Deqree: A Certificate Validation Platform

This project seeks to develop a cost effective dapp platform to validate certificate credentials using transaction metadata and a native token. The motivation behind the proposal is the increasing problem in India and many other developing countries concerning counterfeit degrees and a lack of a reliable way for recruiters to verify an applicant’s educational credentials. The process of checking the certificates generates a lot of documentation and storing them digitally necessitates a central authority in charge of managing the records, which opens the door to tampering and data loss. 

In India for instance, there has been a rise in cases of fake degrees meaning that with the high unemployment rates, individuals apply for many job openings at the same time and as a result, recruiters are faced with an uphill battle to verify the credibility of the many applicant’s credentials. 

India is a populous country with a large youth population and a gateway to numerous educational opportunities that lacks a consistent, stable, reliable, and tamper-proof method of verifying credentials. The existing tools available are insufficiently safe to keep fraud to a bare minimum. They, sadly, have numerous flaws and, on top of that, are ineffective in terms of cost.

Deqree is proposing a decentralised application on top of Cardano blockchain to combat this problem. It is proposing a solution that uses the metadata feature of the Cardano blockchain to create a platform that helps universities, recruiters and degree holders to authorise, validate and securely store their certificate records in an easily accessible manner. Through the platform, validating of academic certificates is tamperproof and the timestamp cannot be changed. Universities will upload the content (metadata) from the digital degree and the platform will encode and assign a unique key for each student. The metadata will be attached to the transaction as Cardano gives Deqree the ability to add metadata to blockchain transactions. The encoded information will then be stamped onto Cardano. Each transaction will use Deqree’s private token, enabling traceability and accountability.

The Team

The project proposal has been submitted by Advait, a member of Project Catalyst since Feb 2021. Other members of this team are Adnan, Shashhwat Sharma, Rishav Jain and Bondaditya. Advait identifies as a developer and entrepreneur. These 5 members are undergraduate students with a combined experience in Python, C++. SQL, HTML, and JavaScript. They are committed to learning more about technology and especially blockchain, owing to its impact in different industries. For these five members, Deqree is their first project proposal on the platform.

Funding Request

Deqree is requesting funding worth $25,000. The amount will be used in the following areas:

  • Website Domain and Hosting costs ($1500)
  • Hardware Costs ($5000)
  • Cloud server hosting costs ($1500)
  • Logistics costs ($2500)
  • Some ADA reserved for testing ($500)
  • A buffer for future unforeseen expenses ($2000)
  • A Monthly Stipend for the team members for 6 months ($12000)

The team is expecting to have the testnet ready for deployment in October 2021, and the mainnet to be launched later in December. The project will start at a small scale in India and once it is working perfectly, it can then open to institutions in other regions.

Final Thoughts

The proposal is focusing on a real issue that is not only prevalent in India, but also in many other countries with high population and unemployment rates. Faking of academic certificates is simple and cheap in some of these countries and without proper verification channels, some organisations can be duped into employing unqualified employees who fail to deliver. The project has been received well by users, with various proposals on ways to collaborate and create an even better platform. Although the team has not been a part of any project currently in the market, support from Project Catalyst and its users will allow them to build a quality platform.

 If you’d like to know more information or have questions/comments regarding the Deqree proposal, check out the link provided: https://cardano.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Deqree-Certificate-Validation-%F0%9F%8E%93/350883-48088

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