MIT issuing diplomas using blockchain technology

Since the school’s inception, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has issued paper diplomas to over 200,000 students. This summer, a pilot program saw 111 graduates receive their credentials via a specially developed app, in addition to traditional means.

The Blockcerts Wallet app was developed by Learning Machine in conjunction with the MIT Registrar’s Office. It uses blockchain technology to give graduates easy access to verifiable, tamper-proof version of their diploma that they can share with potential employers.

Blockcerts Wallet uses the same implementation of blockchain that underpins Bitcoin to verify the legitimacy of students’ credentials. When an individual downloads the app a pair of public and private keys are generated, and a one-way hash is added to the blockchain.

The student’s public key is inscribed into the digital copy of the diploma, and the app has access to the private key for the purposes of proving ownership. When someone wants to check that the diploma is legitimate, they can access a web portal where they can paste a link or upload the digital file and receive confirmation of its owner’s identity, which is instantaneous and free of charge.


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