Students at the high-school level and above in Singapore will from this year receive digital certificates upon graduation. The initiative uses blockchain technology to enable an “easy and reliable way” to prove qualifications through tamper-free certification.
Authenticating An Education
The concept is simple enough. Graduating students receive digital certificates via email, each of which has an embedded cryptographic proof. Schools also add the certificates to an individual’s MySkillsFuture account – an online portal charting career and lifelong learning pathways. A copy also resides on the Ethereum-blockchain-based OpenCerts platform.
When applying for jobs or further studies, students send the digital certificate to the employer or school. Relevant parties can verify the certificate against the copy stored on the blockchain.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung described the initiative as a “tangible example” of the benefits of Singapore’s Smart Nation journey.
With OpenCerts, we are harnessing the power of blockchain in a practical way. It allows for any education institute to issue OpenCerts, and for anyone to quickly check the validity of a digital certificate.
Cutting Through The Paperwork
This should make the job application and hiring process smoother for both the applicant, employer, and issuing institutions.
Students would no longer have to request certified-true copies of certificates from schools. Patrice Choong of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), said that NP issues around 10,000 of these every year. He added that “issuing and verifying certificates was a ‘productivity issue’ that they wanted to deal with.”
In turn, employers could immediately verify digital diplomas as genuine, without having to approach the issuing institution. Mr. Choong says that NP receives around 2,000 such requests per year.
However, he stressed that students would still receive a physical certificate at a graduation ceremony.
Singapore Has Always Been An Asian Jewel
Singapore has been one of the most positive nations when embracing Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology. The Central Bank of Singapore developed a blockchain-based settlement system for tokenized assets, and its sovereign wealth fund is a major investor in US-based exchange, Coinbase.
This latest initiative, however, is the first blockchain-based project rolled out at a national level.
Will this use-case prove to be a useful app for blockchain? Share your thoughts below!
Images via Shutterstock