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Understanding Blockchain Opportunities and Challenges
Understanding Blockchain Opportunities and Challenges

Author(s): Carmen Holotescu
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Education
Published by: Carol I National Defence University Publishing House
Keywords: Blockchain; Ethereum; Open Education; OERs; MOOCs; digital certificates;

Summary/Abstract: Blockchain technology enables the creation of a decentralized environment, where transactions and data are not under the control of any third party organization. Any transaction ever completed is recorded in a public ledger in a verifiable, secure, transparent and permanent way, with a timestamp and other details. Introduced in 2009 as the core mechanism for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency and its worldwide payment system, blockchain has had many applications in domains such as IoT, finance, business, management, health and education. Also new platforms and tools for blockchain implementation were developed. As education becomes more open, diversified, democratised, and decentralised, the blockchain technology is taken in consideration by researchers, teachers and institutions, to maintain reputation, trust in certification, and proof of learning. In the first part of the paper, we explore the blockchain technology. Next, existing global and governmental initiatives, together with potential applications of blockchain in different domains are presented. The need to learn about this emerging technology is demonstrated, together with pioneering cases in different universities. Then we propose a public blockchain called OpenEduChain, designed as a repository for open educational assets (Open Educational Resources - OERs, Massive Open Online Courses - MOOCs, open pedagogies and scenarios), but also to deliver issued certificates and open badges by universities and other educational and training institutions. At university level, OpenEduChain, implemented on Ethereum, is used to store data about the open educational items created by faculty members and students. Also digital certificates or open badges are provided to the participants in the trainings and workshops. After a period of tests, OpenEduChain usage could be extended at national level, but also for new purposes such as e-portfolios or assessment.

  • Issue Year: 14/2018
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 275-283
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English