Blockchain technology - which was conceptualized by a person or persons using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 - was first implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency Bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions.
Since then, various companies, and even governments, have been exploring ways to apply the technology to other fields. Microsoft and Accenture are building a digital identification network, and IBM has launched a service based on open-source distributed ledger Hyperledger Fabric, which allows developers to build blockchain networks on the company's cloud platform.
Now, Sony is getting in on the action by announcing a system that will apply blockchain technology to the field of education. The system is built on IBM’s aforementioned cloud service and acts as a centralized ledger for storing educational information, such as degrees, diplomas, tests and more, while preventing fraud.
Students, educational institutions, and third parties will be able to access the gathered data for various purposes. For example, when a candidate applies for a job, or a student applies to join a course, that company or university will be able to easily assess that person’s education or employment history.
Beyond making it easy to share education records, Sony says that artificial intelligence could be used to analyze all that data and provide feedback and advice for educational institutions to improve their curriculums or management. The company will partner with various schools and colleges, and plans to officially launch the new service sometime next year.