What are the « digital credentials »?

The « Digital credentials » are 100% digital, tamper-proof and verifiable certificates. They are generally issued by an institution. Diplomas, skills or transcripts for the training and education sector can be digital credentials. The blockchain allows to secure, authenticate and store these documents. Students thus have a lifetime supply of authentic certificates that can be freely used and instantly verified without any procedure.

The «Digital credentials» are suitable to an increasingly digital professional life, as evidenced by the prominent role of LinkedIn or other social networks in professional careers. The digital micro credentials examples are also powerful tools for the dematerialization of management processes in higher education and continuing education institutions.You will find at the end of the article the 5 reasons why students who have received a secure micro credential via the blockchain find it useful for their employability and administrative procedures.

More than 85% wish to continue to get these “blockchain digital credentials” for their future training courses!

What is the blockchain?

The blockchain is a secure and transparent information storage and transmission technology. The data and all the handling operations are stored there irreversibly in a registry that can be viewed by everyone, for so-called public blockchains.

According to mathematician and computer scientist Jean-Paul Delahaye, “a blockchain is a large ledger that is open and accessible to all in reading and writing and that is shared on a large number of computers around the world”.

A few key dates :

  • 2009: the creation of the Bitcoin blockchain, transactional blockchain;
  • 2015: the launch of the Ethereum blockchain project, a blockchain allowing the deployment of applications;
  • 2020: the first step in the deployment of Ethereum 2.0, enabling high scalability and contained energy consumption. These recent developments pave the way for the widespread use and provide a broad response to criticisms of blockchain technology’s energy consumption.

Why is it a reliable and long-lasting technology?

The blockchain is a secure technology « by design »: it is designed so that data stored there cannot be altered, through the use of cryptography and decentralization. Decentralization, in the case of blockchain, is a peer-to-peer principle that allows a large number of nodes (storage servers) to duplicate information by ensuring that it is similar on all nodes. It brings resilience and durability.This technology is used today in most industries, from supply chain to finance, government and central banks. Many major international organizations are using it: Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, World Bank, UNICEF, European Commission, etc. Discover more on The Digital Credentials Press Room.

Why do we often get mixed up between cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications?

The blockchain is a regular feature in the financial columns and often leads to clear-cut positions. Groundbreaking technology or digital banditry, technology restricted to geeks or already accessible to all of us? Understandably, it is quite difficult to grasp the multiple applications and use cases of the blockchain.

Let’s see the difference:

  • Cryptocurrencies, or virtual currencies, which are freely exchangeable assets (such as Bitcoin or Ether) and whose rates, unregulated, depend solely on supply and demand;
  • Applications using the blockchain to produce a service or infrastructure.

The latter, more recent, is less known to the general public, hence the amalgamation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. However, the applications of the blockchain are more and more numerous, and leverage the intrinsic properties of the blockchain:

  • transparency;
  • immutability;
  • security; 
  • durability.

The first application, historical and natural, relates to the notarization and storage of probative evidence. In the educational field, a step was taken several years ago: the question of the authenticity of diplomas is a recognized use case of blockchain technologies.

5 reasons why the blockchain is a great success with students

BCdiploma has developed and patented a blockchain platform to certify academic data and provide graduates with unique, tamper-proof, lifelong links. In less than two years, more than 100 institutions in 15 countries have started issuing digital credentials.

During the last quarter of 2020, BCdiploma teams conducted a satisfaction survey to measure the adoption of digital credentials for students in four institutions:

  • Arts et Métiers ParisTech;
  • IAE Nantes – Economie et Gestion – Université de Nantes;
  • emlyon business school;
  • VisionCompliance, the Swiss leader in financial professional training.

The results show a real acceptance and adherence to this new format of dematerialized academic certificates:

  • 86.5% of students would like to receive blockchain digital credentials for their next course or degree;
  • 87.1% are proud of the initiative taken by their institution;
  • 73.9% believe that the online certificate secured by the blockchain is useful during a job interview;
  • 81.2% would recommend the certificates issued with the BCdiploma blockchain technology to their friends and family;
  • 66.6% think that direct access to the proofs of authenticity of their certificate is the most important feature of digital credentials.
blockchain digital credentials | quality survey