In my earlier article- “Blockchain: A better step to future”, we have known about Blockchain and its significance. Blockchain has made it increasingly clear that technology has massive implications in almost all aspects of life. It is the next stage of internet, a trusted system of value and the most important technology ever invented.
Here is a small brush-up about Blockchain- It is a decentralized, transparent, and verifiable system where value such as ownership, titles, medical records and cryptocurrency can be exchanged. This value is stored in a digital block and these blocks are linked in such a way that the unique digital identity of the next block is linked to the identity of the previous block; hence the name- BLOCKCHAIN. The blockchain is shared on peer-to-peer network where a continuously updated ledger keeps track of who owns what. These ledgers are secured by systems. This entire system is distributed among network of computers rather than a single provider which means that the data cannot be tampered.
Blockchain is used for various applications; one among is verification of academic certificates and work resumes. In present world, the student records are transmitted mostly in paper form, even if they are presented as PDF, we are still living in a paper based economy of student records which have problems like widespread fraud where there are thousands of printed diplomas that are fraudulent. Apart from the problem of issuance in paper form, there are several other problems, i.e.; carrying the paper form and also lack of data which is faced when someone would go for their higher education or are asked to submit their academic certificates which way back to 10-20 years back. This blockchain application helps in presenting everyone a better format where they can build a lifelong record of all documents.
Getting to the functionality of this- the underlying technology of Digital certificates is the Blockchain which is a secured invention and is not owned by anyone. It provides benefits where it allows schools/universities to issue students official records called Digital Certificates. These digital certificates are cryptographically signed by the issuing institution; they are tamper proof and come with a hashtag code and can be verified by using this particular hashtag without having to consult the institution directly. This technology allows the people to own their own records and use them directly in the world while applying for education or jobs.
Another application that has taken advantage of Blockchain is the smart contracts. Smart contracts replace what people would do with any agreement. For example, if there are two parties- Party A & Party B; and both of them agree on some terms. In smart contracts, these terms are written into codes and when condition is satisfied, the contract is executed. This process includes no lawyer, no disputes, no funds and no middlemen. It is only both the parties and their mutual agreement required. This process can, eventually, be used by large companies for their entire documentation work. This eliminates waste, reduces risk of fraud and opens up a whole new world of automated systems.
There are several important aspects that are enabled by using Blockchain:
- Reliability– No third party is needed for verification on blockchain system; everything is done cryptographically and so it is reliable.
- Decentralization– It enables a blockchain to present a single version of the truth without the requirement of a central authority.
- Self-identity– Self-performing contracts that do not require a third-party arbiter.
- Transparency & Immutability– All the transactions made are authorized by miners, which makes the transactions immutable and prevent it from the threat of hacking.
With increasing number of fraudulent academic certificates and work experience documents, Prometheus has come up with a solution for this problem in the form of their very own product- SWASTIK.
Swastik provides the source of truth for anyone’s certificate. Collaboration with the universities would be made to take this application forward. In this particular application, the specific universities will upload the individual’s certificate and this certificate will be assigned a “hash” value. Upon placing the hash onto blockchain, it provides the source of the certificate and its verification by university. This uploaded certificate cannot be altered and in case of alteration, it does not match with the provided hash.
This application would help in reducing the amount of time required for issuing certificates; no loss of certificate hard copy; zero costs for re-issuing certificate hard copy; verification of the certificate by third parties is instantaneous.