Paper or blockchain certificates?
The most widespread system for the accreditation of academic competences is the issuing of certificates in paper format. They usually have specific security measures that seek to hinder their potential falsification. In addition, special care is taken to ensure that the delivery of the certificate or diploma is made only to the person who has earned it. The receiver can make use of the certificate by showing it to whoever asks for it and if he makes copies, should look for a public notary to authenticate the copy.
This system of paper certifications has very significant disadvantages:
- No document is immune to the risk of being forged. This obliges the issuing institution, in any case, to keep a central record of the certificates issued which may eventually be consulted in case of doubt to authenticate a diploma or certificate.
- The registries that guards the certificates are not exempt from the risk of disappearance or destruction. In these circumstances, the certificates remain valid, but the ability to verify them has been lost.
- It compels to maintain a service to answer queries about the validity of certificates and claims. This implies manual processes that require significant staffing.
- The level of security for the physical certificate is determined by the difficulty in its preparation and the processes necessary to accredit the document. The more secure is intended to be, the more expensive will be to produce the certificate.
- There is always the possibility for a fraudulent declaration of the certificate informed by someone at the issuing institution.
- Once a paper certificate or diploma has been issued, there is no way to revoke or cancel it if the owner does not give up the possession.
- If a third party needs to consult different certificates or accreditations to verify, for example, the qualifications mentioned in a CV, it is necessary to access each individual document and verify it manually, a process that consumes lot of time.
The blockchain technology applied to the issuing of certificates answers to all the previous impediments, except one obviously… Do you know which one?