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Verifiable credentials in European Blockchain Services Infrastructure

Eva’s trip illustrates the possibilities of the blockchain solution developed by the European Commission and the members of the European Blockchain Partnership, the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), and the verifiable credentials, whose standard it defines.

The trip shows a Belgian girl who graduates in her country, studies a master’s degree in Spain and later undertakes in Italy. In her country of origin she obtains two documents, one from the national government that will certify his identity, while another from the regional administration validates his university degree. This information allows her to access postgraduate education in Spain, which in turn issues a new digital certificate that she can store in her EBSI wallet. With all that information, as standard verifiable credentials, Eva can undertake in Italy, accessing grants from Feder funds, thanks to the credentials she has collected.

The European Blockchain Services Infrastructure aims to offer cross-border digital public services throughout the European Union using blockchain technology. It is formed by a network of blockchain nodes distributed throughout Europe, taking advantage of an increasing number of applications focused on specific use cases, whose proof of concept will begin to be available from January 2020.

(Source: CEF Digital)

Related articles: «El viaje de Eva”: Integración de la identidad digital por los gobiernos europeos, gracias a la tecnología blockchainDespega la blockchain de las administraciones europeas

The Master of Banking and Financial Markets of Casablanca certifies its degrees in blockchain

The Master of Banking and Financial Markets in Casablanca, which is carried out by universities Hassan II of Casablanca, in Morocco, and Cantabria, in Spain, already has its first university degrees in blockchain, registered and certified by SmartDegrees.

The graduates of this prestigious master can manage their university degree from their smartphone, through a free app that allows them to share the degree data with labor platforms, recruitment companies and third parties, guaranteeing the inviolability of the degree, by being registered and certified in the distributed ledger technology, blockchain.

The master wants to take advantage of the opportunities provided by blockchain technology in the higher education sector, as well as the technological capabilities developed by the SmartDegrees platform.

Its main advantages: agility, comfort and security in blockchain

The benefits for graduates are as follows:

  • It facilitates the enhancement of the degree, allowing sharing it agile and comfortable with other parties.
  • The graduate is the sovereign owner of their data and decides how, where and when to display them.
  • The app and support technology, blockchain, guarantee its inviolability and prevent fraud.

These are the first university degrees in Morocco registered in a mature, scalable and with the potential that smart contracts allow, such as Quorum, based on Ethereum.

“This certification makes it easier for the graduate to be put into value in the labor market and avoids any falsification, thanks to blockchain technology. We are very satisfied with this innovative service, which we plan to extend to graduates from previous years”, according to Professor Alaoui Mdaghri Abdelouahed, director of the master.

About the Master of Banking and Financial Markets in Casablanca

The Master of Banking and Financial Markets is taught jointly by the University Hassan II of Casablanca and the University of Cantabria since 2007, and has the technical support of two large banks, Attijariwafa Bank and Banco Santander. Its graduates obtain a double degree from both universities, and it is the most prestigious postgraduate program in the Maghreb and the second in the African continent in its specialty, according to Jeune Afrique, the most prestigious French-speaking magazine with the largest circulation in Africa.

About SmartDegrees

SmartDegrees is a platform for the registration and certification of academic degrees and corporate training, with associated services, which allow to be put in value in the labor market and in the society, while making them inviolable, ensuring their validity indefinitely.

Media coverage: elEconomista.es, DiarioBitCoin, Empresa ExteriorNews 1, The Bitcoin Times, Le MatinCoinTelegraph, Pokemag, Jamiati, Pages Afrik, EcoActu, Imperium, ConsoNews, Aujourd’hui

Related articles: SmartDegrees blockchain degrees work in Spain and Morocco

SmartDegrees obtains the European Commission Seal of Excellence

The European Commission has awarded SmartDegrees the Seal of Excellence, for its platform for the registration and certification of academic degrees and certificates based on blockchain.

This is a quality certificate provided to project proposals submitted to Horizon 2020, the European Union framework program for research and innovation in the 2014-2010 period. The certificate guarantees the fulfillment of the criteria of excellence, impact and quality and efficiency in the implementation, valid for obtaining financing within the Horizon 2020 budget.

Horizon 2020 is the largest research and innovation program in the European Union, with funds available for 7 years (2014 to 2020), an emblematic initiative of Europe 2020, aimed at ensuring Europe’s global competitiveness. It is a means to boost economic growth and create jobs and has the political backing of European leaders and members of the European Parliament. By bringing together research and innovation, Horizon 2020 drives excellence in science, industrial leadership and address social challenges.

 

SmartDegrees uses Microsoft to consolidate its university certification platform in blockchain

From now on, the nodes that constitute the SmartDegrees blockchain platform operate in Microsoft’s Azure cloud, where they have been moved from their previous support. This gives more security, scalability and monitoring possibilities, as well as flexibility in the development of improvements in its service.

The innovative and disruptive nature of this technology opens up enormous possibilities in all sectors, particularly in higher education, new graduates, alumni, universities, work platforms and recruiters.

