First School in Canada to Issue Graduates Credentials via Blockchain

The move to using an Ethereum-based dApp is a response to growing rates of transcript fraud

Soon, graduates from Southern Alberta Institue of Technology won’t just be receiving a paper diploma. They will soon receive their credentials via a secure blockchain key. The Calgary-based technical post-secondary institute is the first in Canada to issue blockchain-secured credentials, and one of just around a dozen schools globally (including MIT and Stanford).

“There are more and more cases of fraudulent transcripts that post-secondaries are having to deal with.”

Neera Arora, SAIT registrar

Daniel Duffy, SAIT’s chief information officer, said most people are likely familiar with blockchain technology because of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, financial transactions are only its first use case. Blockchain has applications in a multitude of areas, including storing secure and private information.

“Blockchain is a technology that functions as a public, distributed and unchangeable ledger. It gives students ownership of their personal data by making it encrypted, so only they can access it.”

Daniel Duffy, SAIT’s chief information officer

Employers who will no longer have to contact the school to verify its transcripts. In the past, students had to order a transcript and a unit of the school would process the transcripts and mail them out. Graduates will be able to send their certificate to employers or other institutions instantly without any fees. Institutions will also instantly be able to verify if the credentials are legitimate without needing the school to mail a hard copy.

Built on Ethereum

Graduate credentials will be issued via a dApp built on the Ethereum blockchain and developed by the On-Demand Education Marketplace — an open source smart computing platform.

The certificates will be linked to an encrypted, tamper-proof digital signature that can be cross-referenced with the institution’s digital signature in real-time.

The first graduates to receive the new certificates will be 25 students graduating from the Pre-Employment Automotive Service Technician program in December 2018.

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