With the tight embrace of blockchain technology, South Korea may soon permit its citizens to use blockchain-based digital identification (ID) to replace physical cards by 2024.
Bloomberg reported that the government plans to embed digital IDs as an app within mobile devices for about 45 million citizens expected to adopt the technology within two years.
As one of the world's most advanced digital economies, South Korea is working to boost economic growth after the pandemic. South Koreans also rank as some of the most technologically-savvy individuals globally.
Blockchain-based IDs are one effort to reduce the burden on nations trying to strengthen their defense against cyberattacks, which have recently wreaked havoc across Europe, the US, and Australia. The initiative will use the advantages of decentralized user data storage while maintaining the privacy of citizen phone data, including how and where they use their digital IDs, from the government.
Hwang Seogwon, an economist at Korea's Science and Technology Policy Institute, claimed that digital IDs could be used in the fields of finance, healthcare, taxes, and transportation. And Suh Bo Ram, the director-general of Korea's Digital Government Bureau, believed that the technology could support companies that haven't yet made the complete transition to the online platform.
It wouldn't be the first blockchain-based digital ID system implemented in the nation though. Over a million South Koreans had adopted a driver's license that uses blockchain technology via the PASS smartphone app by the end of August 2020.
While South Korea is seen as the leader in all things blockchain and Metaverse, other countries are likely to follow soon.
According to a June 2021 report from market research firm ReportLinker, the blockchain identity market will grow $3.58 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of 71%.