Open Source University – or simply OS University for short – is a blockchain-based educational marketplace that seeks to connect organizations and individuals to one another in order to provide education and employment opportunities for learners, facilitate recruitment for businesses, and provide strategic partnerships to educational institutions.
Payment and rewards within the OS University ecosystem is controlled exclusively through cryptocurrency, including the platform’s own ECR20 Ethereum-based EduToken cryptocurrency. An EduToken ICO is currently underway to crowdfund the development of OS University and expand its functionality.
What Is Open Source University?
The OS University development team is spearheaded by Professor Kevin Dowd, a a Professor of Finance and Economics at Durham University Business School and is affiliated with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, DC; senior investment advisory Gordon Kerr, CEO of London-based investment consultancy Cobden Partners; project lead Hristian Daskalov, consultant to the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy; and technology lead Jordan Jambazov, a senior software engineer with more than a decade of experience.
Open Source UniversityProduct
OS University, once launched, has aims to be a “distributed education and certification platform” that will record individuals’ certifications and education information in an Ethereum-based blockchain ledger. Using the blockchain in this manner will provide a transparent means for businesses to contact individuals with the right mix of expertise and education to fill vacant roles.
In order to develop the platform, an ICO for OS University’s EduToken is being held. These tokens will power the economy of OS University, allowing individuals to pay for services and for these same individuals to be paid by businesses who hire them.
The ICO began on November 20 2017 and will continue until the OS University’s alpha platform release. A second round ICO is scheduled to begin in the 2nd quarter of 2018.
During the first ICO, investors can purchase EduCoin at a rate of either 1350 tokens per 1 Ethereum or 1200 tokens per Ethereum, based on whether a threshold of 2.6 million tokens being sold. The second ICO will begin with token prices being set at 750 tokens per 1 Ethereum.
EduTokens are not designed to be a security, though they will be tradeable on the open market. Additional limitations include investors from the United States, South Korea, China, and Singapore being barred by law from participating in the ICO.
Open Source UniversityOpportunity
The opportunity for investing in OS University is speculative in that it is an ERC20 Ethereum-based token and will be fully tradable, though OS University does stress that the token is meant to be for utility within the OS University ecosystem. However, the number of investors interested in amassing EduTokens to use once the platform goes live, versus the number of investors interested in using EduTokens as a speculative investment, is likely to be quite quite small.
Open Source University Verdict
OS University certainly has some heavy hitters behind it in regards to its development team. Professor Dowd’s involvement does indeed provide a bit of cachet, though his association with the Cato Institute does raise a few eyebrows – this think tank is more than a little notorious for its obvious libertarian bias, which makes us wonder if Dowd is on board to create a better way to connect prospective employers with businesses or if he’s more interested in the disruptive power of cryptocurrency when compared to fiat currencies like the US dollar.
That being said, OS University has some potential as an entity, especially one that works to verify and record user credentials while making them transparent and available to businesses sourcing new candidates. A question remains as to what types of credentials are going to be supported by the system – will they be industry standardized ones, or will they be some strange proprietary standard that doesn’t quite fit with today’s accreditation schemes?
In the end, only time will tell. It seems a bit risky to us, but with a single Ethereum netting more than 1000 EduTokens during the first round ICO, it may be a good idea to invest conservatively as a hedge against possible future token price fluctuations. We’d keep an eye on this one, but we wouldn’t be broken up about giving this one a pass, either.