A recent report from the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has highlighted another use for blockchain that has the potential to be a game-changer.
Blockchain is the transaction verification technology utilised by digital currencies such as Etherium and Bitcoin that are taking the financial sector by storm. Its use in finance is clear, being an incorruptible ledger of all transactions that have taken place with any given cryptocurrency. But how can blockchain be applied to the education sector?
According to the JRC, there are four main advantages to the system:
1. Eliminating the need for paper
Blockhain is a secure and permanent storage solution for all kinds of data. Records can be kept in perpetuity if needed. Awards and certificates can be awarded reliably, and university credits and other learning achievements can be kept track of across a student’s lifetime.
2. The end of centralised education authorities
With blockchain, all diplomas, degrees, and other qualifications will be available and verifiable, which means that people will no longer have to prove to prospective employers that they have their degree, or chase up with their old seats of learning for a copy of their qualifications. Likewise, blockchain could track dissertations, academic publications and so on, which would greatly simplify the management of intellectual property rights.
3. Saving money for educational institutions
All participants in the blockchain will have control and ownership over their personal data, which would result in schools, colleges, and universities being able to reduce their data management costs, as well as avoiding the legal costs that arise from matters of liability regarding student data.
4. The rise of education-specific cryptocurrencies
The natural marriage of finance and education, sealed with a blockchain. Custom digital currencies would simplify how payments are made in educational institutions, and would allow for the instant transfer of funds, as well as allowing the educational centres themselves to benefit from speculation in the market, and offset funding requirements.
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