The University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has published its monthly Research @Glance newsletter, highlighting the research initiatives and cutting-edge projects it has engaged in over the past month. These range across many fields of innovation, from the study of solar energy and social phenomena to a collaborative research project for the development of an advanced humanoid robot for use in education.
One of the major research highlights in this month’s edition of the university’s newsletter is its partnership with BSV Blockchain Association to build an academic certification and accreditation platform using the scalable and powerful BSV blockchain. The association and the University of Sharjah have launched a joint research agreement to develop a blockchain-based system to validate the academic certifications and the accreditation of higher education institutions.
By leveraging the public digital ledger of the BSV blockchain as well as its powerful qualities of immutability, scalability and security, this project aims to secure and validate legitimate academic certifications and accreditations while protecting against the distribution of fraudulent certificates and qualifications.
In the United States alone, there are around 2 million fake degrees or certificates in actual use and more than 300 unauthorized universities in operation, while in UK there are around 270 fake academic institutions. This has a significant impact on employers globally, with these academic certificate scams estimated to cost employers up to $600 billion per year.
By building a publicly auditable, immutable and verifiable record of legitimate credentials stored on the BSV blockchain, the University of Sharjah and the BSV Blockchain Association hope to demonstrate the ability for the platform to solve and prevent this type of fraud from continuing to affect businesses around the world.
As a part of this initiative, the University of Sharjah will undertake a multi-phased research and development programme, beginning with the creation of a framework for validating and authenticating academic and professional certifications by leveraging the benefits of a public blockchain. After this, a proof-of-concept application will be developed that implements the principles and functionalities gleaned from the research phase, and it will be deployed on the BSV blockchain.
Following the deployment of this prototype application, the university plans to expand its utility by establishing a start-up company to provide this service to private and public educational institutions around the world.
The R&D project is led by Dr Mohamed Al Hemairy and Dr Manar Abu Talib from the University of Sharjah.
Dr Al Hemairy explains that the BSV blockchain’s unique and powerful design combined with its public auditability and immutability make it the perfect platform on which to trial this blockchain-based certification project.
‘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,’ he says. ‘We have chosen our project to be implemented on the 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 use case for our study.’