In part I we’ve talked a bit on the potential uses of blockchain. So besides land registry and healthcare services, where else can we apply blockchain technology?
With the age of digitisation, the education sector is pushing hard to become as advanced as the rest of the world. One of the first steps higher education institutes had taken to ensure they are well in the rat race is by offering first degree courses online. Consequently, they have made learning a global and borderless opportunity for anyone in the world. Now, students are able to learn from top institutes of the world without having to incur the costs of physically attending the institutes of their choice.
So where does blockchain technology comes in? We all know that blockchain is essentially a distributed public ledger that records all historical data. And we also know that transactions on blockchain are verified through a “peer-to-peer” network. These two unique features make the whole system transparent and virtually incorruptible.
Picture yourself undertaking a degree at a top institute at the other side of the world, online. When you finish your studies, you will receive a scroll indicating you’ve passed the requirements to graduate with a degree. Normally, you attend a ceremony to receive it, or request by post. But what if there’s a third, and probably better alternative? Especially for those who are working, or prefer not to waste money on traveling just to receive a degree.
What blockchain can do is store authentic credentials in the form of immutable digital certificates. With blockchain, every certificate produced is recorded and verified by the network. Therefore, it can be perceived as authentic and each holder with their own private key, a genuine holder. MIT Media Lab has been using blockchain for their digital certificates since a year ago.
Besides that, educational institutes can potentially use blockchain as a database for students records or assessments. Similarly with health services, storing students records such as their learning development and achievements can make it easier for sharing of information. Policy makers could benefit a lot if they have all the information they need in one database. Sony Global Education is one such company that is aiming to develop a viable system using blockchain.
Governments can also benefit more by applying blockchain. We talked about land registry in the previous post. In this post, we’ll touch on the electoral system. In any country, voting is a crucial event and even more important is a clean and fair voting process. Paper-based system has been the current practice for centuries but leaves so many loopholes for human errors, unintentionally or otherwise. Some countries have moved towards an electronic voting system, but there are still potential security risks as it relies on one main server to relay votes.
Blockchain technology enables the voting process to be more transparent and secure. It’ll be more difficult and not to mention resource-consuming to hack voting data. Furthermore, voting can be accessible to anyone and remote voting relying on postal would be a thing of the past. An experimental shareholder e-voting scheme has already been carried out with Nasdaq’s heading the project.
Next post, let’s see if we can find other uses for blockchain technology.