Malta is on its way to complete the first trial run of putting its citizen’s records on blockchain. If the project turns out to be a success, the government will expand the project at the national level by giving the 400,000 citizens the ability to store and share educational records and transcripts on blockchain.
Last year, we reported that Malta was launching a blockchain pilot for educational records in collaboration with Machine Learning Technologies. Under the program, the government, with the help of the New York-based company, issued blockchain-based certificates to people present in higher education, vocational programs, and civil servant job training.
The working principle of the trial is quite simple: a Maltese institution issues a blockchain-based ID record to a resident, and the latter can download it and share it with the help of a free application that uses Blockcerts, an open standard for blockchain credentials developed by Learning Machine and MIT’s Media Lab. The resident has to keep the private key forever and can share his documents even if the institution shuts down.
Natalie Smolenski, VP of business development at Learning Machine, commented:
“We’ve just created access with free verification in an instant, which used to be extremely time consuming and daunting.”
Even though Learning Machine didn’t reveal how many residents have been involved with the program, we know that it includes several important Maltese institutions that have issued graduates and other documents on blockchain. These institutions include the Ministry for Education & Employment, the Institute for Tourism Studies, the Malta College for Arts, Sciences, and Technology, and the National Commission for Further & Higher Education.
The trial, which has been live for eight months, will have its results ready in August of this year. However, University of Malta lecturer Alex Grech, who is also a special advisor to the Minister for Education and Employment, hopes that the project with Learning Machine will be continued as the next program would cover more areas of the education sector.