The Financial Express

Busting fake degree business

Ahnaf Akif Kamal | Published: March 22, 2019 21:02:03

Busting fake degree business

There is a rise of diploma mills worldwide with fake degrees and transcripts easily available in the market. Compromised individuals can potentially corrupt the integrity of graduates thus making the workforce of a country inexperienced.

What do fake degrees imply?:

Candidates possessing fake certificates pose a threat to society and their employers. For example, in the health sector, their inexperience can be fatal and a financial loss to employers with increased staff turnovers. LuxTag®, a Blockchain solution provider based in Malaysia has developed a solution to deter fake diplomas in Malaysia where there is a black market for counterfeit university degrees. LuxTag's e-Scroll™ solution has been successfully deployed for Malaysian public universities to verify and validate certificates using a blockchain-powered web application. LuxTag's solution aims to add a layer of security to the university degrees, which are often easily faked and sold on the black market.  LuxTag's solution enables all parties to rely on the degree's data by just scanning a QR code. New certificates will contain a QR code which can be scanned to prove the authenticity of the data, both by the students and by future employers across the globe using the e-scroll web application.  Thus, employers can have peace of mind knowing they are hiring the right talent for the job. Currently, verification processes are labour-intensive & inefficient for employers and universities.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is the first university in line of numerous Malaysian universities to benefit from LuxTag's solution. In November 2018, IIUM launched the project during its graduation ceremony. The degrees that a batch of PhD graduates received on their convocation day had been tagged by LuxTag using NEM Catapult Blockchain Technology. The Ministry of Education (MoE) of Malaysia, represented by YBhg Datin Paduka Ir. Dr. Siti Hamisah Binti Tapsir (Director General of the Higher Education Department), and MADICT?--?Majlis Dekan ICT (Council of ICT Deans of Universities in Malaysia) has been overseeing the project launch.

LuxTag does not only save cryptographic hashes of graduation certificates and saves these in a blockchain, but uses its own patented technology that allows all certificate information to be inserted on the blockchain, making the data itself immutable and secure. This solution was not only set up in a very short period of time, but it has the potential to be adopted and implemented in many different industries worldwide. LuxTag is already deploying blockchain solutions in the luxury, fashion, health care, and art sectors. It is doing business in the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

What is Blockchain?:

Blockchain is a data structure that represents a ledger programmed to record and track anything of value. Unlike a regular database, Blockchain is Distributed, Secure, Transparent, Immutable and Accessible which means it can be of great help when it comes to fraud prevention, point of sale realisation and provenance proving.

However, there is a widespread stigma behind blockchain technology whereby the laymen usually associate it with cryptocurrency, fin-tech, or bitcoins. It can't be stressed enough how cryptocurrency is just one aspect of the many business and governmental uses of blockchain technology.

This technology is the next big thing that everyone will eventually get on board with - when computers, online banking or the internet first came to the world, it was not quickly adapted, and now many people in the world cannot live without the former in their daily lives.

Application of e-Scroll in Bangladesh and its benefits:

The education sector in Bangladesh has many uses for LuxTag's solution due to a high number of fake certificate manufacturers across Dhaka, implying the demand for fake degrees. Universities can benefit from stating their degrees are verifiable and authentic on the blockchain network and can provide a direct verification channel to employers and other stakeholders through LuxTag's web application. Flows of money into bribes and purchasing fake certificates would reduce. We could secure the creation of an efficient domestic workforce in the coming years. Additionally, the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh can take up this project and implement it across all the universities in Bangladesh for standardised certification. This is also applicable for the certification of doctors and medical professionals under the Bangladesh Medical & Dental Council (BM&DC).

Dagang Net Strategic Cooperation:

LuxTag has entered a strategic corporation agreement with Dagang Net Technologies Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dagang NeXchange Berhad (Malaysia)  - a leading provider of award-winning eServices. The partnership will enhance the Malaysian and international launch of the e-Scroll system - and Bangladesh is one of the target regions for the launch in 2019/2020.

Ahnaf Akif Kamal is a Business Development Executive currently working in a blockchain start-up company in Malaysia.  ahnaf@luxtag.io

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