SOURCE: Holberton School

October 21, 2015 09:00 ET

Holberton School to Authenticate Its Academic Certificates With the Bitcoin Blockchain

The New Software Engineering School Now the World's First School to Deliver Secure Academic Certificates Within the Bitcoin Blockchain

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 21, 2015) - Holberton School announced today it has become the world's first school to deliver academic certificates secured and accessible via the blockchain, the technology behind bitcoins, ensuring a high-quality certificate recognition for Holberton School students and tackling the threats of false resumes and fake certificates.

The school also announced a partnership with Bitproof, a startup specialized in documents certification in the blockchain.

According to HireRight, a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug testing, Form I-9 and employment and education verifications, 86% of the employers surveyed said that screening had exposed a candidate who lied on their resume. Employers need to make sure candidates actually graduated from the institutions that are mentioned on their resume.

"Lying about education credentials is a common problem, and today it is very easy to counterfeit academic diplomas and certificates," said Blake Haggerty, recruiter at CoreOS. "In addition, the process to check someone's degree is quite laborious, as you need to get the school's contact information, reach the right person and do it again for every candidate. Medium and big companies often delegate this task to third parties as it's very time and money consuming."

Holberton School and Bitproof are simplifying this verification process, and adding a new layer of security by using the blockchain.

"The blockchain is well known for storing bitcoins transactions because it's a decentralized, authenticated and hardened against tampering storage systems," said Louison Dumont, blockchain expert and founder of Bitproof. "Naturally, it also makes a perfect place to store academic certificates."

By having students' certificates available in a public blockchain, Holberton School makes it easier for employers to check if a candidate is truly a graduate from the school. Using any free blockchain explorer available online, such as Merkle, employers can get the answer in seconds.

"The blockchain is the future of certification, and we believe that in the following years, more schools will use the public blockchain to secure their certificates and diplomas," said Sylvain Kalache, co-founder of Holberton School. "It is much more efficient, secure, and simple than what you can find today in the industry. We think first about our students -- we want to make sure that our certificates will always remain valid and verifiable by employers. It will also keep them safe and impossible to copy or hack."

Read more about the announcement
- Holberton School blog post
- Bitproof blog post

About Bitproof
Bitproof is an online blockchain notary recognized by the Bitcoin community to be one of the most user friendly use case of the technology. Bitproof delivers cryptographic timestamped proofs of integrity using the blockchain technology. The generated certificates can then be accessed through any blockchain explorer. The blockchain certification process is more efficient, cheaper, faster and safer than the normal offline process: inserting a new entry in the blockchain only costs a few cents and takes a few milliseconds, moreover, the content's privacy is protected using strong cryptographic functions (hashes and asymmetric encryption).

Read more about Bitproof:
- Bitproof website
- Merkle, the free online blockchain explorer, by Bitproof
- Follow Bitproof on Twitter

About Holberton School
Holberton School is a project-based alternative to college for the next generation of software engineers. Using project-based learning and peer learning, Holberton School's mission is to train the best software engineers of their generation. At Holberton School, there are no formal teachers and no formal courses. Instead, everything is project-centered. The school gives students increasingly difficult programming challenges to solve, and give them minimal initial directions on how to solve them. As a consequence, students naturally look for the theory and tools they need, understand them, use them, work together, and help each other.

Read more about Holberton School:
- Holberton School website
- Holberton School blog
- Facebook page
- Follow Holberton School on Twitter

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