The digitization of a growing number of diplomas and certifications in the form of verifiable credentials begs the question of how will we be able to share, store and secure such digital documents. This is where the concept of a virtual “student wallet” comes into play, that is a digital wallet for students, designed not only to store college or school qualifications, certificates and other similar digital documents, but also to free up and facilitate the free exchange of information with various institutions and bodies, such as other training and education organizations, recruiters and potential employers.
What exactly is a student wallet, what is its use, and field of application? BCdiploma explains the details of this concept, which will revolutionize everyday life for students and university, school and college institutions.
What is a student wallet?
First of all, what is a digital wallet, and what is it based on?
Just as verifiable credentials (VCs) are a digital form of physical documents, such as an ID card or a driver’s license, a digital wallet is a virtual digital version of a physical wallet. Such a digital wallet can be used to store virtual digital certificates, giving free access to them only to their legitimate owner, via an account, an internet browser or a mobile application.
The student wallet: a digital wallet that streamlines the exchange of information
A growing number of universities and education and training institutions are opting for the digitization of the diplomas and certificates they issue to students. Students, therefore, need a way to keep such credentials, and this is where a digital student wallet will come in. Students will be able to use a student wallet to store the digital certificates or education credit issued by their university, college, school, or education institution. Thus, they will be able to have their certificates at their disposal as verifiable credentials that can be easily consulted and shared.
Not for money, but for verifiable credentials
Some people, when they hear the words “student wallet”, they may think it has something to do with a coin wallet, or a bank, bank account, cash, or debit or credits cards. They could think that is some kind of money deposit, ATM withdrawal or overdraft facility, daily checking account, or some other kind of bank product, with interest rates and an account fee. Perhaps with a system to allow parents to make a daily or monthly deposit, or review the balance or expenditure, to support their kids through college, and make sure they are always kept in the black, and have cash or credit always on hand, whatever their zip code.
However, this is not the kind of virtual wallet we are talking about here. Or rather, all this may have some relevance in another context, but, the aspect we are interested in here is the ability of a digital virtual wallet to keep information relating to the course of education of the student in terms of their acquired qualifications, diplomas, certificates, and school or college credit. And then to associate all this data to a student account and verifiable identity document, so that all the qualifications of the student can be taken into account when applying to another college or university, or for a job at a potential employer.
Student wallets and digital identities
A student wallet is generally associated with a virtual digital identity, which can be based on blockchain and self-sovereign identity (SSI) technology.
Such decentralized identity technology, based on a Decentralized Identifier (DID) system, generally recorded on a trusted blockchain, allows:
- Identity information to be kept decentralized and free to access, allowing the wallet owner to easily prove the authenticity of information to any third-party.
- Sensitive data to be protected from leakage or loss.
- The full ownership and durability of the verifiable credentials to be guaranteed independently of the initial issuer, be it college, school or university, just as long as the latter has not revoked them, of course.
- The authenticity of the micro credentials the wallet owner can share to be validated using cryptographic checks and proofs, making it possible to establish that they have not been altered in any way, and that they are indeed the property of the wallet owner.
Thus, a student wallet can keep its owner safe from the loss, theft or falsification of their digitized documents!
What are the advantages of a student wallet?
Rapid access to your diplomas
For many students, the end of their final year is a particularly stressful, critical time, during which they have to wait to receive their diploma or certificate and then urgently present it to other universities or potential employers. With a digital student wallet, the waiting time is drastically shortened, and there’s no need to physically collect your certificate from the university, college or school administration office, or teacher. Issuing university qualifications in verifiable credential format, therefore, allows students to have immediate access to their digital diplomas or certificates, just as soon as they are confirmed.
A single digital wallet for various certificates
A student wallet can keep safe all the various kinds of diplomas and certifications that a student can acquire during their education. Thus, different digital certifications can be kept in the same secure place, whatever their format, be it a diploma, certification, transcript, credit score, skill badge, or so on, doing away with the unsatisfactory solution of manually digitalizing documents. No more poor quality scans of dubious authenticity!
Easy document sharing
Thanks to the technology of a student wallet, students can have access to their diplomas much more easily, and can share them much more quickly. The special format of digital certifications allows them to be:
- Displayed on a smartphone or a computer, with easy readability;
- Shared via email or a dedicated platform, accessible by a blockchain-secured URL;
- Shared on social media and professional networks, such as LinkedIn.
An exchange of information based on trust
Issuing diplomas in the format of verifiable credentials is not just digitalization under another name ! Indeed, the very essence of verifiable credentials is trust :
- Trust in the entity issuing the verifiable credential, because it has the authority to award students recognized diplomas or certificates;
- Trust in the holder of the verifiable credential, because he or she presents a digital certificate issued by a reliable source, in an unforgeable format.
Thus, an entity presented with a verifiable credential from a student has no reason to perform additional checks or doubt its authenticity or relevance. This “triangle of trust” at the heart of blockchain certification guarantees the authenticity of the documents transmitted to any of the various verifying entities, such as the government, other universities, and potential employers. A student wallet, therefore, eliminates the problem of forged documents.
A student wallet has a triple advantage for:
- Universities and other entities called upon to issue verifiable credentials, which are assured of the tamper-proof nature of the issued documents, in addition to saving precious time, for example, by not needing to respond to requests for checks on diplomas and certificates by recruiters;
- Students, who have instant and long-term access to their diplomas and certificates, and can bank on being able to share them quickly and reliably;
- Verifying entities, who are reassured about the authenticity of the presented documents, without having to perform additional checks.
BCdiploma supports universities in the digitalization of their diplomas and certifications
BCdiploma is the business of offering universities a technological solution to help them fully digitize their diplomas and certifications. This system, which has already convinced 120 institutions in 18 countries, offers access to a public blockchain and all the possibilities that this technology includes.
Being able to issue verifiable credentials is not enough : students who are given digital diplomas must always have them at their disposal, whether it be in a month or 10 or 20 years. This is why BCdiploma, from autumn 2022, is offering a student wallet which will allow students access to their diplomas throughout their entire lives. In collaboration with BCdiploma, the University of Lille already issued no less than 20,000 blockchain certificates in 2021, and will be among the first, with the European University CIVIS, to provide its students with a virtual student wallet!
To find out more about the concept of the student wallet and other opportunities offered by blockchain technology, visit our site now!