Harshini Nag

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