Blockchain #226 oktober 2017
Part 2: The training certificates and diplomas case
Education and knowledge is often measured with the training certificates and diplomas you can show during job interviews. But think about the many certificates with limited validity used in many industries nowadays, like in safety, first aid, compliance. How do you know for certain someone's certificate is real and has not expired?
Central public storage
Imagine the certificate is stored in a central deposit, take for instance the public ledger of a blockchain. Now the information about the ownership, validity and authenticity of the certificate or diploma is openly accessible.
The advantage is obvious, you no longer have to take your precious single paper version with you to your interview, but more importantly, to the interviewer the authenticity and ownership of this certificate or diploma is indisputable.
Especially in situations where having the right certificates is not only mandatory, but life threatening if access would be granted to people with insufficient training. Take the gas and oil industry for instance, people are only brought by helicopter to the offshore platform if they can show valid certificates at entrance.
Above video clip is an easy to grasp introduction to Blockchain. Also this article of Invest in Blockchain gives a clear introduction to the technique of blockchain.
The creation of certificates in the blockchain is guarded with smart contracts. These small automated business rules implemented in the core of the blockchain safeguard the correctness of all information stored in the blockchain.
Such smart contracts allow additions to the blockchain only by certified authorities. In the case of training certificates and diplomas this would be the training instructor who determined the trainee to be qualified for the certification.
A good comparison is Everledger, where records of jewellery can only be added to the blockchain by certified jewellers, able to categorize every piece of jewellery in a unique way. And such to ascertain that any contribution to the blockchain aligns with the purpose of the blockchain.
Ownership and privacy
Since information is stored in a central public blockchain, the security of the data and the privacy of the owner must be guaranteed. With blockchain this is done by using RSA technology, only the owner of the diploma or training certificate is able to access the secured data contained in the blockchain.
In other words, only with the consent of the legitimate owner of the information, the privacy sensitive part of the information can be read by others. So, the applicant is able to give the interviewer access to this information.
This article in Forbes shows the need for indisputable digital diplomas, as a measure against forgery of diplomas.
Verifying the authenticity
The reader of the information, having consent from the owner to read the information, is able to verify the authenticity of the data. In our example, the interviewer can check whether the diploma or training certificate is authentic and valid, but also whether the applicant is indeed the true owner having passed the certification or exam.
As this MIT article shows, Massachusetts Institute of Technology started using blockchain technology for issuing digital diplomas. This summer as part of a pilot, graduated students received their digital diploma stored in the blockchain on their mobile phones. They used an open standard called Blockcerts.
How would this work?
Imagine you apply for this safety training. After learning your theory, you go for the final exam. The trainer is testing your skills and evaluates your responses to all kinds of potential dangers. Maybe you make some mistakes, but in the end the trainer is satisfied you are properly skilled.
Using your mobile app, you exchange your unique identity with the trainer, who uses this to record your training certificate in the blockchain. The trainer is using his own trainer app, which contains his personal security certificate. Combined with your identity and the specifics of the training, the blockchain entry is created and added to the chain.
At your interview, you obtain the interviewer identity, using your mobile app in combination with the mobile app of the interviewer. With your mobile app, you give consent to the interviewer to view your diploma, which now is made available to the interviewer on his mobile app. The mobile app of the interviewer checks the validity of the diploma.
In the background of this exchange of information, the blockchain is used to store, distribute and safeguard the information. Due to the openness of the blockchain, the information is available globally. And the smart contracts make sure all information contained in the blockchain is valid and correct.
How to proceed?
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In this process co-operation is the ultimate success factor. In between concept and launch several different cultures have to be bridged. In this area, we provide guiding and training aiding a successful investment.
Combined with Convidad's agile software development approach the risk of investments is reduced and return on investment increased.
Blockchain, a bubble or must have? Today, many articles publish the use of blockchain for cryptocurrencies, storing transactions or keeping track of ownership, or a combination of all. Is blockchain indeed a high-tech must-have? Or is everyone entering the blockchain for no other reason than being innovative?