Blockchain technology has garnered much attention in recent years, but technology leaders seem split over its future–some say the hype will be short-lived, but blockchain start-ups are growing and hiring. What does that mean for blockchain technology’s uses in higher education?
According to Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution, blockchain “is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Information on a blockchain isn’t stored in a single location, and this means its records are public and easy to verify.
Supporters say blockchain technology has several applications in higher education, including in credentialing and security. Others caution that the technology may be too expensive or complicated to implement, or that the space between understanding and implementation is too large to bridge.
Here’s a look at some of the latest potential uses for blockchain technology, as well as where industry leaders think the technology might take higher education in the future. (Check out this visual explanation of how blockchain works.)