Challenges in the Education Industry
education industry suffers from serious credential management challenges.
understand what they entail, put yourself in the shoes of an employer reviewing
a job applicant’s file. The employer has little means of verifying that the
applicant graduated from the academic institution they claim to have attended,
because there is no central database of names and degrees where this
information can be verified.
employer could request copies of academic transcripts, of course. If a
transcript is authentic, it can serve as proof of an individual’s academic
record. But transcripts are not very reliable. They can be lost, forged or
contain erroneous information. So, too, can diplomas.
result, employers have to take an applicant’s word for it that the transcript they
submit is authentic, since in most cases they cannot request transcripts directly from an institution.
Plus, even if they could obtain them directly, doing so for each applicant
would be time consuming and inefficient.
test scores, extracurricular activities and so on is just as difficult. There
is no publicly accessible, central database where this information can be
cause of all of these issues is that educational credentials are not recorded
in a systematic, reliable or transparent way. Verifying the authenticity of
educational records — if you can locate the records at all — is a
time-consuming and error-prone process.
Improving Education Credential Management With the Blockchain
where blockchain technology can help to improve the education industry. By
storing academic records in a decentralized blockchain database, academic
institutions can achieve a credential management system that is:
- Fraud-resistant. Once data is written to the
blockchain, no one can change it without the consent of the entire
blockchain. Fraudulent modification of data such as grades or graduation
dates is virtually impossible if the data is stored on the blockchain.
- Durable. Academic records that are maintained
by a university or college on a centralized database could be lost in the
event that the host server breaks or the institution decides to erase the
data. On the blockchain, however, the data exists indefinitely and is
distributed across a large number of nodes. It can’t be deleted, and the
disappearance of a single node or host server would not lead to data loss.
and accessible. Data
stored on a public blockchain can be instantly accessed by anyone, from
anywhere. By moving educational credentials to the blockchain, an
individual’s academic background could be verified instantaneously. In
addition, software tools could be created to look up education records
automatically on the blockchain. This would make the verification process
much more efficient than submitting manual requests to an institution each
time a record needs to be obtained.
Learning From the University of Nicosia
of blockchain technology in education is not just theoretical. Institutions
such as the University of Nicosia are already leveraging it to record
year, the Cyprus-based university announced that it will now publish diplomas
for all students on the Bitcoin blockchain. The
announcement follows a trial program that the university launched in the spring
of 2014, when it started publishing academic certificates on the blockchain. A
year later, it began experimenting with blockchain-based diplomas.
publishing the diplomas of all future graduates on the blockchain, the
University of Nicosia ensures that its alumni’s graduation records will remain
permanently available and accessible to anyone needing to confirm them.
University of Nicosia is not the only organization leveraging the blockchain as
a solution for credential management. Projects like BadgeChain are developing similar
solutions for managing credentials in the education industry and beyond.
provides a solution for managing documents on the blockchain, could also be
leveraged for storing education records — as well as other types of data that are
important in the academic world, such as research papers.
blockchain technology offers a much more efficient and reliable solution for
storing credentials, and provides a foundation for solving long-standing
credential management challenges within the education industry.