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South Korea: official approval for digital wallet from telecommunication provider

South Korean telecommunications giant SK Telecom announced that, with the approval of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, it will release its first blockchain-powered digital certificate storage and management wallet.

According to NewsTomato, SK's portfolio is in line with the government's own initiative24 for digital certificates, which promotes the use of electronic certification systems in South Korea following the COVID-19 pandemic.

SK Telecom's digital public certificates include copies of residents' registration cards, health insurance certificates, immigration certificates, and other documents previously issued in paper form and signed by hand. These will now be issued using a mobile application supported by blockchain technology.

Certificates issued through the government application24 can be obtained in the SK wallet and then submitted electronically to public entities, financial institutions and private companies.

In the initial stage, 13 types of certificates will be compatible with the portfolio, but by the end of the year SK Telecom plans to make them compatible with a "total of 100 types" of certificates, including tax documents.

Oh Se-hyun, Director of Lock and Certification Division of SK Telecom, argued that lock is a fundamental technology in a society that is "rapidly changing because of the need for customized solutions where we need innovations in the process of filing and processing of certificates, focusing on paper documents and manual labor.

He also emphasized the security benefits that this technology can bring to such processes.

It was recently revealed that one million Koreans have surrendered their physical licenses in favour of a blockchain-powered digital alternative used in conjunction with the PASS smartphone app.

This represents more than 3% of the total population of drivers in South Korea, which, according to Statistics, had 32.6 million licensed drivers in 2019.