On 31 August, Korean blockchain startup Coinplug announced that its MYKEEPiN decentralized identity (DID) app can be used by consumers to enter unmanned convenience stores. The solution is the result of a collaboration between SBI-backed Coinplug, HP Retail, an unmanned convenience store, and CU Box, a biometrics and access security company.
According to the Korea Times, due to evolving technologies and an increase in the minimum wage, unattended convenience stores have started to become commonplace in Korea, after making an appearance in 2017. To enter the stores, customers usually must identify themselves through credit cards or CCTV. Instead, customers can enter the store by using the MYKEEPiN app, which uses DID authentication technology linked to Coinplug’s Metadium Public ledger, launched in March 2020.
Coinplug acknowledges how the pandemic has created a new non-face-to-face era and believes MYKEEPiN helps further eliminate unnecessary contact between people, reducing the risk of infection. The startup also claims its app successfully provides ‘excellent’ user security to minimize the risk of data breaches, reduces the probability of theft in the unmanned stores, and will also result in the reduction of labor costs.
Recently Coinplug worked on a DID solution with South Korea’s Busan city. It helped the city to launch a DID platform for public services, accessible through a mobile app. Busan city acknowledged the convenience and reliability of DID for identification and authentication purposes. There’s hope the ‘Busan Blockchain ID App’ will link and improve public services while maintaining ‘a safe approach’ for the city’s citizens as they settle into what is to be their new normal.
Both Korea’s public and private sectors have become increasingly involved in DID solutions. On the same day as Coinplug’s MYKEEPiN announcement, KISA, an arm of Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, announced its intention to introduce a blockchain-based DID app for its employees. KISA’s President , Kim Seok-Hwan, also recognized the importance of having a non-face-to-face means of identification during the pandemic.