Analysis: ICONLoop Progress in Korea
Aut. S Yesep
In the world of enterprise, Korea is one of the first countries to see a concentrated push towards adopting blockchain solutions. Large enterprises, consortiums, and even entire industries have already committed to entering private and public chain networks, for the purpose of transacting in a more efficient way and unlocking access to powerful cost-saving DApps. Along with this concentrated push, a new global industry is emerging for the development and implementation of blockchain technology. The main goal of this industry is to build custom-tailored private chain and public chain solutions. Forward thinking industry players also put a great deal of emphasis on cross-chain interoperability and connectivity as a whole.
In this article, we will explore the blockchain industry in Korea by first analyzing ICONLoop and their progress to date.
ICONLoop (The Loop) is a private blockchain solutions company started by DAYLI financial in early 2017. DAYLI Financial Group is a highly successful startup in the Korean fintech industry. Founded in February 2015, DAYLI raised just under $100M privately and has quickly become one of the largest fintech companies in Korea. DAYLI itself is a subsidiary of a massively successful “unicorn” startup called Yello Mobile, which launched in 2012 and is already valued at more than $4B. Since its beginnings, ICONLoop has made deep progress in its business development efforts with multiple consortiums and industry contracts in Korea.
ICONLoop’s core product in the area of blockchain is called Loopchain. It’s a private chain architecture for enterprise and consortium fintech solutions. It already hosts impressive enterprise products, including Chain ID, U-coin, H-sign and more. We will dig deeper into ICONLoop’s solutions in this article.
ICONLoop Progress & Adoption
ICONLoop has succeeded in securing impressive deals and starting ambitious projects in multiple industries. Loopchain currently has existing projects in capital markets, insurance, education, and healthcare industries, as well as a recent project with the Seoul municipal government.
Chain ID — Decentralized Identity Authentication Solution
As early as 2014, the South Korean government has been pushing for the creation of a brand new national identity system for its citizens.
The ID numbers and personal details of an estimated 80% of the country’s 50 million people have been stolen from banks and other targets, say experts. Some 20 million people, including former president Park Geun-hye, have been victims of a data theft from three credit card companies.
Now that the country’s population owns 40 million smartphones, with 85% of South Koreans have access to high-speed networks, the timing is perfect for a new ID authentication solution to be built.
Chain ID is one of the leading solutions for this problem. The ICONLoop team partnered with Raonsecure’s biometric identity standard — FIDO, to build Chain ID, a system for decentralized identity authentification. Currently, Chain ID has already been adopted by 11 of the largest securities companies in Korea. ICONLoop is working closely with the Korean Financial Investment Association (KOFIA) to provide blockchain solutions for 27 major securities firms through the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium.
Source: Spec Rationality
In addition to gaining adoption within capital markets, Chain ID has signed an MOU with Samsung Electronics to incorporate Chain ID in Samsung’s ‘Samsung Pass’ service, indicating a potential for Chain ID to reach hundreds of millions of smartphone users globally.
Insurance Auto-claiming Service
Source: ICON Whitepaper
ICONLoop is partnering with three major players in the ‘Insurance Consortium’ to build a blockchain and IoT service that enables automatic insurance claims payments to policyholders. This solution allows insurance companies and medical organizations to share certified information about insurance, and provide automatic insurance money to hospitalized policyholders. This project is led by ICONLoop as the blockchain provider and LoRaWAN as the IoT network provider. LoRaWAN is the world’s first commercial IoT service, developed by SK Telecom (largest telecom company in Korea), and Samsung Electronics. This project is backed by the National Information Society Agency under the management of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
Currently, the project involves Kyobo Life Insurance, D. Lemon — an insurance technology firm, and One(Won), a hospital medical records service company. Hospitals onboarded include Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Sahmyook Medical Center, and The Catholic University of Korea St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Precision Health Information System (P-HIS)
Source: ICON Whitepaper
Precision Healthcare Information System (P-HIS) is an initiative led by ICONLoop to boost data integrity and promote the exchange of data between leading Korean healthcare institutions. So far, the three components of ICONLoop’s solution include a data integrity solution, a cross-border digital signing system, and a health coin. Currently, the solution is being adopted by the healthcare consortium, which includes:
- Gachon University Gil Hospital
- Pusan National University Hospital
- Daegu Catholic University Med. Centre
- Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Centre
- Konyang University Hospital
- Chosun University Hospital
- Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital
- Korea University Hospital will also take part in ICONLoop’s P-HIS solution.
