Blockchain for certificate verification

As we all know blockchain is a distributed immutable ledger. And we have seen some financial applications of blockchain like cryptocurrency. Apart from that blockchain has so many non-financial applications. One such application is explained in this blog.

Today, fake degrees is a major problem in our society. Fabricating fake degree certificate in the name of any university is not a difficult task today because we are still following paper printed certificate system. In the current scenario, verifying such a certificate is possible only via emails and telephone. This is a highly inefficient process.

Blockchain technology finds a solution for this. What if a digital copy of each certificate is stored in blockchain and certificate holder keeps the corresponding traditional paper printed certificate? If so, the certificate can be verified from anywhere, any time in a glance. Since blockchain is immutable, no one is allowed to tamper the certificate if once issued. If a university decides to issue all their certificates in the blockchain, then no one will be able to fabricate a fake certificate of that university. Let’s see how it works.

Step 1: Generate digital certificates
University generates digital files for each certificate which can be a JSON or XML or any other convenient format. These files contain data which has to be included in the paper certificate which should possess integrity.

Step 2: Push data into the blockchain
Next step is storing the data in the blockchain. We can use any public blockchain like Ethereum, Bitcoin or EOS. This process is the most important one. Storing data into a blockchain should be done as a transaction. The transaction should be signed with the private key of the issuing authority(university). And it is extremely important to keep the private key confidentially. When the transaction is done a unique ID will be returned. This ID can be called a transaction ID or transaction hash. Using this transaction ID, the data stored in the corresponding block can be retrieved.

Step 3: Print the traditional paper certificate
Now the traditional paper certificate will be printed with an extra QR code on it. This QR code is embedded with the transaction ID.

Verification process:
To verify the certificate, the verifier just needs to scan the QR code in the smartphone. So that the transaction ID will be decoded and the data will be retrieved from the blockchain and displayed if the certificate is genuine. If the certificate is a fabricated one, no data can be retrieved from the blockchain and verification failed message will send to the verifier.

Advantages

  • No more fake certificates
  • Easy verification
  • No need to attest the certificate xerox copy by a third party even xerox copy can be verified just by scanning the QR code
  • No fear of wear and tear of paper certificates
  • Simplified process

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