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[Newsletter] "Everywhere I go, I see QR Codes" Blockchain has Changed the Way People Prevent and Control COVID-19 in Jeju


The "first tweet" written by Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, 15 years ago was sold for 2.9 million dollars. The reason behind the value of that tweet, which was open to everyone to view, is that it was a "Non-Fungible Token (NFT)." Blockchain technologies such as NFTs, which verify qualification and ownership, and Decentralized Identifiers (DID), a self-sovereign ID, make online economic activities safe, building trust among traders.


Blockchain can be found in parts of our everyday life ranging from financial transactions to e-commerce. It now applies to an increasing number of areas – even COVID-19 prevention. Its best example is the Jeju Safety Code jointly developed by the blockchain company ICONLOOP and Jeju Island.


The Jeju Safety Code can be found in parts of Jeju Island, including the airport, restaurants, and taxis. ⒸICONLOOP


1.2 Million Used Jeju Safety Code in Six Months


When you go to stores or any indoor places in Korea, the first thing you see by the entrance would be the visitor log. This is for visitors to write down their personal information, such as their contact number and place of residence. It has been used extensively in Korea to quickly identify the transmission chain and those infected in case of confirmed cases. However, keeping it open in public comes with privacy issues. Furthermore, digital-type logs are also bothersome, as the store manager has to purchase a special device for them.


However, things are different in Jeju, thanks to the Jeju Safety Code used in all parts of the island, including the airport, taxis, restaurants, and cafés. The Jeju Safety Code, which is a part of the quarantine effort for tourists in Jeju, is referred to as the first successful case in the world as a blockchain service. It has taken root within the economy with widespread usage. Over 1.2 million people have used the service in just six months, and approximately 50,000 businesses across the island are using it.


The use of QR codes is similar to other digital visitor logs, but its blockchain technology makes the Jeju Safety Code more secure and practical. It doesn’t require users to sign up; all they have to do is download the application. It also reduces costs as businesses don't have to buy special devices to collect information. It also helps accelerate epidemiological investigation with a more extensive user base. Moreover, the Jeju Safety Code guarantees privacy as personal information and your visit history are encrypted in a separate place.


"The Jeju Safety Code is an optimized disease control system for the island of Jeju which receives many tourists and has popular tourist attractions," said Ko Byung-Wook, Jeju Branch Manager of ICONLOOP, adding that it is playing a pivotal role in reinforcing disease control in daily life.


Over 1.2 million people have used the Jeju Safety Code in only six months since the release of the service. ⒸICONLOOP


Jeju Island Goes Smart with Blockchain


Ko Byung-Wook, Jeju Branch Manager

ICONLOOP has been leading technological innovation (DID, NFT, etc.) on top of the Jeju Safety Code, providing various blockchain-based services. The best examples are “zzeung,” an ID verification service based on their exclusive “MyID” platform, “VisitMe,” a complete visitor management service, and “broof,” a service that issues certificates. Also, the company has been taking the lead in the popularization of blockchain technologies, adopting its “loopchain (high-performance blockchain engine)” technology in various areas, including finance, public fields, healthcare, and smart city. While Jeju Island has been carrying out pilot projects for blockchain in a range of industries such as real estate and EV, its collaboration with ICONLOOP is anticipated to create a greater synergy effect.


The Jeju Branch Manager of ICONLOOP Ko Byung-Wook also showed confidence in the potential of Jeju Island as a stable and complete business environment, not a mere testbed. Ko was previously at DAUM Communications Corp. and Kakao Corp., taking part in developing numerous successful services such as the company-wide online platform and the search data platform.


“Jeju Island is the land of infinite possibilities. The local government strongly supports companies, and the island's unique conditions allow for creative trials. I feel bad that most people think Jeju is nothing more than a testbed. In other countries, the testbeds are linked to universities, so even if businesses leave later, the technologies are left for development. However, the testbed at Jeju is only a sandbox. When companies move out with results, there’s nothing left. I believe it should be lin-ked with the region and universities,” he said.


The idea of coexistence with the local community is also the background to the establishment of ICONLOOP's Jeju branch. The company is currently working to cultivate talented individuals by collaborating with the local government and Jeju National University. It has been giving lectures for young adults on the island or hiring them to help build work experience.


Jeju Branch Manager Ko said, "We plan to develop various blockchain services and connect them to different types of businesses. We hope to lay out the foundation for young adults in Jeju to have bountiful experiences with help from our know-how and cooperate with various industries to make services useful for the ecosystem of the island.


Let's look forward to the future of Jeju, a smart island that ICONLOOP will create, where blockchain technology is ubiquitous in our everyday life.