MIT’s Blockchain Project to Verify College Degrees

Note from the CEO:  We at FintekNews just did a program with MIT (in fact, still winding it up) so it would be remiss of us not to feature this. A tamper proof blockchain would provide a great decentralized academic credentialing system. Think verifiable resumes, academic history and the like. Super thoughts. No more “I graduated from Harvard Law in 1975” folks.

“Blockcerts, an open infrastructure for academic credentials on the Bitcoin blockchain, announced its launch October 24, which is the result of 12 months of effort to update academic and professional accreditations in line with 21st-century technology.

With the Bitcoin blockchain providing a tamper-proof, verifiable record of academic or professional achievement, Blockcerts is decentralizing the credentialing system and was brought to life as a research project by the MIT Media Lab, led by Philipp Schmidt and Juliana Nazare. The first version of the code was released June 2, 2016, and now the team has improved on it significantly, releasing it to the public so applications can be built on top of the Blockcerts infrastructure.
The current system for managing certificates is slow and complicated, due to its mostly analog nature, and this is one reason why degree fraud is a real issue. By digitizing certificates using Bitcoin, credentials will be more transferable and verifiable, reducing distortion in the labor market. ‘Job signaling’ is a concept introduced by economist Michael Spence, arguing that the costs in terms of money and effort embodied in years of education can serve as a signal to employers that the individual is high ability or hard-working.

However, in recent years, the instances of fraud and counterfeit degrees have introduced distortion into the signaling process. Even the MIT Admissions office has been fooled, whereby its Dean did not actually have the undergraduate degree that she declared in her application…….”

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