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SnT Collaborating on EBSILUX Project for Digitalised Diplomas

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Publié le vendredi 16 juillet 2021

In a press release this week, it was announced that SnT will contribute towards the EBSILUX project, a joint initiative that will see them work alongside Luxembourg’s Ministry for Digitalisation, Infrachain and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). On July 14, Marc Hansen, the Luxembourg Minister Delegate for Digitalisation gave exclusive insights into the EBSILUX project as part of a presentation event entitled ‘Discover EBSILUX, integrating Luxembourg into the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI)’.

So, what is EBSI? The idea behind EBSI is that it will use blockchain in order to develop cross-border services that will allow public administrations to check information, and improve their trustworthiness. As part of EBSI, a network of ‘nodes’ have been distributed across Europe – and the EBSILUX project will contribute to the overall security of the infrastructure by hosting one of the nodes. A blockchain, by nature, contains data stored in the form of blocks, and these blocks are stored on nodes. These nodes could be in the form of computers or servers, but they make up a critical part of a blockchain’s infrastructure. In a blockchain, all nodes connect to each other and continually exchange the latest data. This allows information to be stored securely, since if just one of these nodes was altered, the others would simply rectify the incorrect information by rejecting it. As part of the EBSILUX project, a diploma use case will be implemented, which will see digital academic certificates being created to allow for digitally verifiable credentials. This will help to fulfil Luxembourg’s prioritisation towards student mobility, multilingualism and international cooperation.

From SnT, Prof. Gilbert Fridgen serves as a Delegate to the European Blockchain Partnership, while also being the PayPal-FNR PEARL Chair in Digital Financial Services. Regarding the endeavour, he said, “At first sight, digital identities and diploma credentials are eGovernment topics, yet they will also have a massive impact on business process, business models and the ways we handle all kinds of personal data. EBSILUX is a major step forward for Luxembourg.”

The event on Wednesday showcased how citizens, businesses and administrations from Luxembourg, and other EU member states, will receive access to services that are accessible through EBSI – whether these are based in Luxembourg or in the EU. Speaking at the event, Hansen explained, “As we all know, and even more-so since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, society’s digital transformation is definitely on its way.” He went on to explain that digitalisation holds the key to efficiency gains for citizens, companies and the state, but that the solutions must be trustworthy and reliable. It is this reason that they have turned to blockchain, as one of the first public sector bodies in Europe to produce one.

 

In its first use case of diplomas, the technology will allow transparency and trust between schools, universities, students and employers. It will also tackle the impact that falsified diplomas have on educators. Being stored in a digital wallet allows the diplomas to be accessed at anytime from anywhere, and allows employers to check the validity of their candidates’ documentation – which will in turn lead to a faster recruitment process. The future of this programme is bright – with the potential for expanding the system into driving licenses, residence and social security documents having the possibility to be stored in such a wallet.