Graduating McMaster students to receive digital diplomas amid COVID-19

With in-person gatherings suspended for the foreseeable future amid COVID-19, McMaster University students scheduled to graduate this spring will receive digital diplomas anchored in the Bitcoin Blockchain. 

Digital diplomas will be given out to graduating Mac students while the campus is closed and many staff members are working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

With in-person convocations cancelled, McMaster University moves to give Spring graduates their diplomas on the Bitcoin Blockchain. from Bitcoin

A blockchain is designed so that users cannot modify the data by any means. It’s an open ledger that can record transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way. 

The diploma is encoded and verifiable using MIT-developed blockcerts, which ensures the records are registered on a blockchain, cryptographically signed, tamper-proof, and shareable. 

Once the diploma is issued, the data is compressed and published on the blockchain. The blockchain cryptographically seals the documents so that third party recipients can ensure that the diploma has not been altered or retracted. 

McMaster has cancelled all in-person convocations this year and are providing graduating students the chance to opt into receiving a digital diploma instead. Printed diplomas will be issued once staff are back on campus and able to produce them. 

Bitcoin became popular when the value of their cryptocurrency exploded a few years ago. They use a blockchain to provide safe transactions using a timestamp and a cryptographic hash. 

Digital diplomas were first issued to  engineering graduates at McMaster after the 2019 convocation, and the Hamilton university was the first in Canada to issue digital diplomas. 

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