Fake college diplomas and other credentials are a huge problem in this age of professional-grade copying and printing services. However one smart contracts startup says it’s another use-case opportunity for the blockchain.
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Use the Blockchain, Not Your Own Database
Singapore-based Attores says it has the technology to allow training companies and educational institutions to issue their certificates and diplomas using the Ethereum public blockchain.
Once registered there, graduates have a transparent and publicly-available record of their accomplishment.
Attores CEO David Moskowitz said his company came up with the idea after hearing of problems with job applicants presenting fraudulent diplomas. In fact, several of these cases came from applicants to high-profile and government positions.
From there, they also checked with some private training companies to investigate the blockchain solution’s value to them.
“There are multiple benefits to the training company, reduce costs associated with issuing, storing records and retrieval. Another benefit is the marketing part, when students publicly display the certificate and others can then trace it back to the issuer. It has a very good viral coefficient.”
With professional-grade copying and document production technology available at ever-lowering costs, fake credentials are becoming a serious issue. Even if you can’t produce one yourself, there are hundreds of online services happy to do it for you.
HR departments have described their headaches with fake diplomas for over a decade. It’s apparently a particular problem in countries like India.
Cut Costs as Well as Fake Certificates
As well as reducing fraud, Attores’ system also cuts costs. Issuing and storing certificates alone can cost an institution up to $40. And that’s without ever having to verify its existence. Doing that costs time and money for the not only the institutions themselves but also HR departments and lawyers.
Moskowitz estimates registing credentials on a blockchain instead of on traditional database systems produces a 75% cost saving overall.
This video explains how it works:
Advocacy Group Will Use the Tech for Blockchain Courses
Attores’ technology already has one user. Singapore’s cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy group ACCESS will register graduates of its monthly blockchain introductory training courses. Moskowitz hopes this real-life showcase will convince more established educational institutions to sign on.
ACCESS chairman Anson Zeall said the course’s students are enthusiastic to get their certificates this way.
“If they still want a physical certificate they can print them. They can also place it on their Linkedin profile. Anyone can then verify that the certificate was issued by ACCESS and the student completed the course.”
Attores says it’s investigating other uses for blockchain authentication, including marine cargo tracking and everyday digital signing. “Although there seems to be a lot of hype around blockchain, there seems to be some real use cases emerging,” Moskowitz said.
Do you think this is a novel and practical use for blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Pixabay, LinkedIn
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