Jeju Island, a major tourist destination in South Korea, is introducing a government-backed COVID-19 contact tracking system based on blockchain technology.

On January 14, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and blockchain technology company Iconloop announced that the blockchain-based contact tracking system is now fully operational.

Called “Jeju Safety Code”, the project has started in August 2020 to enable COVID-19 contact tracking for Jeju’s 15 million annual visitors. The project has been jointly developed by Iconloop and Jeju Island through a public-private partnership agreement. Since August, the local government and Iconloop have implemented the system at public institutions on the island and at a number of companies such as restaurants in the Jeju Provincial Office area.

Following successful pilots, the Jeju Security Code was presented in October as part of wider social programs such as the “Reinforce Safety Net” and the “Jeju-type New Deal Comprehensive Plan”. At least 5,000 companies on Jeju Island have signed up for the system.

The Jeju Security Code allows visitors and tourists to check-in securely in public places without the risk of losing personal information. To use the Jeju Safety Code app, visitors scan a QR code at a business or tourist destination. Business owners can place QR codes in their facilities so that people can check in without queuing.

According to the app’s creators, users don’t need to sign up for an account to check in. When a visitor checks in, their location is verified, without the company needing to store their personal information.

Visitors’ personal identification information and visit records are stored in a private blockchain network. The app uses Iconloop’s decentralized identity, or DID, technology system to ensure that all data is kept private unless a COVID-19 case is discovered. According to Iconloop, the information is only used for epidemiological investigation of confirmed cases.

Iconloop has actively collaborated with the South Korean government in the development of blockchain. Early January 2021 Iconloop has received approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT to test its DID technology to manage driver’s license data in the country.