Bringing higher education to the blockchain – fast
In under 100 hours, Proxeus created a dApp to issue certificates for the “Bitcoin, Blockchain und Kryptoassets” course run by the University of Basel’s Center of Innovative Finance (CIF) and registering them on Ethereum, making CIF the first institution in Switzerland to use blockchain to secure their academic credentials from fraud.
The solution developed is simplistic, and elegant. Two tools have been created – one that the university staff can use to create the certificate and register it to the blockchain with its unique hash. The second tool is publicly available, allowing anyone to verify that the electronic document has been issued by the university, and that the content is accurate.
Aiming to prove Proxeus’ flexibility and efficiency, this project was started on the Monday morning, and delivered by Thursday. This speed of delivery highlights how Proxeus will revolutionize blockchain-based workflows by eliminating the need for complex coding. It also served as a proof of concept for Proxeus’ blockchain agnostic positioning, using Ethereum instead of Hyperledger, which was employed when Proxeus joined forces with IBM and Swisscom among others to incorporate the first Swiss company using blockchain.
“We are particularly proud of this project,” said cofounder Antoine Verdon. “Proxeus has been intended from the beginning to be easy to use, efficient, and blockchain agnostic. In less than a month, we have deployed two functioning prototypes on two different blockchains – and this one took less than a week to take from concept to completion.”
This first prototype will be used to create certificates of completion for CIF’s blockchain course – but Managing Director of CIF Dr. Fabian Schär believes it’s just a first step towards securing academic credentials with the new technology.
“Fraud is a problem in academia just as it is in any field,” he said. “By registering credentials on an immutable, decentralized ledger, we provide an extra layer of security for graduates and potential employers. These credentials can’t be faked, and can be easily verified online. It will introduce a new paradigm of security and offer value to all parties – employers don’t lose time checking credentials, graduates have an edge, and the institutions themselves reduce their reputational risk and a significant administrative burden.”
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