Long queues and a ten Euro fee for a seal. The verification and authentication of a certificate take time, is expensive, and annoying. Applicants, examiners suffer from this as well as the issuers of the certificates, such as citizen centers or universities. They must regularly fight against forged certificates and the associated reputational damage. Moreover, the recipients do not have full control over the diplomas and certificates obtained.
That is why the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is the first university in Germany to offer blockchain-based certificates. With this new technology, it is possible to create fraud-resistant certificates and statements. One can also make them permanently available without restriction – and in compliance with data regulations. For this pilot project, the business school cooperates with Consensys, one of the leading software companies in the field of blockchain. Consensys developed a decentralized app (dApp) for so-called “Self- Sovereign Identities“: An identity created by the user that is stored on the blockchain andthus tamper-proof. Data and degrees can be administered by the user.
Therefore, the loss and re-certification of credentials and certificates are a thing of the past. Veronika Kütt, a research associate at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center and lead of the project states: “Blockchain-based certificates are fascinating. In the future, we will be able to display and verify credentials digitally. We are doing pioneering work here. Our students find it a privilege to be involved in a new technology so early on. It must have been similar to programming the first public internet sites in the mid-‘90s.“
Professor Philipp Sandner, head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, adds: „Thanks to blockchain technology, it is possible to securely save personal data such as a CV or an identity card digitally. With our project, we show how easy and comfortable that can be for the user.“
The first students to receive a blockchain-based certificate from Frankfurt School also dealt with this technology in their degree course. The eleven students have completed the business school’s “Certified Blockchain Expert” program which is part of the professional education offerings. The specialists and executives from the finance, IT or consulting industry developed basic knowledge and IT skills for different applications of the blockchain technology. Now, they can use what they have learned to harness the potential of the new technology for their companies.