South Korea is a country known worldwide as the origin of K-Pop, the hometown K-Dramas, and a popular tourist destination. But what the country offers are not limited to that. The country is also a major force when it comes to technology, with Samsung and LG becoming trusted global brands. No matter where you look, you’ll see homes populated with Samsung and LG products.
With this much technology at their hands, there’s no surprise that South Korea is eyeing to become a worldwide blockchain leader. So far, a university the Land of the Morning Calm is preparing to launch blockchain-stored diplomas.
Pohang University of Science and Technology, or POSTECH for short, is the first university to offer blockchain-stored diplomas in the country. According to the university, the decision is said to be influenced by the current novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, which now has an official name: Covid-19.
Health is an essential aspect of the human body—it’s central to a human’s happiness and well-being. According to news outlets, the virus has already spread to different countries, starting from China to other Asian countries, and even reached the United States and other western counties. So far, the death toll reached more than a thousand while at least 42,700 are infected in China. In South Korea, there are more than 20 reported cases of Covid-19.
As for POSTECH, the potential threat is too great to leave unnoticed; hence, the university resorting to awarding blockchain-stored diplomas via email instead. The 828 graduates will no longer need to leave their homes on graduation day as they’ll receive emails from the university containing a QR code that directs them to their blockchain-stored diplomas. In cooperation with blockchain-based certification service broof and Korean blockchain startup ICONLOOP, students can access their credentials wherever and whenever they want to. They can also adjust the disclosure of their credentials since the level of privacy can easily be adjusted.
How does Blockchain Diplomas Work?
Blockchain diplomas came into conception due to the increasing threat and activities of fraudulent certificates. Due to the move from the traditional to the digital landscape in earning certifications, job hunters have the power to alter their credentials, adding false information about their educational attainment and even personal information.
So, how does smart contract diplomas really work for universities?
Basically, all universities issuing blockchain-enabled diplomas get access to a platform where they can certify the diplomas through a smart contract. A smart contract is a contract embedded into lined of code that facilitate, verify, or enforce the transaction. Once conditions are met, the transaction will push through, removing the need for intermediaries or other third parties.
Universities create a smart contract list where they can upload the diplomas, which will be open for a specific period. However, universities can only add new diplomas, but not deleting or updating uploaded diplomas. Once all the diplomas are uploaded, the smart contract will close, and no more diplomas can be added.
What’s in it for employers?
Using POSTECH graduates and ICONLOOP for example, whenever a POSTECH graduate applies to them and shows a diploma with blockchain technology, they’ll need to look it up on ICONLOOP. If the smart certificate is authentic, the name of the graduate should show from the database that houses all the names of the students who attained the degree or certification from POSTECH.
Verifying information takes time and effort. With blockchain, employers can quickly check if submitted documents are authentic and valid since it passed through a smart contract. They will no longer need to employ more human resources so accommodate job applications with blockchain-enabled certifications.