Electronic Documents Verification Program

Q1. What is the blockcerts technology that provide secure verification?

Blockcerts is an open standard for creating, issuing, viewing and verifying blockchain-based documents. These digital documents are registered on a blockchain, cryptographically signed, tamper-proof, and shareable. Blockchain can be explained in simple terms as a chain of blocks where each block is dependent on the one before it. Every block contains a hash, data and the hash from the previous block. The hash is an entirely unique identifier for each block on the blockchain. If the data in even one single block changes, then so does its hash and this makes the whole blockchain invalid. Blockchain is maintained by a very wide network of users or nodes. The only way to tamper with a single block would be to tamper with all of the blocks, all at the very same time. This is impossible. This is what guarantees the integrity of the data. This innovative technology gives individuals the capacity to possess and share their own official records with secure verification.

Q2. How is the security of the blockcerts verification site ensured?

The original data is saved onto a private and secure server by HKUST and the hash of this issued certificate is recorded onto the blockchain.

Q3. Is the blockcerts verification workable with mobile device?

Yes. Users may upload a JSON file or go to the associated URL, with their mobile device, to verify and view the blockcerts document.

Q4. Is there a time limit on a blockcerts document?

Documents issued do not have an expiry date.

Q5. What are the documents that are now available as blockcerts for HKUST students or graduates?

The e-documents issued by HKUST are Award Certification Letter, Academic Transcript and Degree Diploma.

Q6. Can I download a viewable copy of verified document after the blockcerts verification?

Yes, you can download the electronic document after a successful online verification.

Q7. Is there a plan to issue blockcerts diplomas to graduates before the Class of 2019?

Currently, the e-diploma will only be issued to student who graduated in 2018/19 academic year and after. We may consider issuing blockcerts diploma to the graduates in the earlier years if there is a demand.

Q8. When will students or graduates be able to apply for the e-documents?

Students or graduates may submit applications for e-transcripts starting Q4 2020.  Please visit the Transcript website (http://transcript.ust.hk) around September 2020 for further details.

The application for electronic Award Certification Letter will be launched in the next stage.

Q9. Will the paper copy of the degree diploma still be issued?

The paper copy of the degree diploma will still be issued and there is no plan to cease the production.  Graduates will be issued both the paper and electronic copy of the degree diploma for the time being.

Q10. As an employer or verification agents, can I verify a batch of documents in one go?

Not at the moment. Bulk processing is one of the features for future development.

Q11. What are the future development and features of your blockcerts initiative?

Future plans include batch processing of multiple document verifications, the addition of other types of document, and exploration of an ‘e-CV’.

 

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