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Blockchain Credentialing: What Impact Will it Have?

Posted By Trent Batson Ph. D., AAEEBL, Monday, October 3, 2016

Blockchain Credentialing:  What Impact Will it Have?

We in the portfolio world are accustomed to digital disruption.  We are accustomed to thinking of student evidence of identity and achievement being in digital form.  But, now comes along blockchain credentialing, big news since the MIT Media Lab offered an open source means of credentialing using blockchain technology (the technology behind bitcoin).

At Texas Christian University, during the AAEEBL Southwest Regional Conference in early March, we heard our own Phil Long (member of the AAEEBL Board) speak about blockchain technology and its potential impact on eportfolios.  One of the links listed below is an interview with Phil. 

The idea of a trust network that is not owned by a bank or a government supporting currency exchange was mind-boggling but bitcoin has been sustained over a few years.  You can pay someone in bitcoin and have the transaction be anonymous.  A digital form of cash, in a way.  Blockchain is a very secure network. 

One of the articles below talks of reputation being like money – both have value – and that therefore it makes sense to think of blockchain as a reputation exchange and not just a cash exchange. 

Blockchain credentialing makes verification of credentials much simpler and less time consuming, according to the articles I’ve collected below.  Even IBM has entered the arena. 

As with badges, we in the eportfolio world need to be aware of the trend toward blockchain credentialing.  I’ve sorted through the links below so I could select those I thought would be most useful for you.

http://www.learningmachine.com/credentials.html

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-06-07-mit-media-lab-introduces-blockchain-technology-for-credentials

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/05/16/how-blockchain-will-disrupt-the-higher-education-transcript.aspx -- the Phil Long interview

https://www.gartner.com/doc/3279217/reinventing-education-credentials-using-blockchain

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/holberton-school-begins-tracking-student-academic-credentials-on-the-bitcoin-blockchain-1463605176

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/blockchain-identity-credentials-enough-eric-korb?articleId=8359553479741654341

http://thenewstack.io/one-school-using-bitcoin-blockchain-authenticate-degrees/ 

https://console.ng.bluemix.net/docs/services/blockchain/index.html 

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