The global education system is primed to become an industry where blockchain technology creates a monumental impact. At the center of this, stand ARK and BCdiploma.
Over the last few months, ARK has been working closely with the team at BCdiploma. BCdiploma develops a turnkey application for higher education institutions and their graduates, automating the issuance of diplomas and certificates. BCdiploma provides the graduate with a unique URL so that throughout life, the authenticity can be proven via an immutable blockchain ledger. While BCdiploma is currently working with over 50 educational institutions and employs Ethereum for their solution, they have been working with ARK technology as well for specific applications of their solution.
On February 6th, 2020, representatives from both ARK and BCdiploma attended a recent workshop hosted by the University of Lille to demonstrate blockchain technology
The event started with a presentation from the University of Lille. The University of Lille emphasized the importance of blockchain technology and said that in terms of education:
Blockchain technology allows individuals to securely share some of the most important accomplishments in their life. Whether its the issuance of diplomas, certificates, transcripts, or continuing education credits, blockchain can fundamentally improve the current education system in profound ways.
Technical Day with Education Sector Leaders
The University of Lille initially organized the event and had gathered some of the top higher education players in the area. Among the participants, both remotely and in-person, were RENATER, CANOPE, France Éducation International, CRI-Paris, Erasmus + France Agency, University of Grenoble-Alpes, University of Lorraine, La Catho Lille, Polytechnic University of Hauts de France, EM Lyon, University of Burgundy, University of Nantes, INRIA, CEA.
Previously, this consortium of higher education players rejected technical demonstrations from blockchain solutions running on energy-consuming blockchains. ARK’s Delegated Proof of Stake model meets the requirements and needs of the working group. The ultimate goal of this consortium is to run a blockchain-based on ARK technology, with BCdiploma being the first turnkey application for the issuance of diplomas.
After The University of Lille’s presentation, the rest of the day continued with presentations from ARK and BCdiploma. After discussions with the attendees, the afternoon session involved two parallel sessions. The first session included the installation of an ARK node with a general technical Q&A. The second session revolved around the registration of BCdiploma and a demonstration on how to certify data on the ARK Testnet.
The team at ARK was incredibly happy to take part in this event and collaborate with BCdiploma. The positive responses from the event show that ARK’s simple and secure approach to leveraging blockchain technology will be one of the key solutions in the industry for years to come.
Closing Remarks: Blockchain and Education
The benefits of blockchain technology in the education sector are vast. The use of blockchain tech can greatly reduce administrative costs, accelerate the end of paper-based diplomas, and provide a system that promotes security and immutable records.
While France is paving the way for the use of blockchain technology at the university level, the European Union as a whole is looking towards blockchain as a solution to modern-day problems in education. Currently, educational organizations issue certificates in either paper format or electronic format via public key infrastructures. Using public key infrastructure as a means to issue certificates is costly, vulnerable to bad actors, and challenging to maintain over time. By moving to a system built on blockchain technology, certificates can be permanently stored in a secure manner. In addition, universities will not be required to allocate further resources in confirming the validity of an issued certificate to third parties since they can be verified directly on a blockchain.
BCdiploma is in a unique position among the French educational sector and, in fact, in a unique position across Europe. The recent demonstration at the University of Lille’s technical day showcased a strong use case for issuing certificates that are secure, immutable and cost-effective. Built with ARK technology emphasizing simplicity, security, and speed, the future looks bright.