The number of fake certificates issued is growing by the day. These certificates are cheap to buy and save time and effort on the part of the buyer. For the producer, it means unmitigated profits for some unauthorized work they’ll probably not get caught for. But these certificates are becoming a huge problem across industries, especially for educational institutions and employers, since they look eerily similar to the legitimate ones.
The need for a verifiable alternative is too strong and this is where verifiable credentials come in. Verifiable credentials present a way to verify credentials within seconds and is a safe and secure alternative to physical and digital certificates. Wondering how? Let’s find out.
What are Verifiable Credentials?
Verifiable credentials are digitally generated copies of physical documents or original documents that are tamper-proof, can be verified by machines, and use privacy-enhancing technologies. Hosted on decentralized technology, verifiable credentials blockchain reduce the need for an intermediary and can be the ideal solution to the fake certificates problem.
They help authenticate the validity of the information stored in the document and can be adopted by industries and organizations globally for issuing internal or external documents.
For instance, educational institutions can use verifiable credentials to issue graduation certificates for their students, an employer can issue employee IDs, the government can issue driving licenses, doctors can issue medical certificates, and so on.
Although easy to issue, not every organization is authorized to issue verifiable credentials. Only organizations that meet the predetermined set of rules and regulations—known as Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0—set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) can legally issue verifiable credentials.
Verifiable credentials are made up of three core elements:
Metadata: It might or might not contain the digital signature of the issuer, but it contains other relevant data about a credential, such as its issue and expiry dates and data about the issuer.
Claim: The second element of a verifiable credential supports the authentication of the claims or the declarations it was issued to validate.
Proof: The final element allows individuals and organizations to verify the source of the data, check if it has been tampered with, and if it has been issued by an entity authorized to do so.
These three elements combined with blockchain make verifiable credentials a better alternative to their physical and other digital counterparts.
How Does Verifiable Credential Work?
A verifiable credential is issued by an issuer when they digitally sign one using their private cryptographic key. Upon issuance, they share it with a holder who has control over the issued credential and can share and use it as they please.
The individuals or organizations a holder shares the credential with are known as the verifier. They verify the credential’s authenticity on the blockchain to understand if it’s relevant, has been tampered with, and issued by an authorized source.
If this sounds confusing, why not let the pros handle the complex behind-the-scenes (BTS)? Use ProofEasy to begin issuing verifiable credentials at a budget-friendly price. Its customizable API layer will make it easier for you to integrate it in your existing system without upgrading it needlessly. So why don’t you reach out to the ProofEasy team today?!