“Blockchain: the Key to Improving the Usability of Electronic Contracts”

DTT Alliance’s Jae Shin and Advisor Jong-hwan Kim Interview
“DTT Alliance platform launched – distributing electronic contracts via blockchain”
“Continuous effort to convert paper documents to electronic contracts”
Striving to overcome limitations of existing storages with “formation of transparent distribution network”

“Many businesses are fighting for control of the electronic document market. However, they are doing so in an environment that lacks a proper infrastructure for the distribution of diverse electronic documents. This is why so few people are making proper use of them. This problem can be solved with blockchain.” This is the answer of DTT Alliance’s Secretary-General Jae Shin and BLOCKO advisor Jong-hwan Kim to the question of whether blockchain alone could be used to secure a competitive edge in the electronic document market over competitors such as fintech, telecommunications and traditional financial institutions.

(From left) Jong-hwan Kim, blocko advisor and Jae Shin, blocko global marketing director


With the spread of digital transformation due to the rise of the COVID pandemic, the demand for electronic documents is increasing. However, it has been pointed out that the Certified e-Document Authority, which stores electronic documents, has been under-utilized due to technical and cost-related limitations. The Certified e-Document Authority is a trusted third-party organization designated by the government to safely store electronic documents and certify their content and transmission at the request of others such as corporations, banks and credit card companies.

In order to solve the problem of storage and respond to increasing demand, operators with mass consumer accessibility, such as Kakao Pay and Naver Pay, have emerged as intermediaries. However, electronic documents remain unpopular among customers. This is because the range of legally supported electronic documents is still limited.

Electronic documents are easy to forge or falsify and there is a high possibility of them being lost due to server errors or physical damages. It is in this context that Kakao Pay and Naver Pay have stepped up as intermediaries. But there are concerns that confidential company information and customer information could be passed on to these companies. No company involvement is truly welcome. This is the basis for the persisting argument that blockchain technology, due to its secureness, reliability and decentralized nature, is a better alternative for electronic documents.


“E-document distribution combined with blockchain = improved synergy”

DTT Alliance was launched to solve these chronic problems by use of blockchain. With BLOCKO at the center, the Alliance consists of more than 20 Korean and foreign corporates, including CJ OliveNetworks, Lotte Data Communication, Daebo Communication & Systems Corporation, Hyundai AutoEver and Hyundai AutoEver. The Alliance provides businesses with an environment for exchanging and verifying electronic data such as electronic documents. It also enables mutual monitoring. The goal is to overcome the limitations of the existing Certified e-Document Authority and certified documents brokers.

The DTT Alliance Secretary-General said, “Without blockchain, the electronic document market would have been dominated by large companies like past payment markets. This kind of problem can be solved with blockchain technology, which facilitates decentralization. Blockchain can create a market in which everyone can participate democratically rather than a market in which only the large corporations win.”

The problem of forgery and falsification of electronic documents can also be solved with blockchain. According to the Secretary-General’s explanation, “DTT Alliance solves such problems by using ‘blockchain TSA’, which acts as a time stamp. TSA is a blockchain technology that automatically records data creation, modification and utilization. It is used to detect forgery and falsification and recognize the use of documents by third-party organizations.”

Suppose, for example, that an electronic document needs to be electronically stamped. With the use of TSA, any forgery or falsification of electronic documents can be easily detected and external parties can reliably confirm the authenticity of electronic documents.


“Providing Equal Authority with Blockchain”

The launch of DTT Alliance isn’t enough to solve all the problems of the existing electronic document market. The Secretary-General believes that for this to be achieved, the technological maturity of the domestic electronic document market needs to be consolidated first. Hence, the current plan is to focus on the necessary task of standardizing blockchain TSA for the distribution of electronic documents. Action will also be taken to ensure that data recorded on the blockchain is recognized on the same level as information stored in authorized electronic document storages under the government’s revision of the enforcement ordinance of the Electronic Documents Act.

The Secretary-General announced that, “”After laying the groundwork for the use of electronic documents, we will use DTT TSA in various data verification processes such as finance, public, My Data, and medical record management.”

He continued, “The biggest challenge is persuading existing electronic document companies and large companies that are pessimistic about joining the alliance.”

For this reason, DTT Alliance has allowed participating companies to jointly verify and utilize data. The General-Secretary explained, “Some large companies are hesitant to join the Alliance because of concerns that they may lose their authority. However, the structure of the Alliance does not allow any one body to dominate. The Alliance aims to create a win-win situation for all enterprises by establishing a standard and creating an electronic document distribution infrastructure.”

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