Management & legal News

Seoul to launch blockchain citizen services


On the 1st August, it was announced that Seoul plans to release blockchain-based citizen services by the end of this year. The projects are part of the Blockchain City Promotion Plan, revealed in April, to build distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions aimed at citizens.

In April we learned that the services slated for development this year include identifying citizens without paperwork, citizen cards, mileage tracking, automated subcontractor payments, and a scheme for protecting the rights of part-time employees.

Last week’s announcement reveals that the scheme will use smart contracts to hold employers accountable and store working hours on a blockchain to prevent tampering.

As the number of Koreans working part-time increases, the need for a more robust system has become apparent. The city’s solution could be used for casual labor contracts where conventionally there is little trust between workers and employers.

The project is hosted by the Korea Internet Security Agency and the Ministry of Science and ICT, while Hancom Secure, CC Media Services, and Maius will develop the public-facing app.

Meanwhile, Seoul plans to enable citizens to be identified without having to provide paper documentation. This initiative aims to streamline the process of applying for government allowances and other services.
Looking forward, it appears the city is aiming to recruit service providers and partners before the launch of its DLT projects in November. Last week the city held its first workshop for blockchain development, with guests including firms such as Oracle.

“We held the first workshop to talk about the contents and requirements to cooperate with each other regarding the establishment of the blockchain administrative service,” said a representative of Seoul’s Smart City office. “We will continue to discuss and talk in November,” they added.

The $10 million blockchain plan is separate from Seoul’s Smart City project, which includes a DLT solution for the management of traffic data. Korea has been open to many other blockchain projects such as a decentralized power grid, arms procurement, and logistics. Just this week the nation revealed more plans for its use of the technology in defense.

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