Diogo Serranito, Andre Vasconcelos, Sergio Guerreiro and Miguel Correia (INESC-ID, Portugal) presented the QualiChain project and their paper Blockchain Ecosystem for Verifiable Qualifications at the 2nd Conference on Blockchain Research & Applications for Innovative Networks and Services (BRAINS 2020), which was held online on September 28-30, 2020. The authors discussed the ways that their proposal differentiates from other systems that are emerging. Below is a summary of their reasoning:
First, those other systems tend to focus on the problem of the Higher Education Institution (HEI): they provide a platform for each HEI to store an authenticator for their diplomas. On the contrary, we focus on the problem of the contractors: how can they verify certificates from *any* HEI. In those other systems the contractor must obtain a trustworthy version of the endpoint identifier (e.g., a smart contract address) of each HEI, whereas in ours the contractor must obtain only the smart contract address of one smart contract, the consortium smart contract (or one per consortium if there is more than one). That gives the contractor access to trustworthy addresses of the smart contracts of all the HEIs of the consortium.
Second, our solution is decentralised: each HEI manages a smart contract, but the consortium smart contract is managed by the consortium, using a consortium smart contract. It is up to the consortium to decide which HEIs can join or leave, as well as the rules for those decisions to happen. If a company provides a similar platform, it is up to the company to decide which HEIs can join/leave and to disseminate their endpoints, thus the solution is centralised.
Watch the recording of this presentation here: