Unifinity — Enhancing education through blockchain technology

Introduction

Blockchain has become one of the most recognizable emerging technologies over the last decade. This is due in part to the immense popularity of bitcoin that has become a viable alternative to the prevalent centralized financial structures we have today.

Education Industry

One industry that has yet to leverage the advantages of blockchain technology is the education sector. Many educational institutions from around the world have expressed enthusiasm and interest in blockchain but very few have integrated this technology into their systems. Financial constraints, unavailable IT infrastructure, and lack of technical know-how have been major barriers to entry to many of them.

What is Blockchain Technology?

To get a better understanding of the benefits of blockchain technology we have to understand what blockchain is and what makes it so revolutionary and valuable.

First approach: think of it as a database

We define blockchain as a trustworthy decentralized database that incorporates a consensus mechanism to establish immutable truths. Unlike regular databases, no single entity can alter, reverse, or stop transactions in a blockchain.

Second approach: think of it as a public ledger

We can also define blockchain as an open public ledger. A ledger is just a compilation of time-stamped transaction journals. They are tools by which one can determine the ownership of an asset at any point in time. Being as such anyone has a chance to write on this public ledger and the information written on it is available for public scrutiny.

The value of Blockchain technology

It is not hard to see that we are increasingly leaning towards digitization of virtually every human interaction. This has been the common trend for several years now and the success of the various social media outlets, e-commerce, and entertainment sites stand as proof of this phenomenon.

Problems with intermediaries

This only works if the intermediary does not act against the interest of any of the transacting parties. But we all know too well that many of these seemingly trustworthy organizations exploit user data of their customers selling them to interested companies or utilize them for target marketing or even social engineering.

Blockchain is codified trust

For the first time in human history, we are able to encapsulate in computer code “trust” or a way to establish “trust.” This enables blockchain developers to create systems where users need not trust counterparties or rely on intermediaries to secure transactions. It cuts out the middlemen making transactions more efficient, free-flowing, and cost less.

Disintermediation

Blockchain has the potential to disrupt whole industries due to disintermediation or in lay man’s terms “cutting out the middlemen.” This is perhaps the single most exciting part of blockchain technology, as in many cases, this technology replaces a cascade of middlemen with one system that facilitates the direct interactions of users within a computer network.

Introducing Unifinity

Unifinity Limited is the company behind the Unifinity platform. It is headquartered in Seychelles with affiliate companies in Asia, Europe, and Africa. The project is founded by a group of professionals with extensive knowledge of blockchain technology as well as other allied industries. Their expertise in blockchain technology and complementary technologies allows them to develop blockchain-based solutions that will enhance the education system.

The Unique Value proposition of Unifinity

The Unifinity team believes that blockchain technology will play a pivotal role in the improvement of the education and learning management systems schools have today. However, they also recognize that many schools have not yet integrated high-tech automation tools as most of these systems are too expensive and complicated to implement and use.

How will Unifinity enhance education?

Blockchain is digitized truth, hence it is applicable in any digital process where parties are required to trust each other. By utilizing this emerging technology Unifinity plans to disrupt the education system through the following innovative use cases:

Securing Diplomas and Certificates

Schools and universities will benefit from blockchain technology by enabling them to secure digital diplomas and certificates of students. Digital signatures associated with these diplomas and certificates will be stored in a blockchain, securing them and making them permanent. Even if the school closes down, interested parties who want to verify their existence will be able to do so by validating them through the blockchain.

Self-Sovereign Identity

Unifinity’s platform will enable students to become the final arbiter of who can access and use their data and personal information. This will empower them to own and manage their credentials without having to rely on educational institutions as a trusted intermediary. Educational Institutions will benefit by relieving them of the burden of securing private information of students that might be a source for external and internal security risks.

Blockchain-based Payment Options

In its current form, traditional financial institutions are not always accessible to students. Most of the time, the requirements to avail of financial services from these institutions require a tremendous amount of time and effort to comply. Even so, access to financial services will be limited given the student’s age and employment status.

New ways to Fund Student’s Education

Blockchain technology was designed as a secure and robust value transfer network. It has enabled existing IT infrastructure like the internet to evolve from a network that acts as a conduit of information into one that facilitates effective and safe value transfer. Many believe that in the next evolution of the internet, it will evolve into a network of value transfer powered by the first digital public infrastructure that facilitates value exchange, cryptocurrencies.

Incentivization and Rewards Mechanism

One of the most exciting features for students that will be integrated into Unifinity’s platform is the innovative ways students will be rewarded and incentivized to perform well in school. Dream Planner Portal serves as an incentivization and rewards mechanism where donors, sponsors, school supporters (alumni, PTA organizations, NGOs, scholarships and etc) and future employers can help students reach their full potential.

Conclusion

Like many other industries, the education sector can immensely benefit from adopting blockchain technology. Looking into Unifinity, one of the most promising blockchain projects seeking to enhance the education system, gave us a glimpse of the future role of this emerging technology in this industry. However, it must be noted the technology itself (blockchain technology) and the Unifinity platform are currently in their early phase of development.

  • Blockchain-based accreditation of schools. This will streamline verifying the legitimacy of accreditation claims of many learning institutions.
  • Blockchain-based tracking and rewarding of intellectual property. Students and teachers retain ownership of their school work or teaching materials. It also provides means to get rewarded based on use or citations
  • Blockchain-based lifelong learning passport. (This is not to be confused with Cambridge, Microsoft and Unicef’s initiative dubbed as Learning Passport). This functionality is the extension of storing student’s learning credentials. It takes on the form of a verifiable CV that contains all learning and employment records.

Official Channels

Resources

https://unsplash.com/photos/zFSo6bnZJTw
https://unsplash.com/photos/h5iazR-wljU
https://www.cbronline.com/what-is/what-is-a-database-4917209/
https://unsplash.com/photos/smgTvepind4
https://unsplash.com/photos/5fNmWej4tAA
https://www.security7.net/news/what-is-a-social-engineering-attack
https://unsplash.com/photos/xekxE_VR0Ec
https://theprint.in/opinion/profit-making-and-commercial-biases-influence-news-feeds-on-google-facebook-and-twitter/111937/
https://unsplash.com/photos/2W32pAOwFEk
https://coingeek.com/catalonia-developing-blockchain-based-identity-platform/
https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/joint-research-centre_en

Blockchain/crypto enthusiast from the Philippines.