Education Certificates

Certificates are predominantly issued on paper, and forgery is a big problem for the industry. Blockchain is a game changer, allowing issuers to create unforgeable digital certificates that can't be lost or re-assigned and are available on-chain at any time. The certificate is bound to the learner's ID and can be easily verified by 3rd-parties via a QR code, anywhere and anytime 

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How does it work?

  • The certificate is custom designed according to the issuer’s requirements. The issuer provides the necessary input data in a web form, such as the learners name, date of graduation, etc. The issuer then confirms the data with a signature via a mobile app. The certificate is automatically created and secured with blockchain technology. The final certificate can be directly downloaded as a PDF or shared with a link or QR code. 

  • The final certificate can be used like any other certificate in the form of a PDF, a physical copy, and even as fully digital version. A third party simply needs to scan the QR code with a mobile phone to open the original certificate in the web viewer. For verification on blockchain, further tools can be used to track the on-chain entry.  

Advantages of digital certificates on blockchain

  1. Immutable storage of the education certificate
  2. Third parties can independently verify the authenticity of the certificate
  3. Certificates are non-transferable

How does blockchain make it secure?

A blockchain is essentially a highly secure database, which is protected by a cryptographic protocol to ensure the integrity of the data. The replication of the entire database to all nodes connected to the blockchain network makes it tamper-proof. 

Importantly, it doesn’t have the capacity to store an entire certificate of education, complete with graphical elements. But it doesn’t need to. It simply stores the following important key properties, which consume almost no space: 

  • Certificate data such as student/beneficiary name, title of training course, validity date, and, optionally, expiry date, issuer information, etc.
  • The timestamp when it has been issued. As blockchains only grow in one direction it is impossible to insert data at a later stage.
  • The signature of the issuer. Unlike a signature on paper, the signature is truly unique and is actually a function of the certificate data. So, it is impossible to use the same signature again for a different certificate.

Identity information (private credentials of the learner) can be obfuscated and does not need to be publicly accessible.

The data of the certificate is always available, decentrally stored, and immutable. All you need to know is WHERE on the blockchain it can be found. This is possible with a unique ID. Combined with the certificate layout, onto which the data will be rendered, the digital certificate is essentially a URL that can easily be stored in the form of a common QR code and is readily available wherever it is needed without carrying any documents around. 

Verification of a certificate is based on checking the authenticity of the issuer’s signature. You can check online, if the certificate data (learner, training course, etc.) as shown in the web view matches the on-chain entry.

How can you verify a certificate?

First, you can verify the authenticity of the certificate itself. Artifacts on blockchain have a unique ID, and you can check whether this unique ID exists within a smart contract. You can even drill down to the transaction that generated the certificate’s record in the first place with the help of a blockchain explorer and verify its origin.  

You can verify the issuer too. Every actor that creates artifacts on blockchain must sign these transactions. To sign, they need a private key. Each key has a public address associated with it. This address can be put on the issuer’s website. If you know the issuer’s public blockchain address (and there is no reason why one would want to keep it secret) you can verify that the certificate was indeed created by the issuer.  

You can also distinguish between a basic blockchain certificate and one that truly unleashes the full potential of the technology. On each certificate, there is the data on the certificate, the identity of the student, the name of the exam or training course, and additional information. This data won’t be visible directly on-chain, because blockchains have limited storage space, and you don’t want to expose private student information on a public ledger. This information is normally stored off-chain. But data has a unique cryptographic fingerprint, that can’t be forged. Simply compare the fingerprint that was written to blockchain at the time of the certificate’s creation with the information that’s on the certificate. If it matches, you’ve got the right certificate. 

Features & Benefits of using TEOS for certificates

  • Interoperability with other TEOS components and our Partner Solutions
  • No coding required
  • Certificate creation can be automated, thanks to our powerful API
  • Can be viewed on any browser, no need for an app
  • Also available in the POC environment for showcases
  • Can be integrated into any business process