Caribbean Examinations Council Pilots Blockchain Academic Certificates

Blockchain, Education | November 1, 2018 By:

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has started issuing blockchain-based academic certificates to a limited number of candidates.

The CXC announced on Wednesday that it issued 24,000 blockchain-based academic certificates to candidates who sat their exams in May and June this year. To issue the e-certificates, the CXC used Blockcerts, an enterprise platform that simplifies anchoring official records to the blockchain. Blockcerts is a result of partnership between MIT and Cambridge, MA-based software company Learning Machine, which was first introduced in 2016.

The candidates received their certificates via the free, open source Blockcerts Wallet, a highly secure credentials wallet that stores, shares, and verifies evidence of candidates’ achievement in CXC examinations. One of the key benefits of Blockcerts is that a recipient owns their credentials and that they will be available to be verified by third parties even if an issuing institution or vendor ceases to operate. In addition, there are no fees for current and future candidates to receive their e-certificates, and for users of Blockcerts to authenticate a candidate’s record.

“CXC is extremely excited about this latest development as we transition several of our processes to electronic workflows,” CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch said. “Our candidates as well as users of the certificates, that is, employers, colleges and universities will find Blockcerts very convenient to use.”

Cumberbatch added that as an examination board, security of the certificates is a CXC priority and the blockchain technology provides the most robust protection available.

According to the CXC, Blockcerts was selected because it offers several advantages: preserves vendor independence for records issuance, sharing, storage, and verification, and it is the “most widely-adopted global open standard for blockchain credentials.”

Natalie Smolenski, Learning Machine Vice President of Business Development, said that it is institutions like the CXC that are advancing the cause of individual ownership of their official records.

“Students and workers travel frequently to live, study, and work throughout the Caribbean,” Smolenski said. “Having easily shareable, portable electronic credentials can speed up a verification process that usually takes weeks or months into a matter of seconds. This is a win/win for both issuing institutions and Caribbean citizens.”