Blockchain: The Future of Data Transfer in the Education System? 

By Sonia Van der Linde 

Blockchain. A word that triggers many of our brains to space out and force a façade of interest on our faces. The truth is, however, that this technological breakthrough might be a tool that we will all make use of in our everyday lives in the not too far future.  

Blockchain is a highly cryptic information transferring and recording system. It functions as a decentralized, digital ledger that is constantly duplicated, coded and time-stamped as it travels through a network to reach the intended recipient. Essentially forming a “chain of data” impossible to hack as after each duplication, the contents are shuffled around and “re-encrypted” like a constantly evolving virus travelling through the body,” flying under the radar”, unable to be intercepted by white blood cells and medication. It was developed by the same mysterious figure behind Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. A name that no one knows much about, and many have theorized over. 

Although it is mostly used in the corporate world to transfer sensitive information, over the last few years, a handful of universities started using blockchain for various student services such as issuing of diplomas, payment handling, and record transfers. The use of blockchain will not happen overnight as there are always negatives that go with the positives, mainly the large amount of energy needed to maintain such a decentralized network. Global budget projections predict that by the end of 2022, 11.7 billion dollars will have been spent on blockchain by various corporations. 

But, if we have learned anything about technological advancement, Blockchain might one day be a tool that can be used by just about anyone. 

Photo credit: [Pixabay]. 

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