Australian startup ShareRing will provide its blockchain technology to one of Thailand’s two electronic visa system partners enabling millions of tourists to apply securely for a travel visa online.
The Electronic Visa On Arrival (eVOA) supplier to Thailand’s government will use a module of ShareRing’s blockchain, ShareLedger to secure and record sensitive visa information for short-term entrants to the country. The OneID module, says ShareRing, is designed for fast data collection and “agility.”
COO, Rohan Le Page says ShareRing and OneID will deliver a “streamlined immigration process that negates the need for an expensive and time-consuming process,” for travelers to Thailand. Le Page adds:
“Fraud is mitigated with several extra layers of security in the back end including our blockchain (ShareLedger) consensus model that makes all data immutable and all but impossible to hack.”
The government of Thailand introduced eVOAs early in 2019 mostly for tourists from 20 eligible countries. They allow visitors to apply for an entry visa online and to receive their eVOA by email before arrival into Thailand.
ShareRing believes the application of OneID to immigration controls, “some of the most scrutinized in any branch of government,” proves that its technology is “truly business-ready.” And, that the use-case is a sign of real blockchain adoption, resulting in potentially millions of travelers using blockchain.
Thailand saw 38 million tourists in 2018. ShareRing is initially targeting eligible tourists from China and India and estimates that around 2 million Chinese tourists each year require eVOAs. It hopes to gain access to this market as well as a wider blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.
After raising $3.8 million Malta-based startup ShareRing launched its ShareLedger testnet and ShareToken (SHR) in 2018 and went live with its public blockchain in 2019 with a plan to become the blockchain ecosystem for the global rental economy. The company was created by a team of six co-founders including LePage who created a crypto-mining operation in 2015, and CEO Tim Bos a blockchain engineer and former associate director at Barclays Capital.
For a little known blockchain project such an application within a government system, albeit via a technology provider, will be a marked achievement once in use. ShareRing broke the news directly with Decrypt today and we’re waiting to find out exactly when the technology will go live.