Tech specialist ICONLOOP says its ‘Simple Authentication’ system will work via SBI Savings Bank's mobile banking apps to enable users to verify blockchain based PIN or fingerprint access without the need for further security steps. Photo: Reuters

South Korea’s premier blockchain company on Monday announced a collaboration with one of the region’s largest banks that will work to apply the technology to making personal authentication services more secure.

In a world increasingly plagued by cybercrime and personal identity theft, digital authentication has become a key element of online security, especially when it comes to banking. Seoul headquartered SBI Savings Bank has launched the country’s first blockchain-based authentication service powered by technology from South Korea-based blockchain developer ICONLOOP.

The company is also behind the ICON blockchain platform. ICON says it has signed more than 100 business partnerships with major South Korean industrial and financial companies in the last year alone.

ICONLOOP says its ‘SBI Simple Authentication’ will work via SBI Savings Bank’s mobile banking apps and will enable users to verify blockchain-based PIN or fingerprint access without the need for further security steps, such as one time passwords (OTP) or security cards.

A smart contract environment called SCORE, that has also been developed by ICONLOOP, will be used to authenticate the integrity of the data. This, says ICONLOOP, will simplify the process as it eliminates the need of third-party certification authorities.

Using private and public cryptographic keys, the same technology that underlies blockchain and crypto-currency transactions, the system says it will establish a “safe user authentication system” which, says ICONLOOP, fits with current banking industry security protocols.

It also claims that because of blockchain’s system of timestamps and its supposedly immutable and tamper-proof structure, the platform can guarantee a higher level of security than existing methods of personal identity verification.

The tech provider, which also has close ties with several South Korean government projects such as voting platforms and blockchain-based citizen ID systems, has been working with SBI Savings Bank since November last year.

CEO Jonghyup Kim added that the new system has ‘the opportunity to be a leading solution in financial markets to enhance both convenience and safety by applying blockchain to services that are actually being used.’

An ICON network roadmap published last week highlights all of the platform’s other technological developments, which includes a decentralized exchange and a decentralized application platform. 

ICON also has its own digital token, ICX, which has not been faring well in the current crypto bear market. From an all-time high of about $12, it fell to as low as $0.33 earlier this year and has shown little sign of any real recovery, unlike some of its competitors. Monday’s announcement did give the token a small boost that saw it raise by about 5% to trade at almost $0.35. 

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