Software School Tackles Fake Degrees Using the Blockchain

San Francisco's new software engineering school, Holberton, has announced it will tackle fake degrees using bitcoin technology.

AccessTimeIconOct 23, 2015 at 11:13 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:57 a.m. UTC

San Francisco's new software engineering school, Holberton, has announced it will tackle fake degrees using bitcoin technology.

In partnership with Bitproof, the notary startup founded by teenager Louison Dumont, Holberton will issue every graduate with certificate that can be verified on bitcoin's blockchain using a Digital Certificate Number (DCN).

While statistics on the prevalence of fake college degrees is thin on the ground, 86% of employers in a recent survey said they'd found candidates lying on their CV. In addition, fake certificates are widely available and cheap to buy.

Inserting degree information into the blockchain could be a faster, cheaper solution for employers, said Sylvain Kalache, the co-founder of Holberton School:

"It is much more efficient, secure, and simple than what you can find today in the industry. We think first about our students – we want to make sure that our certificates will always remain valid and verifiable by employers. It will also keep them safe and impossible to copy or hack."

"The blockchain is the future of certification, and we believe that in the following years, more schools will use the public blockchain to secure their certificates and diplomas," he added.

Indeed, The University of Nicosia began issuing blockchain-verifiable certificates for its introductory MOOC last September, while others have been adding the technology into the classroom.

Holberton School launched earlier this month, following a $2m seed round from Silicon Valley's elite, to address the shortage of programmers. An alternative to traditional theory-driven courses, it aims to build 32 'full stack' engineers in two years.

Students in the first intake this coming January will spend their first day at Holberton building their own PC.

Degree image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Investing in the Future of the Digital Economy
October 18-19 | Spring Studio, NYC