Malta has become the first country in the world which has taken the decision to put all educational certificates on the blockchain. The decision in this regard has been taken by the Maltese government which has signed an agreement with a blockchain startup named Learning Machine. According to the agreement, the company has been given two years to accomplish the task – storing all the educational certificates on the blockchain. The decision is historic and has opened a new avenue of growth for blockchain owing to this newly found application domain.
According to a news report published on MaltaToday, the startup has been asked to extend its pilot project “Blockcerts” that was started back in September 2017 for storing educational certificates on the blockchain. So far, the certificates issued by some of educational institutes in the country such as Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) and Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST) have already been put on the blockchain although the government wants to have all educational certificates including the ones issued by the schools run by the state, independent authorities, and church on the blockchain within the next two years.
The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, hailed the initiative during the agreement signing ceremony organized at the capital of Malta, Valletta. Reminiscing on the project that started in 2017, Muscat expressed happiness over the fact that he had been able to fulfill his promise of making Malta a blockchain island. Elaborating on the merits, the Prime Minister said the project has resulted in a number of benefits including reducing the bureaucracy and providing enhanced protection to the students’ data.
The Senior Vice President of the Business Development at Learning Machine, Natalie Smolenski, in a conversation with Malta’s national television said that now students can have their certificates in the digital form which can be accessed from any part of the world. Moreover, the digital format makes the certificate easy to share with others and allows instant verification which is absolutely free of cost.
The University of Malta will also introduce blockchain in some of its courses from October onwards. Divulging the details, Silvio Schembri, Parliament Secretary for Digital Economy, said that the courses related to law, engineering, information, and communication technology (ICT), and related subjects would have blockchain focused credits in the future. This will help to bridge the gap between a huge demand for blockchain experts and current supply of professionals in the country.
Malta’s Education Minister, Evarist Bartolo, said that his country has demonstrated to the world that it not only dreams the big things but also implement the change to realize the great things. According to the Bartolo, the country wants to act as a catalyst and emerge as a role model for other nations which are still skeptical about the prospects of using new technology and tools.