Japan-based Muroran Institute of Technology is piloting a program to verify its students’ academic records using blockchain technology, The Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday.
The university, located in Hokkaido, has partnered with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation for the service that is expected to start by March 2020, The Nikkei said.
BarnardSoft Co. Ltd., a system developer company, will also lend support to the project.
Muroran Institute is hoping to ultimately expand the service to include details beyond the academic record of its students.
“We hope to eventually have a system that also tracks job histories and qualifications, so each person can easily prove their records,” Junichi Kishigami, a professor at the University told The Nikkei.
Muroran Institute will be the first university in Japan to implement blockchain technology to verify academic records, according to The Nikkei, but another five universities are expected to join next year.
Features such as immutability, permanent storage of data, and privacy make blockchain technology appealing to institutes looking for alternatives to paper-based documentation of their students.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology piloted blockchain-based digital diplomas for a select number of graduates in October 2017.
The University College of London in the U.K. similarly offered the students of its MSc in Financial Risk Management program a blockchain-enabled option for “instant verification” of their diplomas using nothing but their smartphone and a QR code.
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