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  • Writer's pictureT Skevington and M Bacina

Blockchain based digital driver's licences take off in South Korea

Updated: May 2

Recent reporting from Statista has suggested that over one million South Koreans have opted to ditch a physical drivers license in favour of a blockchain-powered digital alternative through the PASS app.

The digital ID project has progressed rapidly, moving from approval by the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT in September 2019, then launched in May 2020 by the National Police Agency in partnership with the Korea Road Traffic Authority. The project is operating within a regulatory sandbox in collaboration with three of South Korea's top mobile carriers.

The PASS app follows in the wake of the New South Wales launch of a digital driver's licence underpinned by blockchain technology, developed by Australian firm Secure Logic, shown below.

As with the digital identification projects in Australia and abroad, the digital ID can also be used for identification and proof-of-age requirements. Additional functionality allows merchants to verify the accuracy of information shown on the app via a barcode or QR code on the PASS app.

However, despite the functionality theoretically allowing the digital ID's to be used at convenience and liquor stores, South Koreans using the app may well run into the same problems identified by users in South Australia and New South Wales, where merchants are unwilling to accept a digital ID over a good old fashioned card in hand.


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