SK Telecom announced on July 24 that it has started operating STONledger, an enterprise blockchain platform that it has developed together with its consortium members. The announcement is taken as a declaration that the company will focus on the blockchain business.
SK Telecom plans to introduce a variety of services such as identity verification and mobile commerce by combining mobile and blockchain technology. In particular, the company is preparing a service that can prevent accidents by unlicensed drivers through a blockchain-based mobile drivers’ license business.
The planned service is part of a pilot project promoted by a consortium of telecom, manufacturing, and financial companies, including SK Telecom. The project was launched by the Korean government to develop blockchain-based mobile identification services.
The consortium plans to launch a self-sovereign identity (SSI) wallet in November this year where users can put their mobile driver's licenses. They can use their digital driver’s licenses when they needed them such as when sharing or renting a car.
"We are developing and operating STONledger, a consortium-type enterprise blockchain platform based on hyper ledger fabric," said Lee Kang-won, director of SK Telecom's ICT Technology Center. "The main business models of STONledger include a decentralized identifier (DID), an identifier that does not require a centralized registration authority because it is registered with distributed ledger technology or other form of decentralized network. The business models also include e-commerce, the Internet of Things (IoT), insurance, and payment settlement.
One of the business models of STONEledger is a blockchain-based ID authentication network jointly announced by SK Telecom, KT, LG U+, Samsung Electronics, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank and Koscom. It Identifies and verifies an individual's identity through anti-forgery blockchain technology and allow him or her to manage their own personal information.
The DID service will also allow users to put their college grades, school attendance, graduation certificates, bank account certificates, and other personal information into the SIS wallet.
SK Telecom and other domestic mobile telecom companies requested the government to approve the launch of the mobile driver's license service in May. The three mobile carriers are currently offering mobile authentication service “PASS” under different names such as T Authentication, KT Authentication and U+ Authentication. They are planning to combine DID with PASS to create a mobile driver’s license, which can prevent a person from using others’ licenses when sharing a car or renting an electric kickboard.
If the Ministry of Science and ICT approves the planned mobile drivers’ license service at the 5th ICT Regulation Sandbox Review Committee, which is scheduled to be held between mid-August and September, a driver can use a mobile driver’s license that is connected with PASS, a mobile service that requires them to use their real names for subscription.