University College London Becomes First UK Institution to Leverage Bitcoin Blockchain for Verification of Academic Qualifications
LONDON – JANUARY 10, 2018 — The University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Blockchain Technology (CBT) has launched a new initiative to use London-based, Gradbase’s, Blockchain technology for instant verification of academic qualifications of graduates.
The initiative consists of enabling MSc Financial Risk Management graduates to display a verified Blockchain-based qualification instantly on their CV. When applying for jobs, the graduates can now include a Gradbase QR code on their CV to provide information about their qualifications.
“The pilot will show that Blockchain technology can be used outside of the financial sector. It will boost the CVs of students, providing proof of concept for the future potential to reduce universities’ burden processing verification requests, and cut down the cost and time to verify qualifications for employers,” says Professor Tomaso Aste, the Scientific Director of the University College London Centre for Blockchain Technology (http://blockchain.cs.ucl.ac.uk/).
To launch the pilot program, UCL partnered with Gradbase, a London-based company whose technology leverages the Bitcoin Blockchain to reduce fraud and administrative costs for both prospective employers and academic institutions.
“We are very excited to have collaborated with Gradbase on a pilot with volunteer students to investigate the possibility of using the Blockchain to issue tamperproof academic qualifications. The UCL CBT is playing a leading role in enabling the use of Blockchain technology in the education sector, and we believe that, in the future, such technology will become mainstream.” added Prof. Aste.
Founded in 2016, Gradbase is funded by Global Advisors, a leading investment fund in the cryptocurrencies space co-founded by Daniel Masters. “We are delighted that a top-tier academic institution such as UCL has recognised the potential for Blockchain technology to change the world”, says Masters, “We look forward to receiving valuable feedback from this pilot.”
One particular challenge of the pilot was responding to the requirements of the upcoming GDPR and the “right to be forgotten” for users when Blockchain data cannot be removed. This major hurdle was overcome and the pilot is now up and running.
Gradbase is currently working to provide an instant verification service for academic and professional qualifications.