Yesterday South Korea made several announcements about using a blockchain application to act as a COVID-19 health certificate for vaccinations.
Prime minister Chung Sye-kyun is reported as saying “we have already completed the development of a system that can easily prove vaccination on a smartphone,” according to Yonhapnews.
A major reason for using blockchain is to verify that the vaccine was for a specific person, avoiding a situation where someone photocopies a vaccine certificate and alters the name. Usually, blockchain-based digital health passports provide verifiable credentials based on international standards (W3C). However, the technical details of the Korean version were not released.
That said, a Korean official stated that the health passport was designed to be used in foreign countries and is compliant with common standards used in other countries.
Having an internationally acceptable vaccine certificate may reduce the level of quarantine that travelers need to endure.
The smartphone app will be available later this month, but it is currently being updated to reduce the level of sensitive personal information. People are often reticent to adopt applications where there are privacy concerns.
Korea’s Financial News revealed that the technology is being donated by Blockchain Labs, which developed the InfraBlockchain, a Korean enterprise blockchain solution that launched late last year, targeted at enterprises and public sector applications.
Meanwhile, numerous other COVID-19 health certificate solutions are being rolled out. The State of New York has adopted IBM’s Digital Health Pass. IBM was also part of the winning bid in Germany. And airlines are trialing immunity passport solutions from GE Digital, the ICC’s AOKpass and airline industry body IATA.