Transcripts and certificates—credentialing—is the only non-negotiable service of any educational institution. In fact, all countries are today credential societies. The U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) reports that 1 in 2 adults has some form of post-secondary credential; 1 in 4 has some kind of license or certification independent of his/her post-secondary certification.
Credentialing is happening in the labour market as well, with certifications and licenses becoming a critical differentiator for workers. For many learners, credentialing is the coin of the realm. After completing their academic/training programs—whether brick and mortar, online or hybrid—they expect to be awarded certificates to seek gainful employment opportunities.
While educational institutions—the gatekeepers of the credentials—are the beneficiaries of this increasing credential society, the current credential system is fraught with challenges.
In today’s ever-increasing professional-grade copying and document production technologies, no credential or professional certification is immune from the risk of forgery. To guarantee the authenticity of the certificate or credential, the issuer must retain a central register of all the issued certificates/credentials. However, these certificate registries are single points of failures. Whereas the certificates may remain valid, the ability to authenticate them is lost.
Besides, maintaining such registers of claims and answering queries as to the authenticity of certificates is still a manual process in most organizations requiring significant human resources effort.
While digital certification partly solves the problem (eliminating manual processes through digitization), lack of digital signatures makes them vulnerable to forgeries. In instances where digital signatures have been used, third-party certificate providers are required to ensure the integrity of transactions.
Since third-party certificate providers have significant control over every aspect of the certification and verification process, the process can be abused. In many countries, there is no universal standard for digital signatures, leading to certificates that can only be authenticated within the context of specific software ecosystems. In these instances, it is easier to destroy the electronic records.
Companies that relies on third party workers can limit their liability exposure controlling digital credentials and professional acreditations in the blockchain
Vottun Credentails is a unique and sustainable solution to the paper and digital certification problem in the education sector. Vottun, which serves as a peer-to-peer (P2P) network and digital ledger of all transactions provide an incorruptible and immutable audit trail that simplifies certificate creation and management.
Educational institutions have a “single point of truth” system that verifies their credentials and limits liabilities related with the forgery or misuse. It also allows expanding a more secure digital use of the credentials with improved user experience than current digital signatures solutions.
More advanced Blockchain implementations can also automate the award, recognition and transfer of credentials and professional certifications through smart contracts. Companies that rely on third-party providers can limit their liability exposure controlling digital credentials and professional accreditations on the Blockchain.