Amid the coronavirus epidemic that’s sweeping the world, a South Korean university has scrapped a graduation ceremony and issued fresh graduates with blockchain certificates.

This month, 828 new graduates of Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) were sent a QR code that links to a blockchain-secured diploma certificate.

"In the aftermath of the new corona, it is impossible to hold the graduation on time, so even if a student does not go to school and receive a diploma, he or she can get a digital degree that is secured by blockchain technology,” a spokesperson from the university told MBN.


How does the blockchain diploma work?

The diploma is secured on the blockchain, which will prevent people from fraudulently claiming to have studied at the university. An employer can look up degrees in the database provided by ICONLOOP—the company that’s made the technology—to determine if someone really has studied at the university. 

The technology has become popular. MIT has used blockchain to log certificates since 2015, and diplomas since 2017; Melbourne’s RMIT University has done so since last year.  The UK’s Open University has received a grant from the European Commission to develop a blockchain-based certification program. Blockchain companies like Parchment, CIMEA, and Fluree have all worked on putting qualifications on the blockchain, too.

Where has the coronavirus spread to?

Over 34,800 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, and over 700 have died, according to the BBC. South Korea has 24 cases, according to worldometers. The virus has made its presence felt on the global economy, too; China has printed $174 billion to offset the economic effects of the coronavirus. 

Although the coronavirus hasn’t impacted the price of Bitcoin, the crypto community has been tangentially affected; from Bitcoin mines and startups being forced to close their doors, to blockchain companies organizing donation programs to tackle the coronavirus. Blockchain developer Acoer has even developed a dashboard to track the spread of the virus using Hedera Hashgraph.


Photo credit

Image by Artyukh Igor licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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