University in North Carolina Issues Degrees Using Blockchain

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University is the first in the country to produce and store degrees in a digital format that uses technology which helped make Bitcoin famous.

by Eric Wildstein Gaston Gazette / December 28, 2018

(TNS) — East Coast Polytechnic Institute University alumni can now have their degrees issued and stored digitally using technology first associated with cryptocurrency.

ECPI is one of the first in the country to issue degrees via Blockchain technology, which provides secure, immediate verification. And it means that graduates no longer need to contact the registrar’s office to have a verifiable degree sent to a prospective employer or for any other purpose.

According to ECPI, anchoring records to the Blockchain provides the most advanced form of digital document security. These digital credentials have the potential to dramatically reduce false claims on resumes since employers will be able to instantly substantiate a person’s educational background. It also allows graduates to include secure links to the information on their resumes, public portfolios or job applications.

“This is the future of retaining your vital academic records independent of any issuing entity,” says ECPI University Chief Information Officer Jeff Arthur. “You retain proof and control of your achievements indefinitely. Employers benefit from a process that allows them to quickly and easily verify educational histories on a resume. ECPI University is proud to be an early adopter and put an end to the archaic process of requesting a degree or transcript.”

ECPI has North Carolina campuses in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, and South Carolina campuses in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. The university's communications director David Brandt mentioned that they "do get our fair share of students" from Gaston County, though he could not provide an exact number.

Blockchain was first used for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

According to ECPI University, the technology manages information in small units called “blocks,” which are linked using computer codes called cryptography. Each block essentially links and connects the information with a timestamp and other transaction data.

The student controls their official records and can share their degrees and/or professional certificates publicly on social media profiles, or send them privately by email or text message using the “share icon” in the Blockcerts app, and with its own unique URL.

Next year, ECPI University plans to use the Blockchain platform to issue digital transcripts, as well.

©2018 Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.