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South Korea will introduce a blockchain-based vaccine passport via a smartphone app later this month.
South Korea is joining several other countries in introducing vaccine certificates to allow cross-border travel while minimizing the risk of infection.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun suggested that there could be significant benefits for people back home:
“The introduction of a vaccine passport or Green Card will only allow vaccinated people to return to their daily lives.”
The government has been developing apps using blockchain technology as a way to provide security against the possibility of identity theft. Systems in other countries also do not store personal information while allowing verification of vaccination status.
While 77,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in South Korea so far, the country saw 551 cases on Wednesday. The government hopes to vaccinate 12 million people by June.
Brazil is also using a blockchain-based system to track vaccinations, while IBM has helped New York develop Excelsior Pass, which uses blockchain technology to secure information. The New York state government said about the card:
“Businesses and locations can scan and validate your card to ensure you meet any vaccination or COVID testing requirements for entry.”
China rolled out a system, and the European Union has a similar plan in June. The International Air Transport Association is developing an app called Travel Pass, which could become the standard for cross-border travel.
Vaccine passports remain controversial, especially in the United States and in parts of the crypto community. Republican Governor Kristi Noem, South Dakota, has called the concept “one of the worst ideas in our national history” while Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida, is trying attempt to ban required COVIDs in the state.
Cryptocurrencies could also play a minor role in thwarting efforts to impose non-blockchain-based immunization certificates. The BBC reports that cybersecurity agency CheckPoint found 1,200 advertisements for vaccines and vaccine passports on the darknet:
Check Point investigators have uncovered many sellers providing fake documents, including one allegedly from the UK, with a $ 150 vaccination card using the money. Encryption is hard to track – Bitcoin as a payment method. “
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