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Malaysia unveils blockchain-based certificate verification

According to a recent press release, with an aim to maintain the integrity and reputation of universities across Malaysia, the Ministry of Education in Malaysia has decided to deploy blockchain technology.

The ministry has, therefore, launched the ‘e-Scroll system,’ which is an issuance and verification system for university degrees based on the NEM blockchain.

The e-Scroll system has been developed with the aim to address the alarming rise in the number of fake degrees some of which are now rolled out online. Easy access to fake degrees and its related certificates is not only morally unforgiving but also sets out wrong signals to the wellbeing of the society.

Presently, universities in Malaysia receive numerous requests from across the world for the verification of educational certificates. Until now, the whole process was highly disadvantageous as it was done via email or over the telephone. But the blockchain-based e-Scroll system will not only bring in transparency but will also ensure a quick, smooth, and reliable process of verification.

The idea of incorporating blockchain as a means to tackle degree fraud was initially conceived by the Council of ICT Deans of Malaysian universities early this year.

According to the Ministry of Education, the NEM blockchain was shortlisted due to its distinctive credibility in managing authenticity and traceability. A QR code is printed on the certificate, and whenever there arises a need to verify, the QR code can be scanned with the help of an internet connection from any part of the world.

During the preliminary stages of implementation of the e-Scroll system, all the degree certifications of the Ph.D. students graduating from the International Islamic University Malaysia this month will be embedded on the blockchain.

In addition to the e-Scroll system, the education ministry has also formed a consortium of blockchain experts from across different universities within the country. The consortium conducts training sessions for academics and students on blockchain technology. The ministry believes that the consortium would be able to help develop blockchain applications in an attempt to produce revenue for the member institutions.

The six founding member universities of the consortium include International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM).

Another report stated that in a recent Tweet, the Ministry of Education noted that realising the need to safeguard the reputation and integrity of Malaysian universities, the Ministry of Education has taken a decisive action to prevent such degree fraud which also cheats and unfairly disadvantages genuine students.

It will be interesting to see how Malaysia makes use of blockchain technology to combat fraud degrees in the country.

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