7 things to know about blockchain

Posted on October 17th, 2016

This EDUCAUSE resource looks at the potential use of blockchain in higher education. Blockchain is a public, distributed, unchangeable digital ledger. It consists of a series of “blocks,” which each contain data or transactions and are linked to all previous blocks so users can see and verify the entire history of a set of records. While best known for being the foundation of Bitcoin, there is increasing attention on its use in higher education. Blockchain may present a new way of tracking academic performance using the transcript. In a blockchain transcript, for example, people with verified credentials could have access to a student’s records, students could access their own records, and they could regulate which parts of their records can be seen by different users. Blockchain may also allow for a more dynamic way of recording academic achievement. By including alternative credentials, such as badges or extracurricular achievements, a blockchain transcript can “[reveal] not only what students have done but also where their interests lie and where they could take their careers.”