OpenCerts is a blockchain-based, open-source platform for issuing and validating tamper-resistant digital academic certificates. Users will not have to worry about any personal information being leaked as academic records of the certificate and personal data are not published on the blockchain. Since a public blockchain is owned by the community and easily accessible by anyone, there is no need to run or maintain services to verify OpenCerts.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The educational digital certificate space is fragmented with many solution providers, each often only operating within their own country. Even within Singapore, there is no clear consensus on which solution would prove to be the most acceptable. The existing solution providers lock certificate holders into using their proprietary platforms, by ensuring that they are the only trusted issuer, verifier, and safe keepers of the certificates.

The team saw an opportunity to develop an open and portable solution that would give students control over their educational certificates. To achieve that, these certificates would have to be developed on an open standard as well as have a low barrier to entry. The outcome of this development would be to enable students to have certificates that they can bring with them on their lifelong learning journey, even if it crosses borders.

The key differentiators of OpenCerts are:
- Fully open source: Educational institutions can easily create digital versions of every academic certificate that has been or will be issued, and publish them on a public ledger.
- Selective disclosure of document contents: Certificate holders can decide which sections they want to show or hide.
- Decentralised with no central authority on issuance: Since these records are made on a public blockchain, they cannot be altered or destroyed by a single person.
- Custom rendering of document: Issuers can customise the look of the certificate, and include multiple views of the same certificate if they wish.

To become an OpenCerts issuer, the institute simply needs to deploy a Document Store smart contract with 1 click, and design a visual template for the certificate. They can then begin to issue credentials for as cheap as US$0.5 per batch of up to 50,000 certificates.

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Year: 2019
Level of government: National/Federal government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

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