Blockchain-based Project to Verify Education and Work Experience Information
Decades ago, David Geffen, a billionaire entrepreneur, lied about attending and graduating from UCLA to obtain a mailroom job at talent agency William Morris. He was desperate to get into Hollywood and knew he will be fired if someone finds out. So he went to his office early each day for six months, waiting for the university letter. When it finally arrived, he replaced it with another one saying he had indeed graduated.
He learned a lot, quickly became a talent agent and left the agency on his own terms without telling the truth. “Did I have a problem with lying to get the job? None whatsoever,” he said.
David Geffen was motivated, creative and passionate. That’s something you can’t fake on your resume, but most people who lie to their employers end up damaging the business. They simply don’t have the skills to do the job.
The moment of truth
That’s very unlikely the deceptive candidates would be able to lie in a Blockchain economy. Here is good news for the employers: EchoLink, founded by Steve Chen, Co-lead at the Berkley Blockchain Lab, announced the launch of a new digital currency this week. The startup is aiming to provide real transparency for the job market.
EchoLink verifies a job candidate’s education, skills and work experience, saving time to recruiters. The system can be used for such industries as banking, finance and many others.
EchoLink is creating an immutable list of records on workers from different sources and provides all information employers might need. The platform’s EchoLink Token or EKO, helps the platform obtain information from databases across the globe.
“Blockchain technology is a method of tying multiple pieces of information to each other in such a way that when one datum changes, all the other data change with it,” the company said in a statement. “This makes it impossible for employees to alter any background or credential information entered about them.”
A degree of deception
The global e-Education market will reach approximately $325 bln by 2025. In the US alone the e-learning industry was worth $27 bln in 2016. But a number of ‘diploma mills’ skyrocketed too: it’s increasingly difficult for the employers to obtain accurate information.
One of the world’s biggest bogus degree scams involves Axact, “A Karachi-based company” indulged in issuing fake diplomas, certificates and accreditations of hundreds of universities and colleges in different countries, including the US. Thousands of Americans, Brits, and Canadians bought the fake papers.
Only in 2013-2014, Axact sold as many as 3,000 degrees to UK citizens, including health officials and a large defense contractor. Some were masters degrees and PhDs. The company launched fake university sites, such as Brooklyn Park University and Neil Wilson University.
In August 2017, a US court charged Umair Hamid, assistant VP of Axact, with fraud “in connection with a worldwide “diploma mill.” He was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and fined $5.3 mln.
Axact case is the biggest but not the only one. Scott Thompson, “CEO of Yahoo,” Marliee Jones, “The dean of admissions at MIT from 1997 to 2007,” and George O’Leary, “A former University of Notre Dame head coach lied to get a job.” But it’s too much deception in our post-truth world, and only Blockchain can stop this.
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