Blockchain Platform OpenCerts to be Officially Used by Singapore in Issuing Educational Certificates
As from this year, the government of Singapore will officially issue blockchain digital certificates to students from about 18 different educational establishments.
This would be made possible through OpenCerts, a collaborative project that uses blockchain technology to give and authenticate certificates.
OpenCerts is the result of an alliance between the country’s Ministry of Education (MOE), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), the Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and also SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) which is a national program created to help the people of Singapore with skills and opportunities to help them throughout life.
The platform is an open-source project built on the Ethereum blockchain, that is hoped would completely change the issuance and substantiation of certificates, ensuring privacy and security but also significantly dropping expenditure surrounding the use of regular paper-based certificates.
The Director of NP’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office, Patrice Choong, has explained that using this platform not only eradicates the use of an actual printed document but also, because it uses blockchain technology, removes the need for anyone to have to verify the certificates due to the nature of the technology. This way, any certificate actually issued using OpenCerts is as authentic as can be.
The Ngee Ann Polytechnic together with GovTech initially started the OpenCerts platform as a way to tackle the challenges that came with the issuance of physical certificates and successfully awarded its graduates with certificates using OpenCerts. Every year, NP has to issue about 10,000 physical certificates, always going through the trouble of printing and stamping each one.
Furthermore, the institution has also noted that it receives about 2,000 different requests for the verification of these certificates every year. The use of OpenCerts directly solves this problem by easing up their processes.
Other Institutions Using Blockchain for Certificates
According to a report released earlier this year, the University of Bahrain has concluded plans to use BlockCerts – a blockchain platform for the building of applications that help with the issuance and verification of academic and professional credentials and certifications – to issue diplomas.
MIT is another institution that uses Blockcerts to issue diplomas to guarantee ease and authenticity. Blockerts is a platform like OpenCerts and according to its development team:
“Blockcerts provides a decentralized credentialing system. The Bitcoin blockchain acts as the provider of trust, and credentials are tamper-resistant and verifiable. Blockcerts can be used in the context of academic, professional, and workforce credentialing.”