SmartDegrees has the service available in several universities and educational institutions in several countries, being the University Carlos III of Madrid the first to have its official university degrees registered and certified in blockchain. Graduates who have joined the service can manage their titles from their smartphone, through a free app that allows them the following benefits:

  • It facilitates the enhancement of the title, speeding up its sharing with work platforms, recruiters and third parties.
  • The graduate is the sovereign owner of their data and decides how, where and when to display them.
  • The app and support technology, blockchain, guarantee its inviolability and prevent fraud.

The blockchain platform used by SmartDegrees consists of its own network, which operates on Quorum, Ethereum’s enterprise evolution, and, in addition, uses the public Alastria network, which provides security, transparency and puts in value ​​the integration and interoperability between blockchain networks.

Its main advantages: security, scalability and monitoring

The support of the blockchain nodes of SmartDegrees, private and public, in the Azure cloud of Microsoft, increases security, scalability and gives more possibilities, both in the monitoring processes of the nodes, as in the access to developing tools.

SmartDegrees is a member of the Microsoft for Startups initiative, which provides multiple benefits in the expansion of the SmartDegrees service to the rest of Spanish universities and other countries, interested in being members of the network of user universities.

UIB and SmartDegrees will conduct joint research studies on blockchain technology

The University of Illes Balears (UIB) and SmartDegrees signed an academic, scientific and cultural collaboration agreement on April 15, with the aim of developing joint study, exchange and cooperation programs in the field of blockchain technology research, especially related to the registration and certification of academic degrees.

The agreement, signed by Llorenç Huguet, rector of the UIB, and José María Fuster, president of SmartDegrees, contemplates joint research studies, seminars, colloquiums and symposia, and other programs and activities agreed between the parties.

The innovative and disruptive nature of blockchain technology opens up huge possibilities in all sectors, particularly in higher education. Its use in academic degrees allows to transform the degree in the labor market and in the society, with the following benefits for graduates:

  • It guarantees the immutability of the degree, avoiding the fraud.
  • The graduate is the sovereign owner of their data and decides how, where and when to display them.
  • It facilitates the enhancement of the degree, speeding up its sharing with work platforms, recruiters and third parties.

The growing trend of continuous and competency learning, together with digital work platforms and the increase in degree fraud, make it necessary to have secure, decentralized technologies that facilitate the portability of academic degree certificates.

The collaboration with the University Illes Balears will allow to take advantage of these opportunities, expanding the service provided by SmartDegrees for the certification and registration of academic degrees in blockchain platform, since July 2018 for several institutions of higher education and that is extending to other universities in Europe and Latin America.

About University Illes Balears

The University Illes Balears is a public university, innovative and committed to the improvement of society, through research, teaching and dissemination of knowledge in various fields.

About SmartDegrees

SmartDegrees was created in August 2017 with 100% Spanish capital, with the aim of offering registration and certification services for degrees in  blockchain, to help university graduates in the labor market, promoting services around the degree and guaranteeing the validity of the diplomas.

Media coverage: Europa Press, La Vanguardia, Economía de Hoy, 20 Minutos, Gente Digital

Related articles: SmartDegrees blockchain degrees work in Spain and Morocco

SmartDegrees and TechHeroX certify corporate training with blockchain

TechHeroX already has the first certificates for professionals in blockchain, registered and certified by SmartDegrees, being pioneers in giving validity to the skills acquired by those attending the Summit I event “Cybersecurity d3c0dified for data protection”. The main advantages for attendees are agility, comfort and safety.

This blockchain certified cybersecurity event was organized by TechHeroX, GirlsCanHack, MujeresTech and sponsored by Terminus7. These are the first professional certificates of skills and corporate training, registered in a mature, scalable and potential blockchain network that smart contracts allow, such as Quorum, based on Ethereum.

It uses the technology of distributed registration, blockchain, whose innovative character makes it the most important to change higher education and lifelong learning, opening enormous possibilities to graduates, companies, universities, labor platforms and recruiters.

Its main advantages: agility, comfort and security in blockchain

These professionals can manage their training and skills certificates from their smartphone, using a free app that allows them the following benefits:

  • It facilitates the enhancement of skills and abilities, speeding up their sharing with work platforms, recruiters, social networks and third parties.
  • The professional is the sovereign owner of his data and decides how, where and when to display them.
  • The app and support technology, blockchain, guarantee its inviolability and prevent fraud.

“These certifications make it easier for professionals to enhance their value in the labor market and in society, by allowing them to share their corporate training online, guaranteeing immutability for life. We are very satisfied with this innovative service, which we plan to extend to more companies and users soon”, according to María Laura Mosqueda, CEO of TechHeroX.

 About TechHeroX

TechHeroX is a producer of online training experiences, which designs disruptive content such as 360º and interactive videos, chatbots, augmented reality, interactive infographics and digital charts, among other tools. It also has its own Mobile Learning technology to distribute its courses in an app.

About SmartDegrees

SmartDegrees is a platform for the registration and certification of academic degrees and corporate training, with associated services, which allow to put their value in the labor market and in the society, while making them inviolable, ensuring their validity indefinitely.

