MIT is Now Issuing Diplomas Using Blockchain Technology

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“MIT has issued official records in a format that can exist even if the institution goes away, even if we go away as a vendor. People can own and use their official records, which is a fundamental shift.”

– Chris Jagers, CEO at Learning Machine

Highlights from Today’s Story:

  • Blockchain became prominent due to its key role in the cryptocurrency boom.
  • Now the technology is making huge differences in all kinds of different applications.
  • MIT implemented a pilot program this summer in which 111 graduates received their credentials via a specially developed app.
    • The app is called Blockerts Wallet, and it was developed by Learning Machine in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office at MIT.
  • Blockchain technology is used to give graduates easy access to verifiable, tamper-proof versions of diplomas, that they can then go and share with potential employers.
  • Blockerts Wallet uses the same implementation of blockchain as Bitcoin in order to verify the legitimacy of a given student’s credentials.
  • When a student downloads the app, a pair of public and private keys are generated, and a one-way hash is added to the blockchain. The student’s public key is inscribed into the digital copy of the diploma, and Blockerts Wallet has access to the private key in order to prove ownership.
  • If someone wants to check if the diploma is legitimate, they can access a web portal where they can paste a link or upload the digital file and confirm the identity of the owner, both instantaneously, and free of charge.
  • Other potential ways that blockchain could be leveraged in the future include:
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating ways that blockchain could be used to handle the fallout from major epidemics.
    • Airline companies are looking into using a digital ledger to keep track of maintenance and repairs around the globe.
    • The media industry could be redefined if blockchain were used to approve access to content for paying customers.
    • China is looking into whether or not blockchain could be used to collect taxes.

Is blockchain technology worth the hype? Sound off in the comments below!

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