According to a recent article in The Conversation, blockchain technology is proving very useful for microcredential implementation. And it's particularly interesting for both workers and students as a future way to avoid the hassle of finding and verifying old (or new) credentials. For example, student records stored on blockchain limit access to legitimate users only, such as institutional administrators and potential employers selected by students or job seekers. In times gone by, institutions owned and controlled certifications like degrees, and students would have to personally request them. But that could change with ‘digital degrees’ and microcredentials that rely on blockchain.
Here at ByzGen, we have seen some credential use cases for FALKOR SI, for example proving credentials for onboarding to certain projects, or security clearances.
The article talks about controlling access and auditing access to data on the blockchain, which to us goes without saying, and these are core FALKOR SI capabilities. FALKOR does things differently in this area, with its own way of managing IDs and encryption, which means the user just needs to control permissions rather than more complex things like generating public keys, as the article suggests.
We’ve also seen extensions of this use case where tokenisation can be used to back additional appreciations and rewards exchanges from employees or peers. These, along with the actual credentials themselves, can be used to wider support an individual’s suitability or for them to benefit personally from what they have received.
In terms of data and tokens, these are two layers of FALKOR that can support this challenge on a wider scale, through just one platform – and provide additional capability. We’ve also been involved in use cases to protect credentials and flag to users where they have been used, which is another reason FALKOR is so useful in this context. Again, enhancing through one platform.
What’s really interesting in the article are the real instances where blockchain is being used like this. In 2019, McMaster University announced it was awarding ‘digital degrees’ using blockchain, and microcredentials are now offered by post-secondary institutions, sometimes in partnership with corporations in the form of ‘digital badges’.
The other interesting point is the ethical and logistical challenges it’s also raised – particularly around the ‘right to forget’. Blockchain is immutable which can cause its own issues when mistakes can’t be erased, or students can’t omit blocks from the chain that perhaps aren’t applicable (or are undesirable!) How can they highlight or hide different credential based experiences? It’s definitely something we’ve taken into account with FALKOR SI, and we use our off chain storage component that integrates with the blockchain to handle situations just like these.
If any of the above has piqued your interest, or you want to know more about our enterprise blockchain platform FALKOR SI, and what it can do for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.