Through its tenets of decentralization, transparency, and security, Blockchain has created a new type of internet. It has radicalized the way transactions occur and continues to make great strides in virtually every industry imaginable. Although best known for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, the scope of Blockchain Technology doesn’t end there by any means. It has found applications in Finance, Healthcare, Real Estate, and many more industries.
What Is Blockchain and How Is It Creating an Impact?
The word blockchain comes from the core principles of this technology, where secure blocks of data are bound together in chains using cryptographic principles. The record or ledger of data is time-stamped and immutable and is managed not by a single authority but by a cluster of computers. This enables a verifiable and decentralized record of transactions between two people.
Blockchain is unstoppable because this record is public and distributed between many computers called nodes. This allows for validation of the data from all the computers in the network, making it open and transparent while ensuring that no single entity controls the flow of information or transactions. This information flow is vital because digital information can never be copied, only distributed. This makes blockchain technology a fortified channel for information flow.
Let us look at a few reasons why blockchain technology is becoming one of the most impactful technologies today. The Blockchain allows for the first time in history we can make transactions without trusting the other party. We can make transactions with people we do not know without the need for intermediaries such as banks or companies such as Visa or Paypal that today act as “arbitrators” generating the confidence to exchange money. In this way, we are moving from the internet of information to the internet of value, since the Blockchain allows this transmission of the value.
The Blockchain development of “bitcoin” can also offer advantages in the educational field. This is indicated by a study of the Joint Research Center (JRC), the internal scientific service of the European Commission, which has examined the possible contribution of this system considered “incorruptible” in areas such as training and digital certificates with either the use of academic appointments or the protection of intellectual property.
Here are some applications that in the future, and in some cases already being presented, the blockchain may have in the virtual educational field:
1. Diplomas and certificates: The academic record of the students which contains notes, diplomas and titles obtained, is protected. This information is available in the chain of blocks and is out of danger in case the institution loses these files. It also allows security to be reinforced so that the diplomas are not modified. Another option is the delivery of certifications through the blockchain.
2. Security in the archives: In virtual education, sometimes the theft or plagiarism of investigations or projects is presented by those who try to present a new one. Also, the documents or files prepared by students and institutions will be safe with this technology, to avoid theft in both cases or forgery of digital signatures.
3. Reliable transactions: With the blockchain, it is very practical to manage economic transactions with online institutions or study centres. Also verify the credibility of online institutions, avoiding “falling into the trap” of these fraudulent networks.
4 Cost Savings on Courseware and Research material
Another area where blockchain can be useful in education is in making courseware accessible and affordable. One way is in cutting out intermediary fees in the purchase of software. E–Books, for example, can be fitted with blockchain code and shared through the network. This will eliminate the fees charged by portals like Amazon and credit card fees. The books could be accessed straight from the authors themselves. This would mean major savings for both students and authors. Video tutorials and much more can be accessed this way.
5. Accreditation of credentials: It focuses on interpersonal skills and it is possible to obtain them through “peer to peer” processes, better known as P2P. It is based on the fact that the students with whom the projects are carried out can give credentials to their peers, certifying some skill developed during the group learning. What you get is known as an “open badge,” which can support the knowledge and skills acquired during the course or virtual learning.
Apart from the applications in the education sector the report also refers to the advantages of employment that is related to the ability to offer a service to verify the accuracy of the information provided by the candidates for a position (training, skills, experience) and reduce the time that recruiters spend checking these data as well as the possibility of automating agreements, payments or taxes, among other functions.