ICONLOOP CEO Jonghyup Kim is on a roll. Most recently speaking at BlockFesta 2019, the kickstart event to Korea Blockchain Week, Kim addressed the importance of restoring data sovereignty through DID. Just a few days later, he attended the 2019 Smart Seoul Conference to speak on ICONLOOP’s involvement with smart cities. Here is a brief summary of his speech.

The necessity for blockchain

When it comes to building a smart city, the need for blockchain is evident. “Cities must imagine a platform that supports and interconnects all the digital functionality the city needs to serve internal operating requirements and to engage with citizens,” Kim said. Data sovereignty, he believes, should lie in the hands of citizens, giving them the right to decisions. In order to do so, a decentralized platform is needed, one that is (obviously) based on blockchain technology.

Kim explained that ICONLOOP could provide blockchain-based DID services and solutions for smart city construction. Two of those, DPASS and my-ID, allow individuals to control their ID and simplify authentication processes through various services. “Since [DPASS] is on the public blockchain, anybody can generate and use DID,” explained Kim. 

my-ID, which was recently included in the Financial Service Commission’s “Innovative Financial Services and Regulations Sandbox,” was also mentioned as a solution to certify identity. Using the two services together would allow individuals to create an online ID that could be used both on and offline. 

“Large banks, insurance companies, Samsung Electronics, POSCO, about 27 organizations in total, are all working to build the my-ID ecosystem,” explained Kim. 

In the works: ICONLOOP Smart City Projects

Kim spoke about three notable projects ICONLOOP is currently involved in.

The first is their partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan City, which uses loopchain as infrastructure for their Seoul Standard Blockchain Platform. Currently, Seoul citizens must use different applications to use specific services, which is highly inconvenient, to say the least. ICONLOOP would be able to solve these issues by allowing citizens to issue and get certified their own certificates, licenses, and residency cards. The same could be done with mileage points as well as loyalty and rewards programs.  

As a use case example, Kim used ‘M-Voting’, which allows citizens to vote on services and policies that they would like from the Seoul City Government. He also mentioned other projects in the works, including smart healthcare and a used car service to enhance credibility in the used car industry.

On the slide: Used Car Service, Smart Healthcare, M-Voting, Certificates, Mileage, Donation Tracking and Citizen Card.

ICONLOOP also partnered with the city of Bucheon to support their blockchain platform and help them develop blockchain-based administrative services. While this project is still in conceptualization stages, ICONLOOP is planning on providing the following three services: smart parking, citizen data management and governance.

Last but not least, ICONLOOP is partnering with WeGO, to provide its 120 member cities with blockchain support. Through this partnership, Kim explained they would be providing blockchain-based services for cities who are interested in applying these services for their citizens and build use cases. They are currently in the process of selecting cities that will participate in the demonstration project by conducting a feasibility study. Image below courtesy of ICON DAO.

Challenges Ahead

As Kim went on to explain, one blockchain isn’t able to manage a whole city. This thereby demonstrates the importance of having interoperability and scalability among several blockchains. “We have the interchain to connect different blockchains, which enables us to have both interoperability and scalability,” Kim said.

He also expressed concern over the general lack of understanding and incoherent regulations plaguing the current blockchain space. This is something that needs to be worked on, particularly at the government level, to facilitate the development of smart cities.

Jonghyup ended his speech by quoting Gildo Seisdedos, a professor at the IE Business School, “Ordinary citizens are hungry for participation, democracy, and transparency — three key technologies that go hand in hand with the technology behind Bitcoin.” 

He concluded, “I hope that we will work to build a smart city platform that ensures participation, democracy and transparency.” 

You can watch Kim’s full speech (with English voiceover) below.