The education industry as a whole has been completely disrupted with the advent of blockchain technology. According to recent statistics, the global e-education market has been growing steadily at a rate of 7.2% for the past couple of years. It is now projected that this market will touch a staggering $325 billion by 2025.
EchoLink is a blockchain platform that has been designed to connect students with teachers as well as educational institutions without any intermediaries. It uses a framework that is transparent and records specific data such as:
All of the aforementioned information is saved in a hashed and unalterable format within a public blockchain.
From a usability standpoint, we can see that EchoLink is designed primarily for:
Students: through the use of this platform, students can save their grades, degrees and other achievements on a verifiable network that cannot be accessed by unauthorized third party-miscreants. This not only helps make the employment process easier but also helps establish more trust among students and education providers.
Universities: when looked at closely, we can see that EchoLink provides educational hubs with all of the resources that are needed to handle review processes involved with degree and certificate verification.
Individual businesses: the platform serves as a trusted source of candidate information that is not alterable. For example, academic records and skill certificates associated with a candidate can be provided to potential employers in a secure and efficient manner.
OVERVIEW OF THE PLATFORM
Allows educational records to be maintained in an immutable and transparent manner
The platform is based entirely on the blockchain and thus identity theft and record alteration are nearly impossible.
Students are allowed to retain full ownership of their records.
Saves time for students and employers alike
EchoLink serves as a cost-effective tool that helps save a lot of money for employers who otherwise would have to push each submitted document through many verification checks.
To start things off, the EchoLink network operates on a public blockchain which helps make the entire governance process more cost-effective. Additionally, since the system is able to run in a traditional internet-based web environment, it can make the transition process for large businesses much easier.
Overview of the Echolink ecosystem
Conventionally, potential employers must incur high costs when verifying employee credentials. However, by using EchoLink, this cost can be minimized to a large degree — especially when considering the system is able to process each and every transaction within sixty seconds. So to verify the credentials of 10,000 students, the cost of creating digital proofs of graduation via EchoLink is only around $30 per year.
From the standpoint of an academic institution, this platform provides benefits such as:
Similarly, students can make their educational qualifications credible with the touch of a button. This not only allows employers to hire people more easily but also increases a student’s exposure to the wider job market in general.
HOW ECHOLINK WORKS
From a technical perspective, EchoLink consists primarily of four major components:
Digital Identity and Mapping System: this is the core module that takes care of translating digital data related to a person’s educational and personal background into legible blockchain data-sets.
On-chain Credential Creation System: this system helps in supporting batch creations as well as storing sensitive material on the system in a safe and private manner.
Off-chain Data I/O System: this protocol allows for external data input from sources such as third-party databases and feeds, and converts them into information blocks that can be stored safely within the system.
Multi-chain Data Browser: this intuitive interface allows the end users of this platform to interact with the core AI.
Visual representation of how data is stored on EchoLink
All user-based identities are recorded onto the system using public encryption keys. Similarly, certificate and degree-related data is saved within the blockchain by the permission of the issuing organization directly.
Overview of how the native Echo browser works
With the native EchoLink browser, employers will have the ability to source quality candidates that meet certain criteria that have been established by the organization beforehand. Query results will be resolved through the specially devised naming service into a user-friendly readable format.
ABOUT THE SERVICE
EchoLink is the brainchild of Steve Chen, who is the founder and CEO of this venture. Steve’s credentials also include:
Co-Lead/Co-founder, Berkeley Blockchain Lab, UC Berkeley
Team Tech Lead, Sun Microsystems Consumer Java
Software Developer + Founding member of Cheetah Mobile’s US engineering team
One of the core developers behind this project is Matthias von Eichstaedt. Matthias holds a Ph.D in computer science from the University of Hagen in Germany. In the past, he has been associated with various digital startups of different scales and sizes.
Lastly, Zhixian Yan is the project’s software architect. He too holds a Ph.D in computer science and has previously worked as a digital scientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
TOKEN PERFORMANCE DATA
EchoLink makes use of a native currency called EKO to facilitate all internal transactions.
EKO token lifetime performance chart (courtesy of CoinMarketCap)
The price of a single EKO token upon its introduction into the crypto market was somewhere around US$0.444. The currency hit its value peak on January 15, 2018 when it scaled up to an impressive US$1.14.
Since then, the value of EKO has dropped tremendously, and now the currency is valued at just over US$0.37.
With the education industry in dire need of an overhaul, EchoLink comes at the right time to meet the current requirements of students and educational institutions alike.
Recent studies show that document fraud leads to employers losing in excess of over US$150 million a year. EchoLink can change all this and introduce a new level of transparency within this domain.