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Jeju Island tourists are now required to use a blockchain-based contact tracing app

South Korea's Jeju Island is harnessing blockchain technology in its fight against the coronavirus.

Image by Sumin Park from Pixabay

Thu, 20 Aug 2020, 11:21 am UTC

South Korea is harnessing blockchain technology to help in its combat against the spread of the coronavirus. Tourists visiting Jeju Island are now mandated to download a blockchain-based application for contact tracing purposes.

Located in the southern part of South Korea, Jeju Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country with around 15 million Koreans visiting the island each year. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Jeju Province announced that visitors to the island are required to use a decentralized identity (DID) blockchain technology-based app that is capable of doing a private and secure COVID-19 contact tracing, Cointelegraph reported.

“ICONLOOP and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province have signed a cooperation agreement to introduce this innovative COVID-19 and infectious disease prevention system,” ICONLOOP said in a release published by GlobalNewswire. “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.”

Tourists to the island are required to download the blockchain-based app called the Zzeung mobile app upon their arrival. They will also be asked to verify their identity using a Korean telecom service. Issuance of a verifiable ID credential will be done via a public blockchain network as a safeguard against forgery or tampering.

Tourists will nominate their own PIN or fingerprint authentication code used to access their records, which will be stored in a private blockchain. The codes, as well as travel records of the tourists, are kept private until the discovery of a Covid-19 case.

“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.”

Aside from Jeju Island and ICONLOOP’s pilot program, there are plans to expand the system to more than 50 private firms starting August 24. The blockchain-based contact tracing system will later be available to private business in the 8 districts of Jeju Island by September this year.

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