People within ICON have been talking about government-linked projects for the past few months, but on Monday we saw the first real proof of progress. ICON demoed three projects in partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government during the second Seoul International Digital Festival (SIDiF).
While this comes as little surprise to those who have been following the blockchain platform, many ICON fans are pleased to see progress. Reddit user CubeKun said of the news, “ICX [has] mentioned for a long time about how they were partnered with the South Korean government. It’s really great for the project to see evidence in the product.”
The ICON demo included three different components: ICON Blockchain Identification Card, ICON Blockchain Vote, and the ICON Blockchain S-Coin Payments.
The Identification Card is a blockchain-based national ID card. The demo showed that it can be easily obtained after a citizen fills in basic information in a computer and takes a webcam photo. All these details are then transferred to a mobile phone after scanning the QR code displayed on the computer. Yes, dear reader, this is merely a proof of concept and certainly NOT ready for secure applications… such as the third initiative discussed below.
The second initiative, Seoul Coin, or S-Coin is a cryptocurrency and payment method being tested by the city of Seoul. It’s designed to make cashless transactions possible, even without a conventional cash register. Merchants in traditional markets – Korea’s last credit card free bastions – seem to be the primary intended beneficiaries of the system. Merchants get QR codes, that link to products or accounts. (Chinese readers should be familiar with the concept from WePay and AliPay.)
The third initiative, ICON Blockchain Vote, puts the aforementioned ID Card and S-Coin to use. The ID serves as a unique identifier, making secure online voting possible, while also eliminating the double-spend problem that has made public official shy away from online ballots. After voting, citizens receive rewards in S-Coin. The monetary incentive, along with the ability to vote remotely has the potential to increase South Korea’s average voter turnout, which has averaged 64.3% of eligible voters over the last 10 elections, according to Election Guide. (This is despite election days being official public holidays in Korea!)
Here is a video that shows off all three projects (originally posted by ICON’s Minhwan Kim*)