The main advantages of the blockchain:
1. Information of each block chain is available to everyone, but no one can change it without having private keys.
2. During the interchange of data, the assistance of an intermediary is not required. Transactions are verified by all participants of the system.
3. The financial flow is not controlled by a separate body. Verification of the transaction is carried out through all recorded blocks of the chain.
Future education systems: is there a place for blockchain?
The blockchain database is integrated not only for financial transactions and cryptocurrency exchange platform but also for document flow. This feature can be realized on the basis of the Bitcoin node and the op_return function. This approach was suggested by Philipp Schmidt with colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The principle of this method is to add information to each transaction. For example, you can add a certificate to a transaction and define a hash using SHA256. After 5 confirmations, it is recorded in the blockchain. Although, at the moment, the approach of Philipp Schmidt is not optimal, because the op_return function has limitations of the amount of data. That`s why the team of Philipp Schmidt has developed blockcerts platform that will allow to confirm certificates using the blockchain. As you can see, in order to improve the education system, today we have to start blockchain integration.
With the help of blockchain, it is possible to avoid manipulations with certificates, diplomas, scientific works, articles. For the scientific community, researchers, and even common students, this is a great opportunity to save and safely share the works of authorship, to learn about the current developments, even in the niche specialization. The technology allows monitoring changes and authors of these changes. In such a way, you can ascertain the identity of the author and increase the level of responsibility.
The pioneer from the scientific community
For the first time, the blockchain system in the education branch was officially applied in 2017. It was the University of Nicosia (Cyprus), which decided to modernize and simplify the process of searching and storing any documents about specialization (diploma, certificate, scientific work) in such a way.
It was the first university that accepted Bitcoin cryptocurrency for learning fee. The university opened MOOC (Massive open online courses), which are accessible for distance learning for students from more than 83 countries.
By the receiving of diploma, you cannot be doubtful of its meaning. The University of Nicosia is a member of the EUA (European University Association). Both diplomas and certificates of educational institutions are authentic and recognized in any country.
Having declared itself only positive, the blockchain is also relevant for other universities. Recently, Open University (UK), an educational institution Sony, Institute of Technology (Massachusetts) began to use the blockchain.
Some companies have faced a problem of the authenticity of certificates and diplomas. This is especially relevant for top positions, where the level of education is a key indicator when choosing a candidate. For example, in 2012, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was fired for his cheating. He brought in fake information about diploma of the college. Scott has worked for a couple of months when the activist shareholder group Third Point found out the data. This scandal shows that verification of future candidates requires detailed verification. But there is another problem. As a rule, acknowledgment request for a diploma lasts a couple of weeks. This significantly hinders the rapid search for new employees. Blockchain makes it possible to solve this problem in the future.
It is worth noting that the blockchain is used not only as a database. Only due to the unique opportunities and transparency of operations, the traditional education system can be reorganized. Online learning will be in line with the standard intramural and extramural education.
For example, one can complete MOOC from across the world and receives a real diploma that meets international standards when successfully passing exams.
Advantages over traditional education:
1. Cheap cost of educating in comparison with intramural education.
2. Great choice for single disciplines with the best professors and doctors.
3. Independent selection of a combination of the studied subjects, choosing learning strategies based on own requirements/wishes.
4. Direct contact between teacher and student, which will significantly increase the effectiveness of the process of knowledge acquiring.
Danger for corrupt institutions
As you know, the main financial flows pass through popular universities. Not always, the quality of education corresponds to the declared status of the institution. Moreover, there are still bribes and collusion.
The blockchain is able to reorganize the hierarchy of pseudoscientific works, and other moments, that are unacceptable for a high-quality education system.
• With the help of decentralized storage and common information accessibility, it will be possible to track each diploma, authenticate it.
• Students will independently choose a qualified teacher, which will significantly reduce the level of academic incompetence.
• Professors will also benefit, because they will be able to receive fair percent from lectures and seminars they held, regardless of a fixed university compensation.
One of the successful examples of such work is the ODEM platform (On-Demand Education Marketplace). This is the unique startup that represents the educational services market. Students apply for a certain course. They are offered to take a course from one of the famous teachers for a fee. For such a “collaboration”, it is not necessary to head to one or another university officially. More details about the revolutionary platform can be found in an interview with Richard Maaghul.
ODEM uses Ethereum-based smart contracts for integration of the blockchain. This unique opportunity allows building a transparent relationship between teacher and student. All cooperation conditions are recorded from a smart contract and are fulfilled automatically.
Briefly, a smart contract is like a common paper contract. For example, one of its points will be so: at the close of the course, the student is obliged to pay $1000. If a controversy arose, you need to apply to the court and spend money on a lawyer. A smart contract provides similar conditions. For example, after attending 10 lectures, an amount equal to $1000 will be charged off. This condition is coded in the program and the money transfer will be carried out automatically. Thus, there are no additional expenses and conditions become as transparent as possible.
Here you can check out an example of a smart contract that was developed by our team.
Globalization cannot be avoided