Opinion

Certifying & Authenticating Education with Blockchains

Did you know that the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) is currently taking action on 11 “universities” for selling fraudulent degrees? There’s even a syndicate in Petaling Jaya offering fake certificates from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and SEGi College. With a real degree often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete, it’s really no surprise that this incredibly valuable piece of paper is such an alluring commodity ripe for fraud.

This is why the first “public” PoC (Proof of Concept) conducted by the Blockchain Embassy was focused upon using distributed technology to improve the authentication of certifications. A quick search on our Flipboard magazine shows that we are not the first to explore this use-case. In fact, since the US produces more fraudulent PhDs a year than legitimate ones, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has recently started utilizing blockchain technology to help verify and authenticate their certificates too.

Since education remains the principal purpose of the Blockchain Embassy, it was only natural that the first collaborative project between two of its consortium members (REDmoney and R1) resulted in the development of the BloqCert initiative.

REDmoney are the leading providers of Islamic Financial news, events and training in Asia. For one particular workshop that they offer – the Blockchain MasterClass – they have also started experimenting with integrating their physical certificates with tamper proof digital representations that are using public blockchains to store and verify the authenticity of certificate ownership.

The blockchain infrastructure is provided by R1 – and their Cortex platform, which enabled the working group to rapidly develop a viable prototype that quickly graduated to private beta testing during the most recently conducted REDmoney MasterClass.

The BloqCert interface currently features the following functionality:

  • Most importantly, it is compatible with multiple blockchains
  • It is 100% blockchain based – so does not require a database
  • Ability for institutions to add and manage courses, teachers and students
  • Create and deploy digital certificates with open tools for verifying authenticity
  • Can also store hashed copies of physical certificates on the blockchains

If you are involved within the education industry – or one that relies upon certificates and would like to explore how this protocol could be adopted – please contact us for more information. 

Mark is a VC INSIDER NEWS columnist. Mark, together with the team at Blockchain Embassy Asia, works to educate and promote blockchain governance as a method for collaboration between organisations, entities and existing communities across Asia. 

 

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