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Putting together the bread crumbs leading to today's Korean-consortium blockchain agreement

Followers of ICON have almost certainly heard the news by now, that a consortium of seven major Korean companies have agreed to develop a blockchain network focused on decentralized identification (DID):

“Tech giant Samsung Electronics is joining six other major South Korean firms to develop a blockchain-based certificate and ID authentication network. Announced on Sunday and reported by CoinDesk Korea, the other founding firms include mobile carriers SK Telecom, LG Yuplus and KT, two banks — KEB Han and Wooriand — and government-founded securities infrastructure provider Koscom. The service will provide a “self-sovereign” authentication solution that does away with middlemen services and allows users to verify their identity or qualifications over a blockchain, keeping more control of their own personal information. Individuals can store their data on a smart device and submit only the data they choose when certification is required.”

To begin unpacking today’s new development, we need to go back all the way to 2016. In November that year, the following news broke:

“South Korea said Thursday it will launch a government-civilian consortium on “blockchain” within this year for joint research and pilot projects. … The Financial Services Commission (FSC) presented a roadmap for the project in a meeting of the blockchain council, joined by representatives from the financial industry. South Korea’s 16 major banks are scheduled to set up a joint task force next Wednesday, followed by the participation of more than 20 brokerage firms here on Dec. 7, according to the FSC.”

The following month, more information came out:

“On December 7, 21 financial institutions and five blockchain companies signed a memorandum of understanding to develop collaborative projects and share all the expertise available with blockchain technology in the framework of the creation of South Korea’s first distributed ledger consortium. The consortium led by the Korea F...
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