Categories: BlockchainCoronavirus

Blockchain-based COVID-19 app required for South Korean tourists

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Visitors to a popular tourist spot in South Korea are now required to use a blockchain-based app to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The tourist spot in question is Jeju Island, which is the most popular domestic tourist destination in South Korea. Overall, the area sees 15 million visitors every year.

App required

Visitors to Jeju Island are now required to download the Zzeung app upon arrival. This app is then needed to check tourists into local businesses and attractions.

Once the app is downloaded, the user verifies their identity through a South Korean telecom service. The app then issues a verifiable credential on the blockchain. The user then sets up a PIN or fingerprint authentication, which is then issued a separate verifiable credential on the blockchain.

Once the two credentials are stored on the user’s mobile device, a QR code is used to check into tourist attractions and businesses. The businesses do not receive any of the personal data of the user, only the blockchain-issued certificates.

The usage of the app allows the authorities to track visitors to Jeju Island, which can help tremendously if a COVID-19 case is reported. An example would be if a person visiting a museum reported coming down with the coronavirus, then authorities could track their previous movements and issue warnings to those who may have come into contact with the infected person. Such tracking info would also help authorities figure out who should be tested to see if they are suffering from the virus.

The pilot program for this app, based upon the blockchain, is already running for provincial government offices. The program will expand on August 24 to over 50 private businesses. A further expansion will take place in September when the app is rolled out to private businesses in all eight districts of Jeju Island.

Blockchain to the rescue

Jong-hyup, Kim, CEO of ICONLOOP, the developer of the Zzeung app, says, “This cooperation with Jeju Island is opening new possibilities for real-life application of blockchain DID [Decentralized Identity] authentication in the post-COVID-19 era. 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.”

Tae-bong Lim, Director of Health and Welfare of Jeju Self-Governing Province, adds, “Through this new infectious disease prevention system, Jeju Island will be able to be reborn as a safe and representative tourist destination in Korea. We look forward to revitalizing the local economy, which has been stagnant due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.”

Compared to other countries in the region, South Korea has fared pretty well during the coronavirus pandemic. Out of a country of over 51 million people, there have been a total of 16,670 reported cases and 309 deaths.

Images courtesy of DiegoMariottini/Shutterstock, fancycrave1/Pixabay

Jeff Francis

Jeff has taken a roundabout way to becoming a cryptocurrency writer. He has always had a huge interest in history, which led to him receiving a degree in medieval history. He once thought of becoming a teacher but eventually joined some friends in opening a hobby shop. Jeff eventually took over sole proprietorship of the business and ran it for over 10 years. He then moved on to online selling and then into gaming journalism. He has spent the last 10 years writing professionally for various websites as well as creating content for many businesses. A few years back, he began hearing about Bitcoin and the rise of other cryptocurrencies. A proponent of allowing people to take economic power into their own hands, Jeff has enthusiastically supported cryptocurrencies, not to mention the many benefits of blockchain technology. This interest propelled him to becoming a writer for, and later editor of, several cryptocurrency-focused websites. Jeff is a lifelong geek and gamer. He tries to keep up with the slew of TV shows and movies that fall into the fantasy/sci-fi/superhero genres, and he still plays pen-and-paper role-playing games on the weekends. He lives in Florida, USA, as he cannot stand cold weather.

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