The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used the Bitcoin blockchain to deliver digital degrees to over 100 graduates as part of a pilot project.
In an announcement, MIT explained that the certificates were issued by an app called Blockcerts Wallet, which allows graduates to securely share a "verifiable" and "tamper-proof" digital version of their credentials with potential employers and others.
The blockchain-based driver is the result of a partnership between MIT and Cambridge, a MA-based software company, Learning Machine, which jointly developed the open standard Blockcerts last year.
Mayor Registrar and Senior Associate Dean Mary Callahan stated:
"From the beginning, one of our main motivations has been to allow students to be the curators of their own credentials, which allows them to have the ownership of their records and to be able to share them, a sure way, with whom they want. "
According to Chris Jagers, co-founder and CEO of Learning Machine, MIT is one of the first universities to have "published official documents in a format that may exist even if the institution is not in charge. go away. "
"People can own and use their official documents, which is a fundamental change," he said.
The Blockcerts system uses the bitcoin block chain, according to Jagers, because it "prioritizes safety over other qualities like speed, cost, or ease of use."
Although the diploma information itself is not stored in the blockchain, the system uses a timestamped transaction indicating that the MIT has created the digital record for the certificate. This allows the student to prove the ownership of the degree at a later date.
The Maltese Ministry of Education and Employment and the Australian University of Melbourne also began testing Blockcerts for monitoring academic certifications in the last few weeks
MIT image of construction via Shutterstock