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South Korean banks and telecoms in blockchain initiative

Samsung Electronics and two banks are among seven members of a new South Korea consortium that plans to build a blockchain network to deploy mobile authentication services.

Samsung, KEB Hana Bank aand Woori Bank have joined local telecom companies SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, as well as Koscom, an IT service subsidiary of the Korea Exchange.

The consortium’s founding members said that the new mobile authentication service will allow consumers to protect their own data. Users will also be able to save information issued by institutions and companies securely on their smartphones.

The system will undergo its first beta test by the end of the year, ahead of a decision to commercialise the offering in 2020.

Future plans

The new service will initially focus on the distribution and issuing of college graduation certificates. This will allow graduates to simplify job application processes by only needing one authenticated certificate on their smartphones, while companies can verify documents through the blockchain network.

The consortium will also use the blockchain network for digital onboarding at banks and to review job applications when SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus are hiring. Longer-term, there are plans to add more companies to the network so it can be deployed for hospital and insurance services, and membership services for leisure activities such as holiday resorts.

South Korea’s tech companies have already begun experimenting with blockchain in various industries. In March, Samsung unveiled a cryptocurrency wallet as a feature on its just-launched Galaxy S10 phone. KT has applied blockchain to its commercial network and offers blockchain-as-a-service for clients for security, while LG CNS has applied its blockchain platform Monchain to provide better transparency of the food products served inn school cafeterias.

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