ICONLOOP (www.iconloop.com), South Korea’s leading blockchain technology company, today announced that Jeju Island, the country’s most popular domestic tourist destination, will use its Decentralized Identity (‘DID’) blockchain technology to provide private, secure COVID-19 contact tracing to the island’s 15 million annual visitors. ICONLOOP and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province have signed a cooperation agreement to introduce this innovative COVID-19 and infectious disease prevention system. Visitors will use a mobile app to check into tourist destinations and businesses on Jeju Island, with their data kept private unless a COVID-19 case is discovered.
Jeju Island has taken strong measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, realizing early on the importance of strengthening its contact tracing capabilities while ensuring the privacy of its residents and visitors. Jeju Island collaborated with ICONLOOP to develop this first-of-its-kind system. Starting this week, Jeju Island will experience it firsthand.
“This cooperation with Jeju Island is opening new possibilities for real-life application of blockchain DID authentication in the post-COVID-19 era,” said Jong-hyup, Kim, CEO of ICONLOOP. “As more users directly experience safe and convenient DID service at scale, we will realize many more new ways that blockchain technology can be applied to their daily lives.”
“Through this new infectious disease prevention system, Jeju Island will be able to be reborn as a safe and representative tourist destination in Korea,” said Tae-bong Lim, Director of Health and Welfare of Jeju Self-Governing Province. “We look forward to revitalizing the local economy, which has been stagnant due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.”
The contact tracing system is serviced through ICONLOOP's DID authentication mobile app service called Zzeung, which protects the privacy of all users. Zzeung was designated as an innovative financial service (“MyID”) by Korea’s Financial Services Commission in recognition of its high convenience and security.
Here’s how it works: When visitors arrive on Jeju Island, they are required to download the Zzeung mobile app and verify their identity using a Korean telecom service. In the background, a verifiable credential is issued via a public blockchain network to guarantee that there is no forgery or tampering of any information. Then, visitors are required to set up fingerprint authentication or a PIN code, issuing a separate verifiable credential via a private blockchain network. Both verifiable credentials are safely stored on the visitor’s mobile device. When visitors check into tourist attractions using QR codes, only the verifiable credential tied to fingerprint or PIN (which contains no personal information) is transmitted for record-keeping on a highly secure private blockchain network. Each visitor’s personal identifying information and records of where they visit are separated to ensure personal privacy. In an event a COVID-19 case is discovered, a rapid epidemiological investigation and tracing can be conducted by the Jeju’s crisis response team.
A key feature of the app is user convenience. Scanning a QR code is a familiar, fast check-in process for many people, especially in South Korea, and is cost-effective for business owners. Business owners do not need to collect and handle any personal information, which also frees them from any legal risk.
ICONLOOP and Jeju Island recently began a pilot program for provincial government offices. On August 24, the operation will expand to include more than 50 private businesses. Beginning in September, this new contact tracing system will be officially operated to private businesses in the 8 districts of Jeju Island.
ICONLOOP (https://www.iconloop.com/) is a leading blockchain technology company in South Korea. The company’s technology is used for real-world applications in banking, healthcare, government, and more. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has approved ICONLOOP’s decentralized identity (DID) authentication service into the ‘Innovative Financial Services and Regulations Sandbox’. Headquartered in Seoul, the company has approximately 140 employees and raised over $15 million in funding from Korea Growth Investment Corporation (K-Growth), Kiwoom Investment, Danal Holdings, K-Clavis Investment, TS Investment, Korea Asset Investment Securities, and Pathfinder H.
ABOUT JEJU SPECIAL SELF-GOVERNING PROVINCE
Jeju (https://www.jeju.go.kr/), also known as Jeju Island, is the only self-governing province in South Korea, meaning that the province is run by local natives instead of politicians from the mainland. Jeju Island is the largest island in South Korea with approximately 700,000 residents and 15 million visitors per year. Jeju is home to a small technology hub. In 2005, the Jeju Science Park was created, a complex for technology companies and organizations. Since its implementation, it has attracted 117 IT and biotech companies.
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