Russian University to Issue Blockchain-powered Degree Certificates

A leading Russian university is set to store its student’s degrees certificates on a blockchain-powered platform.

The Financial University, based in Moscow, claims its move is a world-first, although the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has previously issued blockchain technology-authenticated degree certificates as part of a pilot scheme, and similar platforms have been vaunted at Melbourne and Glasgow universities. The Financial University claims its solution is different, however, as “no other university publicly displays degree certificates while also encrypting data.”

The Financial University, which operates a blockchain laboratory, states that the idea originated with its own international finance facility students, and will use the SHA-256 algorithm to create unique identifiers for each diploma.

The diplomas will be signed by university officials and encrypted, meaning they cannot be tampered with in any way by third parties, claims the blockchain laboratory’s head Andrei Varnavsky on the university’s website.

The university states that its new platform will be operational “as early as September,” and will allow potential employers to verify the authenticity of the applicants’ qualifications on its website. The university also says it will retrospectively create blockchain technology-authenticated records for all students who have completed its courses in the past 10 years.
Meanwhile, also in Russia, Tomsk State University has also been working on a blockchain-powered database and registry. TSU’s solution will store a range of information about students, including the results of end-of-term exams and data about contests students have participated in – also letting potential employers check the veracity of jobseekers’ applications.

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Author: Tim Alper
Image Credit: iStock/artisteer

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