University of Bahrain Pioneers Blockchain Through Digital Credentials

Press Release

The national university of the Kingdom of Bahrain will become one of the first universities globally to issue digital diplomas anchored to the blockchain using the Blockcerts open standard, in partnership with Learning Machine.

Zallaq, Bahrain, January 9, 2019 ( - Today, Learning Machine and the University of Bahrain jointly announced that the national university of the Kingdom of Bahrain will become one of the first universities globally to issue digital diplomas anchored to the blockchain using the Blockcerts open standard.

The University is partnering with Learning Machine, the premier provider of Blockcerts credential issuing systems, to implement the initiative.

Blockcerts is a global, open standard for creating, issuing, viewing, and verifying any type of official record using a blockchain as a secure anchor of trust. These digital records are registered on a blockchain, cryptographically

signed, tamper proof, and directly shareable. The Learning Machine Issuing System enables governments, corporations, and educational institutions to issue Blockcerts at scale.

University of Bahrain President, Professor Riyad Hamzah, explained the rationale for using the Learning Machine platform for academic records:

 “We at UOB are delighted to be the trailblazers in using blockchain in the MENA region in order to better serve our students. This technology provides an encrypted platform to issue credentials to students with cryptographic proof that they were issued by UOB. Students will also have their own digital file, which means that they or indeed their employers will not have to wait for us to validate their credentials. As a pilot, we are starting with our postgraduate programmes and hopefully in due course expand to undergraduate programmes.

As Bahrain positions itself as a technology first country and makes significant progress towards the national 2030 economic vision, I am excited that UOB is playing its role as a pioneer of blockchain and as the regional leader in embracing technology to better serve the country. I would like to also acknowledge support received from colleagues from the Information and eGovernment Authority in Bahrain as advocates of this project.”

This blockchain credentialing initiative forms an integral part of the University’s wider digitization strategy, which places digital security, ownership, and portability at the center for globally mobile learners and workers.

Cameron Mirza, Head of Strategy at the University of Bahrain, added, “From the publication of our transformation plan in 2016, we made it clear that as a University we need to embrace disruptive technology in order to improve our organisational effectiveness and to improve the student experience. Through this collaboration with Learning Machine, I am both excited and confident we can accomplish both. The potential of blockchain goes far beyond cryptocurrency and its potential use within education is both fascinating and exciting. This project is a first step into exploring that potential in controlled and collaborative environment.”

Learning Machine has deployed secure credentialing systems for customers across Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, the Middle East, and North America. Natalie Smolenski, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Learning Machine, commented: “The demand for secure and interoperable digital records is exploding worldwide. Amidst the growing list of vendors claiming to offer blockchain solutions for secure records and identity, Learning Machine is unique in our triple

commitment to vendor-independent open standards, a best-in-class enterprise product, and white glove service. We are thrilled to be working with the University of Bahrain to provide their students and graduates with digital records they own for a lifetime and can verify anywhere in the world.”