Over 1 million South Koreans have traded in their plastic driver’s licenses in favor of a blockchain-powered, police-issued smartphone-based digital alternative.
Per Daily Kyungjae, the initiative allows drivers to identify themselves to police using barcodes or QR codes, as well as the blockchain-powered PASS smartphone app.
The project won approval from the nation’s Ministry of Science and ICT in September last year, but the uptake this year has been encouraging after a rollout in May.
The nation’s Korea Road Traffic Authority has also taken part in the project, as have all three of South Korea’s biggest mobile carriers: SK, KT and LG U+.
The same media outlet stated that the PASS operators are set to expand the reach of the blockchain-powered project, with 27 driver’s license test centers nationwide last month starting to renew and reissue driver’s licenses using the paper- and plastic-free alternative. English-language blockchain driver’s licenses have also been rolled out for non-Korean residents.
Traffic police will also begin making further use of the ID solution “in the second half of the year.”
And while a number of convenience stores and retail chains said they have begun accepting PASS as a digital proof-of-age, discussions are now ongoing about its use “for identification purposes in financial transactions and mobile communication services.”
Rental car providers are also looking into ways they could use PASS to check drivers’ eligibility digitally to prevent unlicensed rentals – doing away with existing face-to-face protocols.
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