Holberton School to Authenticate Its Academic Certificates With the Bitcoin Blockchain

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Holberton School announced it has become the world’s first school to deliver academic certificates secured and accessible via the blockchain, the technology behind bitcoins, ensuring a high-quality certificate recognition for Holberton School students and tackling the threats of false resumes and fake certificates.

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The school also announced a partnership with Bitproof, a startup specialized in documents certification in the blockchain.

According to HireRight, a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug testing, Form I-9 and employment and education verifications, 86% of the employers surveyed said that screening had exposed a candidate who lied on their resume. Employers need to make sure candidates actually graduated from the institutions that are mentioned on their resume.

“Lying about education credentials is a common problem, and today it is very easy to counterfeit academic diplomas and certificates,” said Blake Haggerty, recruiter at CoreOS. “In addition, the process to check someone’s degree is quite laborious, as you need to get the school’s contact information, reach the right person and do it again for every candidate. Medium and big companies often delegate this task to third parties as it’s very time and money consuming.”

Holberton School and Bitproof are simplifying this verification process, and adding a new layer of security by using the blockchain.

“The blockchain is well known for storing bitcoins transactions because it’s a decentralized, authenticated and hardened against tampering storage systems,” said Louison Dumont, blockchain expert and founder of Bitproof. “Naturally, it also makes a perfect place to store academic certificates.”

By having students’ certificates available in a public blockchain, Holberton School makes it easier for employers to check if a candidate is truly a graduate from the school. Using any free blockchain explorer available online, such as Merkle, employers can get the answer in seconds.

“The blockchain is the future of certification, and we believe that in the following years, more schools will use the public blockchain to secure their certificates and diplomas,” said Sylvain Kalache, co-founder of Holberton School. “It is much more efficient, secure, and simple than what you can find today in the industry. We think first about our students — we want to make sure that our certificates will always remain valid and verifiable by employers. It will also keep them safe and impossible to copy or hack.”

 

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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