Blockchain-backed Digital Diplomas are becoming increasingly popular across the world as a means of issuing, securing and verifying educational records .
Recently, the University of Bahrain (UOB) entered into a partnership agreement with Blockcerts, an open standard for blockchain-backed credentials, to issue digital diplomas for students . UOB will be one of the first universities in the Middle East to employ such a program .
I. UOB and Learning Machine Partnership
University of Bahrain. Solely for Normative Use.^^^
UOB’s pilot program will offer digital diplomas on the “Blockcerts open standard, in partnership with Learning Machine,” to students attending postgraduate degree programs . Bahrain has announced its intention to become a technology-first country in its Economic Vision 2030 .
Professor Riyad Hamzah, President of UOB, expressed excitement about UOB becoming a trailblazer in blockchain adoption in the Mena region . Hamzah was also relieved that third-party recipients will no longer need to “wait for [UOB] to validate their credentials” because they have cryptographic proof that the diplomas were issued by UOB .
The blockchain-backed credentialing system is part of UOB’s digitization strategy, “which places digital security, ownership, and portability at the center for globally mobile learners and workers” .
Cameron Mirza, head of Strategy at the UOB, also commented on how the pilot program pushes UOB’s 2016 transformation strategy forward, and showing that blockchain’s potential in education shows that it’s utility goes far beyond simply cryptocurrencies .
II. Learning Machine & Blockcerts
Blockcerts. Solely for Normative Use.^^^
Blockcerts is an open-source project developing “an open standard for creating, issuing, viewing, and verifying blockchain-based certificates” .
Learning Machine, in partnership with MIT, created the Blockcerts open standard for verifying digital credentials in 2016 .
Blockcerts chose to be an open-source project because only an open standard allows individuals to have complete control and autonomy over their digital certificates .
Blockcerts, as an open-source project, actively invites new collaborators (it’s a pretty cool project) to help create technical resources for the community for individual projects and to achieve interoperability .
Learning Machine. Solely for Normative Use.^^^
Learning Machine is a global leader in blockchain-based digital credentials . Learning Machine’s first pilot program was in partnership with MIT, in which MIT issued blockchain-backed digital certificates on the Bitcoin blockchain to “more than 100 graduates as part of a pilot program as of mid-October 2017” .
Learning Machine is pushing adoption of secure credentialing systems all across the world through the Blockcerts open standard .
“Learning Machine has deployed secure credentialing systems for customers across Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, the Middle East, and North America” .
Learning Machine’s unique combination of “vendor-independent open standards, a best-in-class enterprise product, and white glove service” distinguishes Learning Machine from other companies developing decentralized identity and credentialing system software .
As governments see the need to become a technology first country, and institutions see the benefits of digital transformation, the continued adoption of blockchain-backed credentialing systems will not only show the potential for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies, but its potential to change every aspect of our daily lives .
^^^ = Use of “Learning Machine, ” “Blockcerts,” and “University of Bahrain” logos is solely for normative use and is in no way shape or form an endorsement by Learning Machine, Blockcerts, or University of Bahrain of the views expressed herein or of Greyscail Blockchain Review in general. Learning Machine, Blockcerts, and University of Bahrain have no relationship with Greyscail Blockchain Review nor should one be implied from the contents herein.
 Adrian Zmudzinski, University of Bahrain Will Issue Diplomas on the Blockchain Employing Blockcerts, CoinTelegraph,https://cointelegraph.com/news/university-of-bahrain-will-issue-diplomas-on-the-blockchain-employing-blockcerts, Jan. 13, 2019.
 University of Bahrain to issue digital diplomas, TradeArabia, http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IT_349650.html, Jan. 13, 2019.
 Lisa Froelings, MIT Issues First Digital Diplomas Using Blockchain Technology, CoinTelegraph, https://cointelegraph.com/news/mit-issues-first-digital-diplomas-using-blockchain-technology, Oct. 21, 2017.
 Joseph Young, Why MIT Implemented Bitcoin Blockchain to Distribute Diplomas Instead of Permissioned Ledgers, CoinTelegraph, https://cointelegraph.com/news/why-mit-implemented-bitcoin-blockchain-to-distribute-diplomas-instead-of-permissioned-ledgers, Oct. 22, 2017.
 About Blockcerts, Blockcerts, https://www.blockcerts.org/about.html.
 About, Learning Machine, https://www.learningmachine.com/about.