Bringing Security and Transparency With Blockchain in Education
Education funding is a big topic not only among universities and other educational institutions but also among various companies. When you are dealing with finances in companies, everything is documented and presented for investors or stakeholders. But what about when it comes to sponsorships? Can you be sure that your sponsored amount went to the person who needs it the most? In most cases, you can’t. That’s why some of the companies are turning towards blockchain solutions.
The need for transparency
When you’re dealing with scholarships and donations to education, you might notice that there is a lack of transparency. Ok, so some money gets transferred, but what’s the data for its effectiveness? Did the funds achieve what they were supposed to? Did the donation/scholarship help people learn what they wanted? These questions might seem out of place, but when you’re dealing with $102.5bn (in the US alone, according to CAE and Giving USA), it goes without saying that some answers along with transparency are needed.
Why is blockchain the solution?
Blockchain allows both: transparency and security when it comes to financial transactions. The main reason for this security when it comes to education funding is that it is a distributed ledger. To put it more simply, each entry is verified by using an algorithm that involves blockchain supply network members. That means there is a relatively low (close to 0) chance for error: each entry is recorded and can later be traced.
These entries are also coded, which means that they offer not only high transparency but also security. Blockchain uses cryptographic techniques, which makes it exceptionally hard for hackers to change it. The main reason for this is the extension of the blockchain network: the more nodes there are, the safer the network.
Blockchain solution for education funding
Now you might be thinking: is there a solution currently that ties the security and transparency of blockchain and education funding? For now, the only solution is being provided by BitDegree. They have started a scholarship for online classes program where their peers or companies can sponsor students. How is this achieved?
- Students can go through the system and pick the course or skill they think is the most useful for them. They fill out the application form and wait for the sponsor to choose their story.
- Sponsors go through different student stories and select the ones they think will help the most. Once they select the student and transfer the funds, the finances are converted to BDG token and kept safely in a smart contract.
- The student and the sponsor are notified that the contract has been made, which means that the student can start learning the chosen course.
- Once the course is finished, the student also receives a forgery-proof blockchain certificate.This solution perfectly combines blockchain and education funding and provides ideas for the future as well.
The future of blockchain in education
For now, there are not so many uses for blockchain in education and education funding. There are blockchain certificates that allow more personal transparency: people show their achievements and educational milestones with certificates that cannot be forged. The second solution is education funding. While this is still rare, such solutions like BitDegree show that it can be a future niche for blockchain as well. The reason why is simple: it provides the needed transparency and security that the current education field (and especially the education funding field) is lacking.