European Commission Publishes New Blockchain in Education Study

European CommissionA new report on blockchain in education, from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, explores the way that the technology could disrupt institutional norms and empower learners.

Blockchain is a decentralised, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers, which means that records cannot be altered retroactively without the altering of all subsequent components.

The new report notes that the new technology could improve any activity that is based on timestamped record-keeping. Within education, the report argues that blockchain technology has numerous applications in the awarding of qualifications, licensing and accreditation, management of student records, intellectual property management, and payments.

The use of blockchain technology in education could greatly reduce the administration costs to education institutions and introduce several innovations. One example explored in the report is the use of blockchain technology to accelerate the end of a paper-based system for certificates because certificates issued by educational organisations can be permanently and reliably secured using blockchain technology. The report concludes by stating that while blockchain applications for education are still in their infancy, they still disrupt the market in student information systems and loosen the control current players have over this market.

The full report can be found on the website of European Commission.