Students from 18 academic institutions will collect digital blockchain-based certificates beginning this year. The effort is part of a government-level Singapore program called OpenCerts, co-developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), and also SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) , which is an institution for higher learning.

Based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, the OpenCerts open-source platform is anticipated to offer a effective way to release and authenticate certificates, enhance data protection, delivery and verification mechanism effectiveness, and lower costs linked with conventional paper certificates.

With such a set-up, retaining a blockchain-based virtual certificate framework may cost less than developing an equivalent on a shared database. Patrice Choong, director of NP’s Sandbox — Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office, said the organization chose to use blockchain tech in issuing and verifying accreditations due to efficiency issues.

As per Choong, the platform’s implementation eliminates two crucial prerequisites, such as the need for a physically utilized document and demands for authentication.

OpenCerts is an open-source, state-related endeavor. It’s supposedly the biggest blockchain-related app of its kind ever introduced worldwide. Once all 18 schools completely deploy the model, in the years to come, it could produce hundreds of thousands of electronic certificates.

GovTech and NP supposedly first trialed the OpenCerts program in 2018, with the very first tranche of electronic certificates awarded to NP graduates. As per the report, the organization issues about 10,000 hard copies of certificates every year, all of which are printed and stamped, while employers’ validation inquiries are presumably about 2,000.

The program is an outcome of partnership between four institutions: SkillsFuture Singapore, Government Technology Agency, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and Education Ministry.

Blockchain technology ensures that the certificates are tamper-proof. Once a certificate is made, its information is changed into a hash–or a chain of arbitrary numbers and letters–and saved on prominent decentralized Ethereum blockchain.

Any effort to alter certificate information, which is basically a text file, establishes a new hash. By equating the latest hash with the old one, a tampered certificate can be identified.

OpenCerts can totally remove schools ‘ need to issue hard copy of digital certificates, allowing to verify the validity of a certificate. Instead of dialling an organization to verify every job applicant, employers can easily drag and drop the credential to the OpenCerts web portal and swiftly verify it.

For Singaporean graduates and permanent residents, they have the added benefit of retrieving their virtual certificates in an web database called Skills Passport. The syndicate looks forward to implementing this for certificates which have been awarded earlier. Also, the digital technology open-source design means businesses can modify the code base and monetize by offering it commercially.

For instance, OpenCerts certificate authentication is not automatic. A tech company could enter and incorporate tech straight into client backend frameworks. Overseas universities also showed interest in implementing the technology. Feasible uses are examined other than certificates of education. Here’s a rundown of 18 domestic institutions implementing OpenCerts:
Institute of Technical Education
Lasalle College of the Arts
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Nanyang Polytechnic
Nanyang Technological University
National Institute of Early Childhood Development
National University of Singapore
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Republic Polytechnic
Singapore Institute of Technology
Singapore Polytechnic
Singapore Management University
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Temasek Polytechnic
Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board
SkillsFuture Singapore
Government Technology Agency

Few months back, the University of Bahrain supposedly began handing blockchain diplomas using Blockcerts Open Standard in collaboration with Learning Machine.

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