Last week there was some news on Seoul implementing blockchain-based technology to its citizen cards, which came from Cointelegraph and The Block publications. While this news is great and of interest to the ICON community, in this post we’ll clarify whether the ICON public chain is being used for the implementation of citizens cards within Seoul.

Seoul to Implement Blockchain-based Technology to its Citizen Cards

As originally reported on Cointelegraph, on May 20, 2019, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon told attendees at the Korea Future Forum 2019 & Blockchain Tech Show that the city is embracing and has achieved a lot in terms of developments in blockchain-based technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Mayor Park Won-soon has also commented on blockchain’s major value in storing data, claiming that the value of data “has become even more important than ever”. More so, he also stated that Seoul has already provided blockchain-enabled administrative services, including but not limited to, mobile e-voting and car sales.

However, there seems to be some confusion around a certain statement that has led to wide speculation on ICON’s public chain being used for Seoul’s implementation of blockchain-based technology for their citizen cards.

“The city of Seoul will implement blockchain in collecting urban and administrative data to enable new services such as integrated authentication system of citizen cards, as well as tools for easy access to various administrative services”.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon

The statement above has led many members in the ICON community to speculate that ICON’s public chain is being used, construing it as “Seoul to launch blockchain-based citizen card utilizing ICX smart contract platform”. Additionally, a tweet from Ricky Dodds, who serves as Head of Institutional Markets at the ICON Foundation also further cemented confusion around this matter. However, this is untrue and will only lead to more confusion.

ICON’s Response and ICONLOOP’s Relationship to ICON

Min Kim, the Founder of ICON, posted a tweet clarifying ICON’s relationship to the recent press release.

So, according to Min, Seoul’s implementation of blockchain-based technology to its citizen cards will take place on ICONLOOP’s loopchain, which is the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s standard blockchain platform “for all current and future applications”.

In layman’s terms, the blockchain Digital Certification (ID), by itself, doesn’t make use of ICX, or ICON’s public blockchain. In the future, there could be applications of the ID which will make use of ICX and ICON’s public chain, but, it remains to be seen yet. Furthermore, ICONLOOP is the private chain implementation of loopchain, which powers ICX. ICONLOOP private chains don’t use ICX, but ICON serves as the point in which if they have to communicate with another chain, ICON will be able to connect them together through interoperability.

To further illustrate this relationship, think of ICON as building the roads, which connect to cities. ICONLOOP, comprises of the cities which need to connect to the roads (ICON). It’s pointless if there are no cities for ICON to connect to. Thanks to Min’s recent response, we know the Seoul Metropolitan Government are mandated to use ICONLOOP’s loopchain-based blockchains. When it comes time to connect to private chains, ICON is the only public loopchain-based blockchain that is capable of true interoperability.


Hopefully, this post helps clarify some of the confusion behind Seoul Mayor, Park Won-soon’s recent statements at the KFF 2019 & Blockchain Tech Show, regarding Seoul’s plans to use blockchain-based technology in its citizen cards.