South Africa: Blockchain technology brings to an end fake and counterfeit university certificates

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  • The South African learning institution report has said it will issue blockchain-based certificates to its graduates in 2022
  • The report further explains that each qualification document given by the University of Johannesburg will have a QR code to verify its authenticity
  • The blockchain-based system is unique because it allows third parties, such as prospective employers, to verify a graduate’s certificate

Africa faces a crisis of insufficiently qualified university graduates, predominantly because of three significant factors. There is a lack of enough universities to administer high school graduates in the continent, a higher preference for overseas education and fake certificates that trash the ability to discern genuine qualifications in the market.

Blockchain technology in University degrees

However, the University of Johannesburg, A university-based in South Africa, has induced blockchain technology in its system to help counter the last setback.

The University has said it will issue blockchain-based certificates to students graduating from the learning institution starting this year.

Read: Aga Khan University addresses health issues among youth in Kenya’s coastal region

University administrators argue that certificates issued and managed by a blockchain-based system will help prevent fraud and halt the production and presentation of fake documents.

The University of Johannesburg creates a blockchain-based certification system. [Photo/IFU]
A QR Code verification for Each Certificate

The South African learning institution report has said it will issue blockchain-based certificates to its graduates in 2022. The report further explains that each qualification document given by the University of Johannesburg will have a QR code to verify its authenticity.

The University is adopting the blockchain-based certification system as part of an attempt to prevent fraud in the counterfeit documents produced in the name of the institution.

Tinus van Zyl, the senior director of central academic administration at the University, explains that the blockchain-based system improves the digital certificate system that the University of Johannesburg introduced some time ago. According to him, university graduates have been using the digital certificate system to digitally access or share their certificates with possible employers.

The blockchain-based system is unique because it allows third parties, such as prospective employers, to verify a graduate’s certificate.

“The public can now validate the awarded qualifications for University of Johannesburg graduates without contacting the University or going through a verification agency, just by scanning the QR code on the certificate and best of all, at no cost,” Van Zyl stated.

Read: Kenyan university launches robotics, embedded, systems and digital lab

Kinta Burger, an employee at the institution, suggests that implementing the blockchain-based certificate system will safeguard the University’s reputation and the certificates it issues.

The cure for an ailing problem

Students in Africa, specifically those from high-end backgrounds, have become very lazy! Why not! At the end of the day, they will buy their way to first-class degrees and distinction certificates.

The adoption of blockchain technology in the African education system will halt this production of fake certificates and return the quality of the certificates issued in Africa.

This will reduce the preference of African students for overseas universities and encourage students to take their studies seriously.

On the contrary, the growing technology around cryptocurrencies and blockchain attracts a handful of scammers.

The sensitization of these scammers is necessary if at all these advancements will succeed on the continent.

How to avoid crypto scamming in Africa

Cryptocurrency adoption in Africa is on the rise, and the number of traders in the continent is increasing exponentially. As the popularity of crypto users increases, so are potential scammers who are capitalizing on the little knowledge accumulated by traders and investors in the continent.

Crypto scamming in Africa. [Photo/The defiant]
A report by Chainalysis indicates that crypto scammers and fraudsters stole over US$14 billion in 2021. 

In a trading world with more than 600 cryptocurrency exchange platforms, the lack of a defined reference point of knowledge and over 10,000 altcoins and cryptocurrencies makes it quite challenging to know what is true and what is not.

There is no third party to regulate crypto trading, making the situation even worse. Here at The Exchange Africa, we sensitize traders on signs to look out for that could potentially be a scam plot.

Basic Crypto scams and how to avoid them

  1. Never send money on social media.
  2. Real crypto accounts will never send you a message on social media pages
  3. Transactions on the blockchain are irreversible.
  4. No legitimate traders or companies use comments to promote themselves.

Read: AfDB, Japanese University partner for Africa’s growth

I am a journalist who is an enthusiastic tech, business and investment news writer from across Africa. There is always something good happening in Africa but most gets lost in the stereotypes. I tell the stories that matter to the Africans for Africa. Have a tip? You can contact me at j.kangethe@theexchange.africa

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