After a long time of unrest on the Korean peninsula, both Southern and Northern leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un signed a peace treaty at the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. Marking the unforgettable event, a South Korean developer decided to record the Panmunjom Declaration on the Ethereum blockchain.
Blockchain Record Historic Event
The separation of the two regions followed the end of the three-year-long Korean war, also referred to as the “Liberation War” in the 1950s between the Northern and Southern parts of Korea. During the campaign, the United Nations backed the southern territory, while the Soviet Union and China backed the North. Outright military expeditions ended on July 27, 1953, as the two sides signed an armistice agreement which resulted in the separation of the North and South Korea.
There was no peace treaty signed, however, and media sources have reported that the two sides are in many ways still at war and engaged in a frozen conflict. Despite hotly contested nuclear threats between the United States president Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on the subject, the South Korean president proposed the Nobel Peace Prize for Trump’s efforts to achieve peace.
In January 2018, Jae-In told Reuters that, “[Trump] deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks. It could be a resulting work of the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure.”
To mark the historic occasion, a South Korean developer Ryu Gi-hyeok, leveraged Ethereum’s blockchain to keep a permanent record of the event. The developer intended to safely hold the data up for future reference and also ensure the document couldn’t be edited or deleted as long as the Ethereum blockchain is in existence.
The data is recorded on the 551,596th block and can be viewed by etering the transaction code: “0xe4ee15d3f63db8464a649e3237ed83e930f9b3e40e842537a626745d1c96553c” on the EtherScan platform. Converting the hexadecimal data in the input field displays the declaration in full. Nevertheless, the English version of the same declaration can be accessed using “0xf56d81301da93f71368ad7f8d605648d77be6edb13e8875cf3e5906f38d1b548” as the Txhash ID.
In an interview, Ryu made it known that this idea was brought about by students making use of blockchain technology to avoid the authorities suppressing their activities. The possibilities of an immutable ledger accessible to nearly everyone proves highly-valuable in countries with strict censorship laws.
One such occurrence was the Yue Xin’s story, a student activist, who wrote a letter on April 23, 2018, about how she had received constant harassment by teachers of Peking University in China to “delete all data related to the freedom of information request from [her] phone and computer.” The event also has been stamped on the Ethereum blockchain to fight government censorship.
While the peace talks between North and South Korea is nothing short of remarkable, the induction of blockchain technology in the affair is also notable. The innovation has a home in applications beyond the financial realm, with one such example being to record major events permanently.
In the future, will countries sign treaties on the distributed ledger technology? Share your views in the comments section.