Korean Credit Card Giant to Integrate Blockchain Identity Service

South Korea’s largest credit card company is set to use a blockchain identity solution developed by local bitcoin startup Coinplug.

Oct 17, 2016 at 2:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:33 p.m. UTC

South Korea’s largest credit card company is set to use a blockchain identity solution developed by local bitcoin startup Coinplug.

The service will be based on what Coinplug calls FidoLedger, a “private blockchain technology” aimed at providing a distributed means of verifying and maintaining digital identities. KB Koomkin Card, a subsidiary of KB Koomkin Bank, plans to complete its integration by the end of this year.

The startup has been working in the area of digital identity for some time, netting a $45,000 prize last year after submitting a prototype system based on the concept to a competition held by JB Financial Group.

It’s a use case that has been pursued by established enterprises as well as new companies working in the blockchain space. Now, following additional development, Coinplug is pushing ahead with what it calls the “Coinplug Identification System”, or CIS.

According to Richard Yun, director and chief operation officer from Coinplug, KB Koomkin wants to integrate the tool into its credit card onboarding services.

He told CoinDesk:

“KB will use this for commercial purposes and the availability of this service will be [for] all customers of the KB Card around mid-December.”

In addition to its enterprise blockchain projects, Coinplug operates a bitcoin exchange service. The tech, launched last month, comes just under a year after Coinplug raised $5m in a Series B funding round. The startup has raised more than $8m to date.

Targeting identity pain point

Using FidoChain, the identity solution allows users – in this case, KB Koomkin Card – the ability to add, verify or revoke identities tied to a credit card product.

Yun said the startup wanted to potentially resolve security and user experience problems associated with existing identity solutions in South Korea.

“We thought it is very important to provide secure and easy to use identification and authentication service to banking service users, and we believed that private blockchain technology can be very effective to implement secure and scalable identification/authentication service.”

It’s a prospect that, according to Yun, has attracted significant interest from KB Koomkin. The company, which reported $2.6b in operating profit for 2015, is said to be looking at applying the tech to both services it offers now as well as new ones in the future.

“They [are considering whether to] expand the coverage of CIS to other existing and new services,” Yun explained.

KB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Image via Shutterstock

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Coinplug's blockchain offering is called FidoLedger, not FidoChain. 

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