Its first project, in cooperation with the government and other hospitals, is a cloud-based precision medicine hospital information system that will help with synchronizing databases between hospitals, according to Sangheon Lee, a professor at the hospital.
Source: ICON Whitepaper
U-Coin is a blockchain digital currency for university students at major Korean universities. It will be used for payments of all sorts, including Smart Vending Machines, tuition, scholarships as well as easy payments and transfers systems at schools and in university towns. U-Coin is currently available at three campuses including Sogang University, Korea University and Pohang University of Technology, and at nearby merchants. The project received a grant from the Ministry of Creation and Science in April 2017.
ICONLoop is also discussing the process of building a blockchain campus in more than 20 universities including Postech and Yonsei University.
WeBee Coin — Woori Bank Digital Currency
In August 2017, Woori Bank, one of the top Korean nationwide banks signed an MOU with DAYLI and ICONLoop for the development of a digital currency and trial of a blockchain ID verification solution (Chain ID). The proposed digital currency has been tentatively named WeBee coin. The purpose of WeBee coin will be to serve as a loyalty points system until it fully transitions into a digital currency. Unlike Bitcoin, WeBee coin will be built on a private blockchain (loopchain). However, knowing the ecosystem behind loopchain and ICON, we can speculate that WeBee coin will eventually be integrated with ICON’s public blockchain ecosystem.
Woori Bank plans for this new digital currency to be integrated with WeBee Honey, a loyalty program for Woori Bank’s customers. Later on, there are plans to implement WeBee coin among affiliated stores, universities, and local governments.
In June, Woori Bank conducted a pilot demonstration of WeBee coin in LG Science Park, a campus for eight of LG’s Korean businesses which is currently under construction, due 2022.
Customs Clearance Processing Solution
ICONLoop’s loopchain technology has been chosen to process Korean e-commerce exports and imports. Loopchain will be used to streamline the customs clearance process, from initial order to import declaration by running nodes between e-commerce, shipping and courier companies. This will lower logistics costs and lower the risk of illegal activities.
On May 28th, the Korea Customs Service and eight other organizations including Nomad Connection, Matrix2b, CJ Korea Express, and Lotte Global Logistics signed an MOU with the goal of launching a pilot project by the end of the year. KCS plans to apply blockchain technology to all e-commerce import and expert services shortly after.
Chain Sign is a contract signing platform built by ICONLoop and Cyberdigm, a specialized contract management platform. It is used to reduce the costs of current contract processes, eliminate the lack of trust in notaries, and increase the security behind contract processing. Chain Sign will create legally binding contracts integrated with smart contract technology. It will be used primarily for frequently-repeated contracts such as rent or utility bills, which will be automated through smart contracts and stored on an immutable ledger.
Chain Sign’s current clients include the Korean government’s regulatory authority, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), and Samsung Electronics.
Seoul Blockchain Standard Platform
On August 24th, the ICON foundation released an article explaining ICONLoop’s participation in a new blockchain initiative by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. ICONLoop was chosen to apply its loopchain technology to the Seoul Blockchain Standard Platform, which includes a project for a used car trading system, and a mobile-voting system for Seoul citizens. Additionally, the government is seeking out an identity verification solution for services such as a Korean citizen card, automobile mileage integration, subcontract payment, and more. As of now, loopchain will be the primary blockchain solutions provider for these projects.
Authors: Stan Y.
Editors: Rodney Y.
Note: This report was put together with information available as of September 02, 2018. As more information is released, the content within this article may need significant change.
This report was put together for HX57 ICON Research Week.