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Major Korean Firms Partner to Launch Blockchain Mobile ID System

A consortium of major South Korean firms partnered to launch a blockchain-based mobile identification system in 2020.

A consortium of major South Korean firms partnered to launch a blockchain-based mobile identification system in 2020, English-language local media Korea Times reports on July 14.

Per the report, the participants are financial services firms KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, KOSCOM, mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT, LG UPlus, and technology behemoth Samsung Electronics. The aim of the partnership is reportedly to develop a self-sovereign identity system that does not require any intermediaries, which would enable individuals and organizations to control their identity information in online transactions.

The service aims to allow users to store personal information such as resident registration numbers, bank account numbers, and use them at will. The involved financial services firms are tasked with providing certification services, telecom companies with managing stable mobile services, and Samsung will ensure secure management of the stored data.

More precisely, Samsung will reportedly manage data with Samsung Knox, an enterprise mobile security solution pre-installed in most of its smartphones, tablets, and wearables. In 2020 the consortium intends to pursue further partners, including large businesses, universities, hospitals, insurers, entertainment facilities, resorts, and country clubs.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Japanese tech research firm Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a blockchain-based solution for evaluating user credentials, identity and trustworthiness in online transactions.

In June, news broke that Brazilian banks will be implementing a new standardized blockchain identity solution powered by the Hyperledger Fabric platform.

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Fujitsu Unveils Blockchain-Based Identity and Credential Rating Service

Fujitsu has developed a blockchain-based solution for identity verification and trustworthiness that is based on user evaluations.

Japanese tech research firm Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a blockchain-based solution for evaluating user credentials, identity and trustworthiness in online transactions, according to an announcement by Fujitsu on July 4.

As reported, the solution considers user ratings, stored on a blockchain, to assign every user a “trustworthiness score.” Users reportedly rate each other when a transaction occurs and the technology evaluates this data to make a guess about users’ relationships with one another.

Other users can then see how high someone else’s trust score is before agreeing to a transaction, according to the announcement. 

Fujitsu claims that this solution has advantages over other Decentralized Identification (DID) solutions, which are a class of solutions for identity and credential verification via third parties. 

In certain similar solutions, a user can reportedly conspire with a bad-acting third party to falsify their records. Fujitsu claims that their solution avoids this type of conspiracy by using a graph-based approach to understand users’ relationships. 

Rather than depending solely on raw metrics, Fujitsu’s system purportedly looks to weed out collusion by looking at the graph of a users’ transaction relations:

“Even if a user colludes with a third party to improperly raise their evaluation, the graph-structured relationships will reveal information such as the weakness of their relationships with other users, giving the system the potential to identify misrepresentations.”

As per their announcement, Fujitsu says one of its goals is to integrate this new solution into its blockchain-based Fujitsu Intelligent Data Service Virtuora DX Data Distribution and Utilization Service some time in the 2019 fiscal year.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Fujitsu and tech giant Sony confirmed that they would partner to launch a blockchain-based pilot program in February. This program aims to use blockchain technology to make school records and grades more trustworthy.

The pilot program will reportedly use Fujitsu’s educational platform Fisdom as a means to evaluate foreign students’ abilities, as compared with their stated certifications, while applying to a Japanese-language school:

“The course platform will collect data including test scores, Japanese conversational ability, and study time, and store them on a blockchain as a certificate. Human Academy […] will be able to accurately grasp the language ability of individual students based on this highly reliable data, by comparing the certificate data on the blockchain with the educational certificates submitted by the prospective students.”

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44% of European Healthcare Organizations Have Never Heard of Blockchain: IDC Survey

Out of the survey’s 290 respondents, only 12% of healthcare firms in Europe are related to blockchain tech in some sense.

Only a limited number of healthcare firms in Europe are aware of the benefits of blockchain applications, according to a survey by American market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) released on June 6.

As much as 44% of European healthcare organizations had never heard of distributed ledger technology (DLT), while only 12% of those are related to the tech in some sense, blockchain media outlet Ledger Insights reports, citing the IDC’ research titled “IDC Survey Spotlight.”

Only 1% out of those 12% have a certain blockchain initiative in production, while 1% have multiple DLT projects, the report notes.

Blockchain Adoption by European Healthcare Organizations: IDC Survey

Source: Ledger Insights

The research is based on a survey of 290 healthcare firms in Europe, and contains data from IDC’s European Vertical Market Survey in 2018 and 2019, IDC writes.

Based on the research, there are three major use cases for blockchain technology in the European healthcare industry, including transaction agreements, identity management and shared records management. The identity use case reportedly had the biggest number of production projects at 2%, with a further 6% planning adoption within the next 12 months.

Yesterday, the research firm Data Foundation and IT firm Booz Allen Hamilton released a report examining the feasibility of blockchain implementation by various industries in order to assist the United States federal government in what fields the tech should be used. The report mentioned a number of blockchain-powered projects by various agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services.

Last week, Germany-based pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim announced partnership with blockchain-based healthcare platform Solve.Care to create a blockchain network for the trusted sharing of data among patients with diabetes.

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Corona, Budweiser Owner’s Investment Arm Backs Blockchain ID Startup

BanQu announced that it closed an extension of its series A funding round led by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s investment arm ZX Venture.

United States-based blockchain identity startup BanQu announced that it closed an extension of its series A funding round led by multinational drinks and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev’s investment arm. The development was announced in a post on June 6.

Per the announcement, the undisclosed amount of funds have been raised by ZX Venture to allow BanQu to continue the development of its supply chain transparency and traceability, and continue its geographic expansion. Crunchbase estimates the annual revenue of the funding company — which owns the Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Becks beer brands — to be $22.1 billion.

The startup in question claims to have created the first and only non-cryptocurrency blockchain “to help lift people out of extreme poverty by connecting them to the global supply chains that they participate in.” Tony Milikin, chief sustainability and procurement officer at AB InBev, commented on the partnership with BanQu:

“Together, we are working to improve access to modern banking for thousands of farmers in underserved rural markets, driving inclusive growth and contributing to our own 2025 Sustainability Goal as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Furthermore, the startup claims that the funds will sustain its presence in Africa, Asia and Latin America. BanQu reportedly operates in 12 countries, including Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, Uganda, the United States and Zambia, and has plans to expand to China and Mexico later this year. Maisie Devine, global director for the 100+ Accelerator at AB InBev, declared:

“Over the last year, we have implemented the BanQu platform with over 4,000 of our direct farmers in Zambia, Uganda and India.”

As Cointelegraph reported in August 2018, BanQu helps refugees, the displaced and the world’s poorest individuals establish an economic identity on the blockchain.

A recent Cointelegraph analysis examined how software giant Microsoft recently presented a decentralized identity network built atop of the bitcoin network with the aim of letting users take control over their personal data and content.