Digital certificates are more than simply digital versions of physical certificates. Rather, they leverage blockchain technology to securely enable the convenient issuance and verification of tamper-proof and interoperable certificates. This technology has extensive business applications beyond academic certification.
Any professional document, where determining the veracity of the contents and the validity of the credentials are of utmost importance to business operations, can tap into the capabilities of a digital certificate solution; from civic records, healthcare and vaccination records, membership certificates to documents like credit reports or bank statements.
Physical vs Digital Certificates?
While physical certificates have been the norm, there are inherent fundamental security and verification concerns that can no longer be ignored in this increasingly digital world. The most common issues with physical certificates are that accreditations are easily forged or tampered with and may not be easily authenticated, detected, or disproved without effortful man hours spent validating claims.
Additionally, the widespread circulation of certificates increases the risk of exposure to and abuse by bad actors. These challenges make it harder for educational institutes and employers to trust and verify physical certificates.
In early renditions of digital transformation, hard-copy paper certificates were simply scanned, stored in an electronic file (like word or PDF) and shared with educational institutions or businesses. However, it still carried with it the innate issues paper certificates had, which included being easily altered and time-consuming to validate.
Now, digital certificates have all the functionality of physical certificates and address the security and authentication issues with Web3 tools to provide all stakeholders with a streamlined and convenient experience. There is no question as to the provenance or validity of the certificate and the verification process is made simple, effective, and almost instantaneous.
In a knowledge economy, accreditations from trusted institutions are highly prized and when it comes to recruitment or vaccination status, digital certificates are the way forward as their tamper-proof capabilities and convenient, fast verification methods enable them to be more practical for personal and professional daily life.
Additionally, the convenience they provide for verification and issuance of certificates is unmatched and can be done at a scale that cannot be achieved through physical certificates. As technology becomes ever more ubiquitous, digital certificates are likely to replace paper certificates in professional settings.
What are the Key Considerations when choosing a Digital Certificate Solution?
Here are 4 key considerations to look out for.
1. Is Regulatory Compliant
As a digital certificate can hold private and confidential information, the solution should be built with data privacy and security in mind, and it should facilitate regulatory compliance and adherence to data residency requirements.
2. Allow for Bulk Distribution, Convenience, and Sharable
The solution should be compatible with an organisation’s existing LMS or platform and accommodate bulk distribution with features like a template builder and personalised notifications without compromising security standards. The digital certificate should also be shareable through social and professional networks like LinkedIn for recipients to showcase their achievements. Overall, the user experience whether the issuer or verifier should be convenient and intuitive.
3. Be Tamper-proof, have Authenticity, and Validity
The digital certificate and its contents are tracked in real-time, with stringent security protocols in place to prevent tampering, fraud, and other malicious activities to ensure the authenticity and validity of the certificate at all times. Any changes or tampering detected would result in the certificate being rejected by the database. Post issuance, accreditations can be revoked or set to expire.
4. Have a Verifiable Audit Trail
Valid certificates can be viewed, shared, and verified from anywhere and from any device instantly. Complete documentation and modification history can also be retrieved to support audits.
Introducing Dedoco’s Digital Certificate, dCert
Powered by the Dedoco Trust Engine, dCert aims to be a single source of truth for certifications by empowering institutions and businesses to issue and check certifications in real-time through a decentralized, tamper-proof database.
dCert reduces risk by giving recruiters, institutions and regulators access to secure, tamper-proof credentials; allowing you to issue and validate certificates that can be viewed, shared and verified from anywhere, on any device for faster business decisions.
Reintroduce trust and credibility to your certification processes. Contact us today to learn more about dCert and our other digital signing solutions and let us know how we can work together.