Engineering School Simplifies Verifying Certificates Using The Blockchain

Lester Coleman
October 22, 2015

Holberton School, a software engineering school in San Francisco, claims to be the first school to deliver is academic certificates secured and accessible via the block chain. The school has partnered with, which notarizes documents in the block chain. This goal is to help employers verify academic credentials quickly.

Verifying document authenticity easily and economically is one of many uses the block chain brings to business, industry and academia.

Block Chain Offers A Secure Environment

Holberton School will issue digital certificates in a secure environment. Accessing the certificate interface will require 256-bit, encrypted private key and 2-factor authentication. After the certificate has been inserted into the bitcoin block chain, the content is sealed and tamper-proof, according to Holberton School. Each graduate will receive a paper certificate and a digital certificate number that they can include on resumes. The digital number will allow employers to verify the certificate’s validity.

Sylvain Kalache, co-founder of Holberton School, said the block chain is more efficient, more secure, less costly and easier to use than other methods of verifying academic credentials.

To insert a new entry in the block chain costs a few cents and takes a few milliseconds. The content is protected using cryptographic functions such as asymmetric encryption and hashes.

Also read: Draft code reveals that security services are capable of bypassing encryption

Counterfeit Certificates And Diplomas On The Rise

The block chain addresses the growing problem of counterfeit academic diplomas and certificates.

Blake Haggerty, a recruiter at CoreOS, an open source Internet security software, said the process of verifying academic credentials is laborious and more companies are outsourcing the task to third parties.

HireRight, which verifies drug tests, Form I-9 and employment and education backgrounds, claims 86 percent of employers surveyed indicated employment application screening exposed a candidate who lied on a resume.

The block chain is a decentralized, authenticated structure that prevents tampering storage systems, according to Louison Dumont, founder of

Employers can get answers about education information in seconds using any free block chain explorer that is available online, such as

Image from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): January 6, 2016 14:31

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