Over the years we have seen technology change. The hardware has changed from large machines to portable devices. Software has evolved from unfriendly interface that requires technicians to distributed to highly simplified user friendly interface that does not require much training to use. Web applications running centralized data bases and server are rapidly evolving to distributed, decentralized content running on blockchain. Information sharing has evolved from highly restricted information starved environments to internet taking us to another level of information sharing without restrictions. With emergence of internet we have moved from localized education systems, banking services and governance to e-learning, e-banking, e-commerce and digital currency that distributed traditionally localized services to distant locations. The latest innovation, blockchain technology, is taking these localized source of services built on centralized platforms, to completely decentralized network, that are distributable over the world .
Blockchain is a digital public ledger that keeps records of transactions. The records or the digital transactions are distributed to different computers known as nodes therefore ensuring validity of the information. The blockchain technology is decentralized and records are available to the public which makes it easy for verification. The transactions are also updated on a continuous basis. Therefore, blockchain is a mechanism that can be used to reduce fraud, human and mechanical errors and ensure transparency and accountability.
In education, blockchain technology can be used in different ways. Here at UBRICA we have created our coin known as Ubricoin which is built on Etherium blockchain. It is a peer to peer internet currency that will enable payment to anyone in the world. Ubricoin will build financial incentives for traditionally marginalized hardworking people who contribute knowledge for the betterment of humanity. Our crypto-currency system involves creating incentive programs to reward excellence in education research and practice. To bring changes in our education system we introduce a reward system through Ubricoin. We will offer tokens to teachers in primary schools, secondary schools, universities; researchers and practitioners. This will facilitate excellence in the education system. The reward system will be according to ratings by students, parents and colleague. Blockchain technology can also be used in sharing educational and research content among students, teachers and professors. In addition, it is good keeping records of certificates issued to learners to reduce fake certification. Blockchain facilitates storage of data on achievements and qualifications of students. Such data is accessible from any device when needed. This will greatly reduce false qualification especially in professional industry.
In the health sector, proper record-keeping is critical. Most facilities have moved from paper record to computerized record. Traditionally computerized health records have been stored in a central database within one facility. This centralized technological revolution improved efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in that health facility. Now with the blockchain technology, critical patient information that is most often scattered across different health facilities can be recorded safely on one blockchain. Patient information becomes easily accessible from different health facilities. Patients will no longer have to spend a lot of money going for records from previous facilities especially where the patient is being treated in different facilities that are in different locations. The alternative would be going through the same tests done earlier at an additional cost and at times, costing lives.
Digital revolution has also impacted the business world greatly. People carry out businesses online, locally and internationally at the comfort of their homes and offices. Long ago, exchange of goods and services used to happen through barter trade, then it evolved to use of fiat currency (coins and notes), plastic money ( credit cards, bank cards, debit cards and smart cards). Now we have digital currency or electronic currency (e.g. cryptocurrency). Cryptocurrency is a peer-to-peer virtual currency built on blockchain. Sending digital currency across countries and continents is very easy, cheap and fast. Ubricoin is an example of a crypto-currency. At UBRICA we have embraced doing business using technology where we have created an online retail store known as Soko Janja (see, shop.ubrica.com) where members can buy and sell produce, products and services. Ubricoin will also be used as a mode of payment on Soko Janja. In additional, people who purchase from Soko Janja and most importantly from local manufacturers are reward with Ubricoins.
Caroline Muthoni N.