Piotr Peszko
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Podcast 2EDU #21. Blockchain in Education = end of cheating and many more

Podcast 2EDU #21. Blockchain in Education = end of cheating and many more

3 stycznia 2018

The Better understanding of how individuals learn, seamless identification if students, easy maintenance of ePortfolio of formal and informal education, all reliable, available and bulletproof – it seems like a nice science-fiction story, but this is what it is going to happen in the very near future with the usage of blockchain technology.

Blockchain is one of his personal interest. Oleksandr Pluzhnikov is researching the topic for the last 5 years and is very, very competent in the area of cryptocurrencies as well as the technology behind it that is much more than the currency layer and is called blockchain.

What is the blockchain?

In the simplest approach blockchain is a technical solution that allows to store the same data in many locations simultaneously and ensure that the data is the same at all the locations.
In previous years, dealing with paper documents there were special ways of folding, stamping and signing, and storing files – in safe for example – that made us sure that the collection of those document is complete, secure and reliable. Blockchain allows something similar. Each piece of new information it is electronically sewed into previous data ensuring that it’s there forever and cannot be taken out without destroying the whole database. In addition to this measure, we have also the distributed storage. For the old-time documents there was only one place where you can store the document, and if it was important it was safe as I have mentioned. With blockchain we have the possibility to store it in thousand and million places at the same time and there is a mechanism in blockchain that assures that all copies are the same. The benefit of this is that when one copy is corrupted then it is overwritten from other sources.

Blockchain is the tool that can prevent us from cheating

One of the benefits of blockchain is that all version are stored and can be recovered. What is interesting is that each version is timestamped. So going into learning example, if you graduated in 2001 this information will be saved in 2001 and there is no way to post your diploma on the other date.

What are the other benefits where learning and education can benefit from learning technology?

  1. Identification of individuals is from my perspective the most interesting area. At the moment we often use encryption keys to validate the person, but it has some disadvantages. The blockchain is much more reliable and gives more chance that the person in front of you is the one identified by the software.
  2. Storing educational history (ePortfolio) for each citizen starting from schools and universities, but also taking into consideration all learning activities that happen outside of the formal education. It all can be combined into one large educational profile, expanded with the marks, subjects, school data, and all of this may be time-stamped and versioned. With blockchain we can store much more data and as a result, have a much better way of understanding learning of the individuals and groups.
  3. Learning programs exchange and rating – when we will use blockchain to store educational curriculums it will allow them to be easily compared and a quality check will be much easier than at the moment. So you can imagine that comparing Advanced Physics of one of the Polish Universities with similar or the same course at MIT will be possible so that you can check which course better suits your needs. This can be also a very good tool for checking the quality of curriculums at the national or wider level.
  4. Protection of rights for the research work – looking at the academia, still most of the work is not about teaching others but about research. One of the problems is publishing of scientific articles, especially knowing who the first to publish particular solution was. With blockchain and its timestamp feature, it will no longer be a problem.
  5. Referencing source materials – this is another fragile topic when talking about science and research. When you look at books, they are quite stable if you think about how often the information in the changes, so you can easily quote or refer them in your publications, but what about the newest publishing. There is no way that you can refer a website and be sure that it will be still available in 2 years. Moreover, you cannot be sure about the content. The author may change it and your reference will be no longer valid. In case of blockchain, you can store all references with the specific timestamps and be sure that it will be available in future.

What are the interesting examples of blockchain usage?

When it comes to identification at the moment Estonia, as a country has kicked-off the project to store the identification info on the blockchain. It is currently the only country of so high coverage of its citizens with this particular technology. It allows them to step up and implement e-government solutions like electronic voting. It may be quite useful for learning purpose as well. With having first steps already taken they can easily start to store educational history, graduation or certification data lowering the cost of the evaluation.
There is also one more interesting project in the matter of identification. It is called Civic and you can easily check online what it is about on the project website:
If you are interested in learning more about using blockchain in education you should check what is going on in Malta (

Where are we with the adoption of the blockchain technology?

At the moment we are at the very early stage and the results are not so visible, especially in education. There are many project kicked-off and there will be many more. We just need to wait for the results to be shown.

If you would like to learn more there is a very good publication titled: Blockchain in Education that is a very comprehensive source for information.


Urodziłem się w małym mieście na Podkarpaciu, tam po raz pierwszy zmuszono mnie tego, żeby zdobyć formalne wykształcenie, chociaż wolałem social learning, zbieranie puszek po napojach i przesiadywanie godzinami przed komputerem w poszukiwaniu szybszej metody na wczytanie gry z kasety do swojego Commodore 64.