Managing Partners, EVC Ventures.
I recently came across a news which says, the global market for blockchain was at $708 million in 2017 which is anticipated to reach $60.7 billion in 2024. That's steep! Having said that, there are still many who keep on strolling with the dubious state of mind, thinking blockchain is just restricted to the area of Fintech. Howbeit, the benefits of blockchain technology can be witnessed in many areas, such as healthcare, real estate, education sector, etc.
Still and all, I believe it is of utmost importance that before adopting the very technology, one must have an understanding about it. Bitcoin, the one that disrupted the global economy and made headlines by more than doubling its cash value in May 2018, luring big investors coming in.
As the name suggests, blockchain technology is all about blocks of information that are secured by the algorithms, which are hard to manipulate or hack. As a digital ledger, blockchain can be described as a distributed database, which provides unaltered records for every transaction and where every block identifies a cryptographic signature.
Blockchain database is spread across different computers without having any centralized control or middleman. Every transaction is public, synchronized, and encrypted, ensuring security, minimal administration cost, and transparency. Over and all, one can imagine a world full of transparency without any transactional error and the presence of high accountability.
Blockchain In Education
Almost every student who had or is dealing with the standardized process of college examinations knows how slow the process of grading can be. Not just slow, the process can be costly as well as inefficient at the same time. Sometimes, sending results physically can take a long time, resulting in the inability of the students to meet set deadlines for college admissions. This causes a lot of problem to the students, however, blockchain can help in ensuring that the important educational data is readily available to all at lesser cost and time.
Many institutions are running pilot programs to test the blockchain solutions. The list includes the names like University of Nicosia, MIT, a few schools in Malta, etc. This shows how blockchain in the education sector is still in its infancy yet picking up at a high rate.
What Should You Expect From The Implementation Of Blockchain Technology In Education Sector?
• Ease of Sharing – With the help of blockchain technology, students can share their degrees and related certificates with the employer(s) with ease. Both the parties who want to access these documents can view it in the blockchain-enabled platform, however, the rights to allow someone with the access to the information stays with the owner.
• Immutability – Blockchain ensures that the information shared across is same for all. The information shared cannot be modified by anyone who is viewing or accessing the data. For example, once the students' results are live on the blockchain platform, it cannot be altered or hacked in any way.
• No Intermediates - One can bypass the urgency of hiring a central control authority or say an intermediator to keep the records of the shared information. With the help of blockchain, the information is stored in a secure way, ensuring that no middleman is required.
• Reduced Costs – For the transcripts sought by the students from the University, there is some cost involved. However, with the blockchain technology, such costs are ruled out as the information is easily accessible to all.
• Eliminating Paper Use – Blockchain can keep all the data like certificates, records of credit transfers, other student-related records for a lifetime without having to depend on a manual paper documentation process.
The Bottom Line Is
The number of blockchain-related LinkedIn job postings more than tripled over the last year and that validates the fact that there is going to be a definite upswing from just proof-of-concept projects to out-and-out deployment of blockchain technology.
With a myriad of possibilities, blockchain technology is all set to take over the education space. Where some universities and colleges are running pilot programs, the transition from the traditional ways of learning to the ones backed by the modern technologies like blockchain is hard to overlook. You may say that education sector is sluggish when it comes to embracing new technologies, however, the adoption of blockchain technology by one institution can stimulate the change in others as well and that too at a higher pace. Still and all, as a venture capitalist, I can’t wait to see the way blockchain technology unfolds in coming years and how could I be a part of this by supporting startups working in this space.