It is common practice for institutions in academia or in the industry to issue credentials as an attestation of someone’s achievements. They have been doing that using physical documents for centuries and lately using digital credentials (typically PDF files) are all the more common. These institutions have always faced credential fraud problems since both the physical and digital credentials can be forged relatively easily.  There is no good countermeasure for that unless someone conducts expensive and time-consuming processes for the verification and even then you could not always guarantee the validity of a credential, there are actually services that provide contact phone numbers where they pretend to be the issuing institution and verify fake credentials. One side-effect of this inefficiency is that potential credential auditors (e.g. employers) would not even bother to verify the credentials. Back in 2014, the University of Nicosia set out to solve this problem for digital credentials using blockchain technology. It came up with a novel way of fingerprinting digital documents and anchoring them into Bitcoin’s blockchain. This solution was refined over the years to lead to the platform we have today. This article will examine the design principles that shaped the development of this platform as well as future directions.


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