Is it time to say goodbye to paper-based credentials?

08 July 2021

A new CQUniversity research project is set to benefit the higher education sector' through the development of encrypted qualification tokens to replace paper-based credentials.

The project – Developing a Blockchain Application for Replacing Traditional Paper-based Certificates and Recording Academic Credentials of Individuals – is part-funded by The Centre for Intelligent Systems.

Chief Project Investigator' CQUniversity Senior Lecturer in Information Systems and Analysis' Dr Sriman Grandhi says that while some institutions are digitising their credentials' blockchain use remains low.

"A blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems'"

he says.

"The technology records information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change' hack' or cheat the system.

"While blockchain technology is commonly used for cryptocurrency' the potential of this technology is still being explored by both policymakers and industry practitioners."

Dr Grandhi says the CQUniversity research project will attempt to utilise blockchain technology to offer an innovative solution for digitising individuals' academic credentials.

"The blockchain solution will not only allow individuals to securely submit their academic credentials for verification but also speed-up the verification process'"

he says.

"Moreover' the blockchain solution will eliminate the need to carry hard copies of academic certificates' reducing the nation's carbon footprint."

Associate Project Investigator' CQUniversity Senior Lecturer in Information' Communication and Technology' Dr Santoso Wibowo says the project is made up of four main objectives.

"We will first investigate the current processes (and challenges) associated with verifying individuals' educational qualifications by different Australian institutions'"

Dr Wibowo says.

"Findings will inform a proposed process that will address the challenges associated with the existing verification processes.

"We will then develop and implement a blockchain solution to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed process."

The CQUniversity research project is expected to finish in 2022.