POSTECH Issued Degree Certificates on a Blockchain for the First Time in Korea
POSTECH is the first university that issues a degree certificate on a blockchain in Korea.
On the 7th of February, the graduation ceremony for the academic year 2019 was scheduled and the university issued digital degree certificates to all students via email and Kakaotalk, a mobile instant messaging application. It was the first time that an institution issued degree certificates on a blockchain to all graduates.
A digital degree certificate cannot be counterfeited or tempered. When a third party desires to verify the degree, a certificate holder needs to approve the access. The blockchain-based certificate issuance service used by the university is called broof and it is developed by a venture company, ICONLOOP which is founded by one of the POSTECH graduates, Jong Hyup Kim. POSTECH introduced this service as a trial.
By using their service, a university can issue certificates of degree without building database, so it can simplify the service process which then can save costs. Also, graduates can simply access their information anywhere at any time. They can control who can access their information and this has an advantage of protecting personal information.
POSTECH Information Research Laboratories had already issued blockchain-based degree certificates to the graduates of POSTECH Blockchain Executive Program using the same service twice last year. The university is considering expanding the issuance service to all academic administrative levels, from academic transcripts to degree verifications.
Meanwhile, the graduation ceremony was postponed to July 10 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in prevention of its spread and protection of students and faculty from the infection. Also, the first day of the 2020 Spring Semester is postponed to March 2 which was originally scheduled on February 17. The 2020 Matriculation Ceremony and orientation for the new incoming students are cancelled as well. When students cannot attend the graduation ceremony in July, they can freely visit their academic departments to receive their degree certificates.