Blockcerts — An Open Infrastructure for Academic Credentials on the Blockchain | by MIT Media Lab Learning Initiative | MIT MEDIA LAB | Medium

Blockcerts — An Open Infrastructure for Academic Credentials on the Blockchain

What would an academic degree front like if it was designed today ? Or a professional certificate ? These are questions we have been working on over the last year, and we are excited to announce the release of Blockchain Certificates ( Blockcerts ) — an open standard for digital academic certificates on the Bitcoin blockchain. Blockcerts provides a decentralized credentialing system. The Bitcoin blockchain acts as the provider of trust, and credentials are tamper-resistant and verifiable. Blockcerts can be used in the context of academic, professional, and workforce credentialing. Four Blockcerts components :

Issuer — Universities create digital academician certificates that can contain a wide rate of assertions about an person ’ sulfur skills, achievements, or characteristics, and read it on the bitcoin blockchain. Certificate — Certificates are candid badges compliant, which is important, because there is an stallion residential district of open badges issuers that we want to support, and because open badges is becoming an IMS standard. Verifier — Anyone can, without having to rely on the issuer, verify that ( 1 ) a certificate has not been tampered with, that ( 2 ) it was issued by a especial institution, and ( 3 ) issued to a specific exploiter. Wallet — Individuals can safely store their certificates, and plowshare them with others, for exemplar, an employer. The io wallet is available already, and we are looking for partners to develop an Android version. On the stick out home page at http://blockcerts.org you can find reference point implementations for the software components, extensive documentation, and information on how to join the developer community. All of our code is released under the MIT open source license, which means anyone can use it, plowshare it, and develop applications on top of it. If you are matter to in our general think on the subject of credentials and blockchains, please besides read our longer posts ( here, and here ). many of the points we made continue to be relevant to our work. The Importance of an Open Standard At its core, Blockcerts is open. The software is open source and anyone is welcome to join the developer community. merely an open standard allows individuals to remain in full in operate of their own academic history. That is important, because academic certificates are markers of our lives. They can be tickets to a better job or education, and we can use them to tell a story about who we are and how we have become that person.

And being assailable enables us to bootstrap a new ecosystem for digital academic credentials, by allowing other collaborators to take co-ownership. Through collaborating around an open standard, we can help to insure an interoperable credentialing ecosystem. The Bitcoin blockchain is even a relatively newly engineering and its complexity and immutability make it significant to carefully consider the long-run effects that little design decisions can have. Letting others review and lend will make Blockcerts more robust and dependable. Next Steps — Get Involved We are hoping to establish Blockcerts as the unfold standard for issue, sharing, and verifying digital academic credentials. To this end, we are looking for organizations to deploy the code, to build applications on top of it, and to join our developer community . Developers can start participating in the github repository or request an invitation to the slack community to ask ( and answer ) questions and plowshare best practices. Universities, colleges, and workforce training providers can start issuing digital and confirmable credentials to their students. Blockcerts can be used to issue any kind of digital credentials, including professional certificates, transcripts, credits, or degrees. Employers can start verifying incoming certificates. They can use the reference point execution to create their own verification services in-house ( or wait for trust third-party verifiers to emerge ). And they can start requesting Blockcerts compliant certificates from universities to streamline the rent processes. Education technology companies can start developing applications on top of the Blockcerts standard. Two areas where we expect to see a draw of invention are verification services that connect into existing bequest systems, and issuer identity services that link blockchain addresses to institutions. For universities interested in blockchain research, there is an extra benefit. Our code is quick to deploy and well-documented, and provides a good direction to get started with Bitcoin blockchain application development.

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More information can be found on the hypertext transfer protocol : //blockcerts.org home page. About Blockcerts Blockcerts started as a inquiry stick out at the MIT Media Lab, led by Philipp Schmidt and Juliana Nazare ( with aid from many others, including Guy Zyskind and Jeremy Rubin ), and we were fortunate to find a group of fantastic collaborators in Learning Machine, an education technology company with an office in Cambridge, MA. Kim Hamilton has been the technology moderate and release director for the core software and standard, and Chris Downie developed the io wallet reference implementation. Chris Jagers and Dan Hughes, have been instrumental in thinking through the broader implications of an open standard for academic documentation .

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