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Blockchain and Open Education


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Blockchain and Open Education

  1. 1. Workshop Open Education #OEWeek #OEWeekTimisoara Blockchain and Open Education Carmen Holotescu "Ioan Slavici" University of Timisoara, Romania
  2. 2. Content 1. Blockchain technology 2. Blockchain impact 3. Blockchain in Romania 4. Blockchain in education 5. The need for Blockchain learning
  3. 3. Definition (1) The blockchain term, originally block chain, was first coined in 2009, by (the still unknown) Satoshi Nakamoto, in the original source code for the virtual currency Bitcoin: "Nodes collect new transactions into a block, hash them into a hash tree"; "when they solve the proof-of-work, they broadcast the block to everyone and the block is added to the block chain." (Nakamoto, 2009). October/014810.html
  4. 4. Definition (2) Blockchain technology enables the creation of a decentralized environment, where the cryptographically validated transactions and data are not under the control of any third party organization. Any transaction ever completed is recorded in an immutable ledger in a verifiable, secure, transparent and permanent way, with a timestamp and other details. In March 2018, Merriam Webster Dictionary added the definitions for Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
  5. 5. Technology Explaining decentralization, Vitalik Buterin (24y), the creator of Ethereum, states that it assures fault tolerance, attack resistance and collusion resistance. Also, blockchain is decentralized on two of the three possible axes in software decentralization: • politically decentralized - no one controls it; • architecturally decentralized - no infrastructural central point of failure; • logically centralized - there is one commonly agreed state and the system behaves like a single computer. decentralization-a0c92b76a274 Ethereum ( is an open-source blockchain platform, described in a white paper by Vitalik Buterin in 2013 and launched in 2015, and is designed for a large variaty of applications, as opposed to the Bitcoin platform, mainly crypto-currency oriented.
  6. 6. How a blockchain works Mining: process of adding transactions to a blockchain by hash verification processes, with a high consume of hardware, energy, time. A new block: created on Bitcoin network at each ~ 10 min (, on Ethereum network at each ~ 10 s (
  7. 7. Advantages — self-sovereignty - users identify themselves and maintain control over the storage/management of personal data; — trust - the technical infrastructure offers secure operations(payments or issue of certificates); — transparency and provenance - to perform transactions in knowledge that each party has the capacity to enter into that transaction; — immutability- records are written and stored permanently, without the possibility of modification; — disintermediation- no need for a central controlling authority to manage transactions or keep records; — collaboration - ability of parties to transact directly with each other without the need for mediating third parties. Blockchain in Education JRC Report -
  8. 8. Domains and Initiatives - W3C Blockchain Community Group - - Report of the W3C Workshop on Distributed Ledgers on the Web, June 2016 - - European Commission (EC) Information Day (19 December 2017) on Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme and Fintech cooperation actions - market/en/news/information-day-19-december-2017-horizon-2020-blockchain-distributed-ledger- technologies-topics - EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum to be launched in 2018, as a knowledge hub on blockchain - Blockchain Technologies are considered strategic for EU - - Blockchain in Education JRC Report - education - National Initiatives: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Dubai, Estonia, India, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, UK, USA, Venezuela - stands-right-now/ State of the DApps -
  9. 9. The next web know-about-it-a5851d63c949
  10. 10. Blockchain ecosystem (1)
  11. 11. Blockchain ecosystem (2)
  12. 12. Blockchain in Romania (1) • Bitcoin Magazine - - co-founded by Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin (2011); #8 on "Top 100 most influential companies in blockchain" (; • Bitcoin Journal - - Romanian journal specialized in cryptocurrency; • WebDollar – – P2P blockchain directly in browser (on Ethereum), group coordinated by Ionut Budisteanu; • Veros - – cryptocurrency developed by Under Development Office ( tehnologie-82293); • Liquidity - - a new ICO (Initial Coin Offering) launched at the beginning of 2018 by a former Romanian Minister of Communications. Liquidity will be an open platform for decentralized financial applications, similar with Ethereum; • Scienceroot - - a blockchain-based scientific ecosystem, which will host a collaboration platform, a funding platform and a journal, a few team members from Timisoara;
  13. 13. Blockchain in Romania (2) • Restart Energy Democracy - - a blockchain-based energy ecosystem developed by RED - Restart Energy, which is the fastest growing private energy and gas provider in the EU (developed in Timisoara); • TEND ( permits the co-ownership of special objects and assets, being developed on Ethereum by a company in Cluj-Napoca; • MedNet - eHealth project based on blockchain, aiming to protect patients' personal data in the context of a new set of European regulations; MedNet was winner project at the first eHealth hackathon organized in Romania, in October 2017 -; • Tremend -, Qualitance - and Product Lead - are Romanian companies developing blockchain projects.
  14. 14. Blockchain in Romania (3) Poziția Băncii Naționale a României în legătură cu monedele virtuale -
  15. 15. Blockchain in education Applications: reputation, trust in certification, and proof of learning; Pioneers: University of Nicosia -, Open University UK -, MIT USA -, Maltese Educational Institutions -
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  19. 19. The need for Blockchain learning • Besides development, the blockchain careers comprise product design, data analysis, machine learning, legal and public service, consultants or subject matter experts. Job offfers can be found on dedicated portals such as CryptoJobsList, CryptoJobs, BlockchainJobz, and BlockchainJobs or HiredCrypto - • Blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market (after Robotics) - • On LinkedIn - blockchain-related job adverts have tripled in the last year -
  20. 20. Personal Projects • Course about Blockchain Development (Ethereum, Hyperledger) at University “Ioan Slavici – the 1st university course; • eLSE Workshop on Open Education – Blockchain topic - courses • OpenEduChain - - a repository for open educational assets (OERs, MOOCs, OPs), which also issues certificates and open badges for universities and other educational and training institutions – in development; • Collaboration for: – MOOC on Blockchain – Hackathon – Master Program.
  21. 21. Thank you! Carmen Holotescu Twitter: @cami13 Credit first 2 images Pixabay