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Blockchain Digital Certificates for Universities

17/January/2019
Fake certificates is a major concern in the current world. People can easily access fake certificates of major universities very easily. One can easily find several such online services via simply surfing the internet. One will find endless agencies offering fake certifications, credentials and more. The people often take the help of these forged certificates for pursuing their education or for conducting their works. But the sad part is they often get into wrong titles. 

The universities have been facing this issue long since with the inception of technology. But no technical innovations made then to curb or tackle the fake documentation that was happening around. This is the reason why our universities still uphold the traditional practice of offering the earned credits or certificates in paper format. Even in the age of computers and internet technology, our universities stick into serving certificates in the paper model. Many universities consider this as the best practice to validate and authenticate certificates.

But the current paper model certificates has its own pitfall in store.

Issues with the current paper-based model
Majorly, there are two things that are important with certificates.

a) The authenticity of the document - Authenticity of the document ensures that the issued certificates are from the authorized seats,  not from a Xerox centre.
b) The integrity of the document - Integrity of the document ensures that the issued document is not altered in any manner.

In the current method, the authenticity is ensured after the imprinted hologram of university certificates. It is stated that duplication of the hologram is a difficult task to be carried by a normal printer. The whole concept of document authenticity is based on this assumption. But the real scenario is different. There are many cases reported around globe stating hologram is faked or reproduced in a certificate.

In case of duplication, even if the hologram stands different from the original, it is very difficult for the normal eye to identify the change. In prime facia, one cannot identify which is the original or which is the duplicated copy.

Secondly, even if the hologram looks precise like the original and we assume it to be from the designated or the original issuer, the integrity of the certificate is still a question. The integrity of the certificate can only be ensured by merely looking at the overall certificate. If there is no mark left of an attempt of malpractice, then it is assumed to be untampered. Pity! But in reality, one can change the grades in a certificate, for example, by carefully changing the content. Other than this, there is no systematic straightforward approach available to automate this process. Even if any, that would not be common to or accessible to a normal recruiter. A normal recruiter like a shop vendor or a start-up company can’t spend their valuable time or money in investigating the authenticity of details provided by a job applicant. Here, in the case, the recruiter is compelled to believe what they received from the applicant.

Eventually, the recruiters are caught in the web of wrong applicants and remain destitute in recruiting wrong people for their valuable job. While the deserved ones may get excluded from the process. This in total degrades the hardship behind earning valuable credits in the form of real certificates. The hard work and efforts of degree recipients turn futile in the case. Isn’t that fair?

Another pitfall of the traditional paper certificate is that only copy is admitted to be legal or legally valid. If one needs more than a single copy, the new copy must be verified and attested by a designated officer or must apply for a duplicate certificate from the issuer.

The paper-based certificates are also subjected to easy wear and tear. If any damage or destruction is found, it may be considered as fake. Altogether, the entire system makes friction in each and every step. We don’t feel it in person as were are prone to this from a long time.

Now it’s time that we bring a revolution in these systems. The last two problems may be solved by digitizing the certificate. But the first two issues get amplified in the case of a digital certificate. The certificate content can be easily altered without leaving any mark. So we should have to find a new solution to answer all these issues.

That is the point where blockchain comes to help. It’s high time that we bring in the forefront blockchain digital certificates for universities. We the blockchain experts, the blockchain certificate authority comes with a solution to solve this issue. In our proposed solution, the certificates are in digital format, at the same time it is secured by the security of blockchain implicitly. Therefore, the authenticity and integrity of the document are never challenged.

Under blockchain certificate authority, each certificate is a digital file and each of it is digitally signed by the unique key by the issuer using cryptography. The authenticity of the certificate is ensured by checking this digital signature. The digital signatures very unique, so that it is impossible to reproduce without the consent of issuer.

The content of the certificate is encrypted to a universally unique crypto element at the time of issuing and is recorded under blockchain. Later, when the recruiter verifies, the unique crypto element is reproduced and compared it against the one in the blockchain. That is, we don’t have to look up each and every letter in the document to check its credibility. It has the further advantage over the privacy of the content in the certificate.

The blockchain we are using is public blockchains like EOS, Ethereum and bitcoin. One may have the concern regarding the privacy of the data in the certificate. People may hesitate to publish their academic details in a public network. But in our solution, the entire document is not published in the blockchain. Only some crypto elements, which are necessary to perform validation, are stored on the blockchain.

Our dedicated software is designed for digitally signing the certificate, publishing in blockchain and makes the certificates ready to deliver to the students.

The paper-based system is established and continued for centuries. The people tend to resist the abrupt change from paper-based certificate to digital format. It is also difficult for universities to change from the procedure they have followed for years to the new one. For that reason, the blockchain digital certificates from blockchain certificate authority like us make our solution comply with the existing solution. That is, after issuing certificates in digital format, the students are also provisioned to take the printouts of the issued digital file. The printout looks exactly like conventional certificate except it has no holograms!! Instead of it, the printout contains a QR code. Using this, the certificates are verified using the deprecated holograms anymore. Thus it can have multiple copies.

The important thing about this blockchain digital certificate solution is, the recruiter needs neither any freaky machines nor access to the student database in order to verify the certificate provided to him. To the extent, the recruiter even shouldn’t need to be aware of the complex verification process that running behind the curtain. All he has to need is a smartphone with a camera. Each certificate printout contains QR code which directs to a verification portal where he can view, verify and even download and take the printout of the certificate. When the recruiter opts for verification, the certificate undergoes several validation processes in backdrop under blockchain technology. The end result is only shown to the recruiter that too instantly. So for the recruiter, the blockchain digital certificates is a means of a quick verification process, completed in a few simple clicks. 

Unlike the traditional paper-based system, here, certificates being in a digital file format, we can have any number of copies and each one is a valid document. Also, the certificates are not subjected to wear and tear anymore. This also makes your certificates handy and safe. You can keep your certificates in your mobile phones or in the cloudAt last, the hard work for earning the certificate is paid off. 

Students! earn your certificates, which are only issued to the hard workers like you. Universities! continue issuing a certificate for your students that are impossible to duplicate once issued.