One million South Koreans now have blockchain driver’s licenses


One million South Koreans have given up their physical driver’s licenses in favor of a digital alternative driven by a block chain that is used in conjunction with the PASS smartphone application.

This represents more than 3% of South Korea’s entire driving population, which sat at 32.6 million licensed drivers in 2019, according to Statista. This is the first authorized digital ID card to be used throughout South Korea and received approval from the nation’s Ministry of Science and ICT in September 2019.

A South Korean city is expanding its payment program based on blockchain technology

The project was launched in May by the National Police Agency in partnership with the Korea Highway Traffic Authority, and the country’s three main telecommunication providers: SK, KT and LG U+. Last month, 27 of South Korea’s driver’s license testing centers were using the PASS application to renew and reissue digital driver’s licenses.

The legally recognized identification solution can also be used for identification and proof of age requirements, such as in convenience stores and retail cigarette and alcohol chains. Users display their license via a bar code or QR code on the application. Non-residents of Korea receive English versions of the licenses.

South Korean roads will have toll payments based on blockchain technology

Other industries, such as car rental and travel sharing services, are also investigating the possibility of using these identifications as a substitute for face-to-face verification checks.

South Korea is in favour of blockchain
This week alone, South Korea has announced multiple blockchain technology integrations. Seongnam’s payment program will be expanded with the issuance of new digital gift certificates, and Busan beachgoers will be able to pay for services with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

One of South Korea’s largest banks, KEB Hana Bank, has partnered with the Korea Expressway Corporation to implement a block chain-based toll system for the country’s roads.

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Australian blockchain-based licenses
South Korea is not the only country considering the transition from existing licenses to digital formats in block chains. In late 2018, the Australian government in New South Wales announced the trial of digital licences based on Ethereum that can replace physical ones.