What is OpenCerts?
OpenCerts is an online platform based on the blockchain technology that offers an easy way to issue, check and verify academic certificates. It provides a common standard for the issuance of digital certificates along with their validation and verification. It aims to allow individuals to easily access and retrieve their digital certificates from a single location.
The project is an initiative by the Government of Singapore and a collaboration among four organizations- Government Technology Agency (statutory board of the Singapore government), SkillsFuture Singapore (national movement to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to develop their skills), the Ministry of Education (ministry that directs the formulation and implementation of policies related to Education in Singapore), and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (an institution for higher studies in Singapore).
Currently, 18 educational institutions in Singapore have implemented this system and now students will receive blockchain-based digital certificates starting from the year 2019.
How OpenCerts Can Be Beneficial?
Currently, the certification system involves providing physical certificates to the candidates. Physical certificates mean that the copies need to be dealt with in person, they aren’t tamper-resistant and can be lost.
Also, the employers need to verify the authenticity of the certificates by communicating with the educational institution that conferred them. Hence, OpenCerts can help employers easily identify doctored certificates and at the same time assist students to get their certificates verified effortlessly.
Additionally, in OpenCerts, data doesn’t have to be stored in one location as each certificate’s details are kept in an individual file and all verifications are done through Ethereum. With this set-up, the cost of maintaining a blockchain-based digital certificate system could be highly reduced as compared to building an equivalent on a centralized database. Therefore, OpenCerts can lead to better security and cost savings.
How OpenCerts Works?
OpenCerts allows educational institutions to create digital certificates for their students by creating digital representations of every academic certificate and publishing them onto the Ethereum blockchain. Once the certificates are published on a public ledger like Ethereum, they are permanent and unalterable.
The certificates are essentially time-stamped and assigned a cryptographic signature. And, if any attempt is made to modify the content of any of these certificates, the certificate becomes invalidated.
Once the certificate is issued to the student, the candidate owns the file but cannot modify its contents as it would void the time-stamp and cryptographic signature of the certificate. However, he/she can send the certificate to potential employers instead of submitting the physical copy.
Further, when an employer receives the digital certificate, they can verify its authenticity against the public ledger using the certificate store interface. Here, the system verifies the time-stamp and cryptographic signature of the certificates to make sure that it has not been modified in any way.
Who Can Benefit From OpenCerts?
The following entities can benefit from the use of OpenCerts:
OpenCerts change the way students receive their academic certificates and transcripts. Students can conveniently store and access their digital certificates that are tamper-resistant and permanent, through this platform. They will no longer need to obtain physical copies of their certificates as this platform enables them to share their digital certificates directly to potential employers or universities.Additionally, graduates who are Singaporeans and permanent residents of Singapore can also access their digital certificates in an online government repository called Skills Passport.
OpenCerts can completely eliminate the need for universities and institutions to issue physical certificates. Schools can issue digital certificates and transcripts in the OpenCerts format, without investing in other platforms of their own. Also, as the requirement of physical certificate copies will drop, the administrative load will surely decrease.Furthermore, institutions will also save time spent on re-issuing certificates and vouching for their authenticity.
OpenCerts makes the process of verifying a certificate’s authenticity incredibly easy. Employers can easily check the authenticity of the certificates of anyone from any institution from one place. Hence, instead of calling an institution to verify each job candidate, employers can simply drag and drop the certificates onto the OpenCerts website and get them verified quickly and conveniently.
If you want to implement the OpenCerts platform into your educational institution, get in touch with an OpenCerts Consulting Company in Singapore and digitize your certificate issuance and verification process.