IBM Spotlights Blockchain’s Future in Higher Education and as an Academia Research Engine

While 2017 saw the peak of euphoria for cryptocurrencies because of the spike in price for Bitcoin, it hasn’t gone anywhere. The nearly 50% price drop in 2018 hasn’t slowed the momentum of investors, however.

With a 10 year review of bitcoin, you can see a steady incline in value despite the volatile bubble and bust market. As arguably the most popular and definitely the first cryptocurrency, coupled with a surge in investor interest in the cryptocurrency market, it’s becoming more and more clear that cryptocurrencies are evolving into a serious market. Even Nasdaq has taken notice and launched official indices for both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

One area that appears poised to be changed by the emerging market is higher education. It’s already changed a whole avenue of interaction universities have with a student by offering degrees and certificates in crypto-coding and business. With U.S. higher education having a $560 billion a year revenue and cryptocurrencies becoming so big, it’s no small matter.

Here are some of the ways crypto and blockchain has and can innovate and disrupt higher education:

A New Currency

Higher education in revenue alone can be considered big business. The credentials of universities determine their value in the market and what people are willing to pay to attend. The current system in which students have access to what the degrees are and their credentials is known for being unwieldy and unreliable.

Making a platform tied to colored tokens within blockchain can remove a lot of the headache it causes for students, teacher, and the institutions themselves. Less headache also means fewer man hours spent on it, making it cheaper in the long run.

Connecting Research

The 20th century saw a surge of the invention in part because of the partnership between public and private institutions of academics. This sharing of information allowed for broad collaboration and quickly building ideas into reality.

But the broad sharing the rise of internet tech has brought has slowed this collaboration because of problems identifying ownership of ideas, making institutions of all kinds unwilling to make public some of their research without a more reliable way to track it and stake their claim on it.

Blockchain tech has a permanent and accessible ledger making its tech possible and could serve as a real-time record of information should it be tweaked to use for this purpose. Its innovative data storage mixed with the almost complete transparency would serve as a solution that would drive major innovation all over again.

Globalization In Higher Education

The quick and reliable transfer of data and recording of data blockchain has to offer can continue to aide in the globalization of higher education.

Experts have been pushing for universities to share information, research, teachers and teachings, courses, and books internationally, the aim being decentralization and better, cheaper access to education for all.

It is important not only for an increasingly globalized economy or even accrediting for schools across different countries at similar levels but for pushing forward mankind through furthering innovation and giving brilliant minds the access they need to flourish.

Making Transcripts Easier

Transcripts are proof students need to get into higher programs and further their education at new schools. It’s the key to getting jobs in your field once you graduate. This information proves you know what you know at the level you know it.

Loss and slow speeds of transfer have been well-known cripples to moving in quickly on opportunities. Furthering the consolidation of information for transfer and the transparency of it could significantly help that.

Possible Reinvigoration?

With many students in the U.S. opting out of higher education, citing rising costs and lower ability to find a job, universities have to find new ways to entice students into attending.

With a fast-changing marketplace, the inclusion of crypto-related degrees and certificates (even before incorporating blockchain tech into their operations and collaborations) can really inspire students to want to learn and get degrees in something they deem actually useful and able to be hired for.

Blockchain has opened up a lot of new possibilities but with the market value of higher education and the prevalence of crypto internationally, it is clearly wise for universities to invest more education and operations into blockchain tech to cut costs, create partnerships, and draw more students back into their folds.

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