To increase trust in educational certificates, blockchain-based systems can be used for the verification of digital documents. This helps to limit the forgery of documents and increase their recognition across national borders.
Education providers such as universities or schools issue certificates as digital originals and store so-called hashes of these files - which can also be called digital fingerprints - on an immutable blockchain. Students receive their certificates in digital form and can pass them on to third parties such as employers or public authorities. Instead of contacting the educational institutions, these third parties can then validate the submitted certificates electronically by comparing their fingerprints with those stored on the blockchain. Ideally, learners, educational institutions and third parties will benefit equally from forgery-proof certificates and the improved verifiability of authentic learning outcomes.
The GIZ Blockchain Lab is developing a system for issuing blockchain-based educational certificates in cooperation with the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization SEAMEO INNOTECH and the Technische Universität Berlin. The software is not proprietary but relies on open standards and is developed using open source practices. This ensures technical interoperability, prevents vendor lock-in and promotes the acceptance of this novel digital infrastructure in education. With an ecosystem governance framework, the software provides a means for education providers in emerging knowledge societies to embrace the paradigm shift towards digital certificates.