As South Korea battles bedbug infestation, authorities are exploring a range of methods to rein in the problem with one engineer turning to blockchain technology for a solution.

South Korea-based Kang Jae-gu is utilizing blockchain to map bedbug infestations across the country, according to a Phys.org report. As infestation reports soared, Kang launched an interactive map for citizens to track infestation cases in real-time based on blockchain.

Kang’s offering relies on data from official reports made by residents and news stories on the issue. The interactive map, accessible at bedbugboard.com, allows visitors to see detailed reports on bedbug infestations by region while providing other information on preventive measures for affected individuals to take.

To avoid spooking visitors with images of bedbugs, the website relies on olive green indicators to represent incidents, providing detailed comparisons and trend charts. The website also features a nifty tool for users to report infestations or make applications for quarantine.

Kang’s website now receives over 50,000 visitors per day, rising as the number of reported outbreaks grow.

Data from Kang’s website indicates that areas most affected by the infestation are areas filled with small, cheap housing units lacking proper bathrooms and kitchens. Measuring under five square meters, the housing units called “goshiwon” have been the hardest hit by the infestation with a cross-section of citizens pointing accusing fingers at foreign travelers for the surge in cases.

While Kang’s efforts provide visitors with a stark reality of the grim statistics, South Korean authorities have swung into action with several initiatives. Authorities at the Incheon International Airport plan to install high-temperature steam heaters to exterminate the bedbugs before entry into the country.

Authorities in the capital city of Seoul have also approved the use of a powerful range of insecticides in homes against the infestation. Seoul’s administrators have also earmarked $500,000 for residents in the fight against the blood-sucking critters.

“The city of Seoul defines the inconvenience and concern of citizens caused by bedbugs as a significant public health issue,” said Park Yu-mi, an official with the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

An expanding range of use cases

While not being employed in the fight against bed bugs, blockchain has seen action in other fields including finance, manufacturing, security, and real estate.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has turned to blockchain to deliver
humanitarian aid to refugees, encouraging efficiency while protecting the personal data of beneficiaries. In India, blockchain has made its debut in criminal investigations with administrators banking on the perks of immutability and transparency to ensure accuracy.

Blockchain’s ubiquity has seen it leave footprints in environmental sustainability, supply chain, education, and health sectors in combination with other emerging technologies.

Watch: Blockchain tech will make gov’t more efficient and accessible

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New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.

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