Korean Banks Use Blockchain ID Verification

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A national banking group in South Korea is launching a blockchain-based ID verification system for the nation’s commercial banks.

According to CoinDesk, a notice by the Korea Federation of Banks (KFB) unveiled the new system, called BankSign, which is scheduled to launch in July.

The system went through a testing phase starting in April, after the government lifted its mandate that banks must stick with the traditional verification system.

Built on top of Nexledger, a private blockchain platform developed by Samsung’s enterprise solution division, BankSign will offer local banks an option to replace the existing ID verification system that has been in place for decades in South Korea.

Founded in 1984, the KFB represents commercial banks in South Korea, with notable members including Shinhan and Woori banks, institutions that have also been exploring blockchain-based, cross-border remittances for business customers.

The new blockchain ID service – which, according to the KFB, will be available for both online and mobile banking – marks one of the first efforts by South Korean commercial banks to make blockchain applications available for general consumers.

Many financial institutions have been looking to blockchain to verify and protect identity. Mastercard, for example, has filed for more than 35 patents in blockchain technology. Last year, the company announced that it would be opening up access to its blockchain technology through its developer’s API. And in April, it was reported that it had filed a patent that reveals it might utilize blockchain as a way to protect identity data.

The application, which was originally filed in September 2017 and was released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, describes how a semi-private or private blockchain could be used to receive and store identity data, including a “name, a street address, tax identification number” and more.

In addition, Mastercard also recently filed a separate patent for a system it has devised to send and retrieve payment credentials through a “publicly accessible blockchain.”

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