South Korea to launch blockchain-based vaccine passports


TL;DR Breakdown

  • South Korea set to rollout blockchain powered passports soon.
  • Controversies trail vaccine passports in the US.

A growing number of countries are starting to adopt COVID vaccine passports to facilitate international travels and reduce the risk of infections.  And South Korea doesn’t want to be left out.

South Koreans to get vaccine passports soon

South Korea Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun stated that a vaccine passport is due for launch in April. Blockchain passports is still generating controversies across the globe.

Chung said the passports would also benefit South Koreans at home. Speaking at a meeting for cross-agency COVID response he said the vaccine passport will allow people who have already taken the vaccine to resume their normal lives.

The Green Pass, was built by the South Korean government; it makes use of blockchain technology to combat identity theft. In other nations, the system do not allow personal info to be saved and can be used to verify the status of COVID vaccination, Chung said.

So far about 77,000 South Koreans have taken the COVID-19 vaccine. On Wednesday, 551 new COVID cases were reported. By June this year, the South Korean hopes to have vaccinated about 12 million citizens.

Rise in vaccine passports

Brazil is another country that has deployed blockchain to monitor COVID vaccination. IBM have developed a blockchain based information security system for New York referred to as the Excelsior Pass.

New York authorities said that the Pass can be used to verify COVID vaccination or any other suitable tests requirement for cross-border travels. The Chinese government has already deployed a similar technology; the EU is planning on doing same by June.  The International Air Transport Association is working on building an application, Travel Pass. This would become the benchmark for international travel soon.

Controversies have trailed the concept of vaccine passports, mainly in the United States. Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota, referred to it as an un-American idea.