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Coronavirus Scare Leads To South Korean University Issuing Diplomas On Blockchain

Shivdeep Dhaliwal

South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) will issue diplomas stored on blockchain to graduates thanks to coronavirus fears.

What Happened

POSTECH, located at Pohang, South Korea, will send its 828 new graduates an email that contains a QR code with a link to their diploma stored on blockchain. Cryptocurrency publication the Block reported that POSTECH does not believe it’s safe for students to assemble for a graduation ceremony. But instead of postponing the ceremony, the university has chosen to issue these digital diplomas.

A university official told South Korea’s Maeil Broadcasting Network (MBN), “In the aftermath of the new corona, it is impossible to hold a graduation ceremony on time.” He added, “Now, even if a student does not visit the school to receive the diploma, they can get an online digital degree secured by blockchain technology.”

The diplomas are created using “broof,” a blockchain certification service run by the Korean company ICONLOOP.

Why It Matters

POSTECH already issued blockchain certificates for its blockchain CEO course in June 2019. Other educational institutions are exploring blockchain certification as well: MIT Media Lab, for example, has already created and tested a number of prototypes like issuing digital credentials to their Media Lab Director’s Fellows and Media Lab alumni. 

What's Next

POSTECH is also exploring blockchain-based voting and surveying by developing a blockchain-based voting survey system called Voting for Students. POSTECH and Yonsei University in Seoul had also announced plans to create a blockchain campus together in April 2019. 

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