Related article: TechHeroX present at the Mobile World Congress 2019SmartDegrees blockchain degrees work in Spain and Morocco

SmartDegrees ends its first year with ambition and positive synergies

SmartDegrees has started the year 2019 in the best way, thanks to the ambitious agreement signed with the educational company TechHeroX, dedicated to the production of unique online training experiences. Thanks to this agreement, SmartDegrees will certify through its distributed registration technology, blockchain, the degrees issued by TechHeroX.

This collaboration puts the finishing touch to a 2018 year of full growth for SmartDegrees. The most important milestone has been the collaboration with the University Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), which since July already issues the first university degrees in blockchain, registered and certified by SmartDegrees.

SmartDegrees has adhered to the Alastria blockchain network, where it also records its activity, increasing security and transparency, as well as enhancing interoperability between networks.

With such an innovative and disruptive model, SmartDegrees has been present in several activities and events, both in the educational and technological sectors, such as the European initiative Soft Landing or BMC Exchange, a benchmark for IT innovation, in which executives and experts analyzed the situation, possibilities and challenges for the future of this market.

As for the educational world, SmartDegrees has participated in several sectoral meetings of the Conferencia de Rectores de Universidades Españolas (CRUE), showing the opportunities of blockchain technology in the university world and its vocation of service in terms of quality certification and the truthfulness.

SmartDegrees was created in August 2017 with 100% Spanish capital, with the aim of offering registration and certification services for degrees in blockchain, to help university graduates in the labor market, promoting services around the degree and guaranteeing the validity of the diplomas.

Blockchain and university degrees in the XXIV CRUE Conference of General Secretariats

Blockchain has been part of the XXIV CRUE Conference of General Secretariats of the Spanish universities, which have taken place at the University of La Laguna, from November 21 to 23, which have been attended by more than 80 people linked to the General Secretariats of 40 academic centers across the country.

The objective of the conference was to jointly address different cross-cutting issues and problems that affect the ordinary functioning of universities.

Raúl Rubio, partner of Baker Mckenzie and legal advisor of SmartDegrees, has described the legal aspects associated with the use of blockchain in the university field. In particular, he highlighted the following aspects:

  • It is necessary to break the paradigm: blockchain is not equal to bitcoin.
  • It has key advantages: trust, security, reduction of time and cost in transactions.
  • There are public and private blockchain, this being the preferred option of most of the regulated entities.
  • In the university field it has the following uses:
    • Degrees and academic certificates (avoids manipulations, facilitates interaction with employers)
    • Credential Management
    • Monitoring and control of grants and subsidies
    • “Tokenization” of products and services
    • Financing
    • Digital protection of the results of research and management of intellectual property
    • Cryptocurrency Acceptance
  • Legal and regulatory developments are still limited worldwide, so the existing law applies to each case. There is no single approach for all cases, it depends on the use case.

For more details on the blockchain presentation and its impact on universities, click here. The conference program is shown here.

Related article: SmartDegrees participates in the first Blockchain Event of CRUE

SmartDegrees participates in the first Blockchain Conference of CRUE

SmartDegrees has been part of a round table at the Blockchain Conference organized by the Conferencia de Rectores de Universidades Españolas (CRUE), ICT sector, last October 5 at the University Internacional de Andalucía, in Malaga, which has aroused high interest, attending more than 70 people, mostly representatives of universities.

The objective of the day was to evaluate the maturity of this technology and what are its advantages and risks for universities, legal aspects and use cases in universities.

Maite Agujetas, COO of SmartDegrees, has described how blockchain is used to register and certify official university degrees in University Carlos III de Madrid, since last July, that the graduate can manage from his smartphone, through a free app that allows the following benefits:

  • It facilitates the enhancement of the degree, speeding up its sharing with labor platforms, recruiters and third parties.
  • The graduate is the sovereign owner of their data and decides how, where and when to display them.
  • The app and support technology, blockchain, guarantee its inviolability and prevent fraud.

The results are very positive, so the service is being extended to other universities, initially in Europe and Latin America.

In the experience of SmartDegrees, the keys have been “to choose the blockchain platform well”, which for the certificates of degrees has been a permissioned network, for facilitating the implementation of the specific activity of the certificates, and “avoiding the cryptocurrency”, if it is not necessary. This is the case of SmartDegrees, which uses, enterprise version of Ethereum, open source and without cryptocurrency. Maite Agujetas has also highlighted the current possibilities of the technology, which facilitates interoperability and integration between networks, as does SmartDegrees, which notarizes its operations in another additional blockchain network, that of Alastria, increasing the security provided by the SmartDegrees blockchain platform.

“Universities benefit from our activity, they are our partners, and we do not interfere with their internal processes, by resting in an API architecture.” However, “our final objective is the graduates, whom we help to value their qualification in the labor market and in the society, promoting services around the degree, which goes from being a static element in paper or electronically signed file, to be a secure and, therefore, dynamic digital asset, under the exclusive control of the graduate ”.

Related article: Blockchain and university degrees in the XXIV CRUE Conference of General Secretariats

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