CXC to issue e-certificates using blockchain technology

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will begin issuing electronic credentials in addition to traditional paper-based certificates tomorrow, as part of a pilot aimed at boosting security and portability of official examinations records.

CXC yesterday announced that some 24,000 candidates who sat the May/June 2018 examinations, and for whom the council has e-mail addresses, will receive Blockcerts or blockchain-based credentials.

“CXC is extremely excited about this latest development as we transition several of our processes to electronic workflows,” CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch said in a release. “Our candidates as well as users of the certificates, that is, employers, colleges and universities will find Blockcerts very convenient to use.”

The registrar said that as an examination board, security of the certificates is a CXC priority and the blockchain technology provides the most robust protection available.

CXC said with the shift to Blockcerts, candidates will be sent their certificates via the free, open source Blockcerts Wallet, which is a highly secure credentials wallet that stores, shares, and verifies evidence of candidates' achievement in CXC examinations.

The Blockcerts will be issued using the Learning Machine Federated Issuing System, an enterprise platform for nation-states and multinational organisations looking to securely digitise the issuance and verification of official records.

The council reasoned that issuing documents as Blockcerts helps to prevent the loss of official records in the event of relocation, natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, all hazards that affect the Caribbean periodically.

Natalie Smolenski, Learning Machine Vice- President of Business Development, was quoted as saying: “It is institutions like the CXC that are advancing the cause of individual ownership of their official records. Students and workers travel frequently to live, study, and work throughout the Caribbean. Having easily shareable, portable electronic credentials can speed up a verification process that usually takes weeks or months into a matter of seconds. This is a win/win for both issuing institutions and Caribbean citizens.”

CXC said Blockcerts was selected because it offers several advantages: preserves vendor independence for records issuance, sharing, storage, and verification, and is it is the most widely-adopted global open standard for blockchain credentials.

In addition, the council noted that there are no fees for current and future candidates to receive their e-certificates, and for users of Blockcerts to authenticate a candidate's record.

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