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The World Bank: Practical Lessons From the Use of Blockchain in Education

August 1, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Digital certificates in tertiary education, the story of Blockcerts (so far).

Natalie Smolenski, Anthropologist, Author and Public Speaker; Vice President of Business Development, Learning Machine

Juliana Guaqueta Ospina, Industry Specialist, Health and Education Manufacturing, Agri-Business & Services, International Finance Corporation

Harry Patrinos, Practice Manager, Europe and Central Asia Education Global Practice, World Bank



A major promise of blockchain technology is that individuals should be able to own their digital assets–without a middleman. This refers not only to cryptocurrencies, but also to any proof of ownership, including credentials of achievement and identity documents. Blockcerts, an open source project developed by MIT and Learning Machine, is the world’s most advanced standard for issuing, owning, and verifying official records using any blockchain as a secure anchor of trust. This talk will take you through a brief history of Blockcerts and show how MIT is using the technology to give their graduates lifelong digital diplomas they can verify anywhere in the world, instantly and for free. We then delve into how Malta and the Bahamas are using Blockcerts to build out a self-sovereign digital identity ecosystem that will make it easier for individuals to get jobs and for companies to start businesses.

About the Speakers:
Natalie Smolenski is an anthropologist who leads business development for a blockchain technology startup, Learning Machine. As an author and public speaker, she focuses on the intersections of identity, technology, and government. By bringing a scientific perspective to distributed digital technologies and social transformation, she helps audiences from all backgrounds understand how individuals connect to form communities and build the infrastructures of the future.

The Education GP BBL Series provides a space for World Bank education staff and visiting researchers and speakers to share recent findings, innovative on-the ground experience, and implementation challenges and successes relevant to the work of the Bank in education.


August 1, 2018
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


World Bank
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World Bank
701 18th Street NW, Room J6-50
Washington, DC, United States
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