Dubai Plans to Eliminate Fake Academic Records with Blockchain Technology

Fake academic records have been a longstanding issue during the pre-employment process, as well as when it comes to professional certifications. These fake credentials are not only used to gain jobs, but also to boost a scammer’s reputation and gain prestige. 

Diploma mills are on the rise in the past years as even prominent figures buy academic credentials from nonexistent or fraudulent universities and institutions just to appear more learned and successful. 

The problem is so serious in the Middle East that the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research symposium even held a symposium to discuss it before the pandemic hit in 2019. And now, with more of the pre-employment process being relegated online, fraudulent academic and professional digital certificates are becoming rampant. 

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an attestation process has been implemented to tackle this problematic matter. Attestation in the UAE involves having to notarize original or authenticated diplomas, certificates and other documents and then registering and submitting it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC). It takes at least eight days for the attestation to finish once submitted to MoFAIC.

Now, everyone applying for a job in the UAE is required to have all of their academic and professional certificates attested. However, the process is time-consuming, exhausting and expensive, especially for those who studied abroad, as the diplomas need to be authenticated by not only the university, but also the embassy of that country. 

Academic Records on Blockchain

The UAE government is embracing blockchain and other emerging technologies, even enacting the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 with the goal of putting 50% of government transactions on the blockchain. So, it does not come as a surprise when the solution to the problem of fake academic credentials and the tedious attestation process have been found using blockchain technology

The University of Dubai has started to use a blockchain-based platform to store academic records. A digital wallet is also being developed by the government that will become a one-stop shop for all kinds of transactions, including academic and professional credentials. 

“The government said that once every student from nursery school should have everything recorded using blockchain technology. So, you don’t need to worry about your first-grade results because it’s all on the blockchain—you just have it in your wallet,” Dr. Eesa Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, said. 

“The whole drive of the country is towards having everything available on a blockchain wallet that will give you all your credentials, as well as other things, of course. Transactions are going to happen without using banks, without using credit cards—directly from the buyer to the seller, from the seller to the buyer, and so on,” Dr. Bastaki added. 

Likewise, the University of Sharjah has also signed a research and development agreement with Switzerland-based Bitcoin Association, a global industry organization that advances the adoption of the BSV Blockchain, which is the largest public blockchain that is scalable. 

The goal of the partnership between the University of Sharjah and Bitcoin Association is to develop a platform a blockchain-based academic certification and accreditation platform. The task is headed by Dr. Mohamed Al Hemairy and Dr. Manar Abu Talib of the University of Sharjah.

“We are excited to work with the BSV Blockchain ecosystem on a project that advances the UAE government’s commitment to transition data activities to the blockchain to achieve a more efficient and trustworthy world. We have chosen our project to be implemented on BSV Blockchain due to its powerful features and capabilities, i.e., its massive scaling power, significant data capacity, low transaction fees and its public transparency, which makes it the perfect choice for the used case for our study,” Dr. Al Hemairy stated.

At present, the BSV Blockchain is already completing 4GB blocks with a throughput of up to 100,000 transactions per second at fees of infinitesimal fractions of a penny. And as the network continues to scale, these numbers will continue to increase, while the fees only become lower. It has recently processed a record-breaking 10 million transactions in a day, which compose more than 78% of transactions on all existing blockchains.

This makes the BSV Blockchain both efficient and practical—a rational way to innovate digital infrastructures and resolve many age-old issues with laborious processes, such as fraudulent academic qualifications.

“The integrated system will not only improve the authenticity of a wide array of certifications and documentations, but it will also reduce risks of invalid certificates via the immutable properties of the blockchain,” Dr. Abu Talib revealed.

Ten Years into the Future

The UAE is committed to investing in and utilizing emerging technologies, especially blockchain. It is part of a plan to lead the world in technology and also boost its economy. While the bad reputation of cryptocurrencies have rubbed off on blockchain, leading many national governments to seek its regulation, the UAE has seen blockchain for its utmost utility.  

“We think that for Dubai, and the UAE in general, implementing blockchain will be a start towards the 10X vision, which we’re looking at. We want to be ahead of the world by 10 years and have blockchain implemented completely in the country. So, everything and every transaction will be on the blockchain,” Dr. Bastaki shared.

The Grand Hyatt, Dubai will soon host the BSV Global Blockchain Convention on May 24 to 26 where distinguished executives and experts from all over the world will speak about how blockchain can propel businesses and nations into the future digital economy. 

Hey guys, I am Aman Singh Bhadouriya. I'm a student of Btech 3rd year and a part-time Blogger who loves writing about Technology and Digital Marketing. I have created Ezad Tech to share my knowledge with others.

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