Eduthereum – A system for storing educational certificates in a public blockchain

Supervisor(s)Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rainer Böhme


This thesis explores how to improve the way we grant, store, and verify educational certificates. It proposes Eduthereum, a decentralized, transparent, permissionless, integrity-protected system for managing educational certificates. Although Eduthereum is transparent, which means that all certificates are stored in a public blockchain, it is privacy-friendly for certificate receivers. Eduthereum supports anonymous application processes which enable employers to rule out discrimination verifiably, and protects the privacy of unsuccessful applicants. Certificates are hierarchically structured and can be shared in sets. We present a method to verify if such a set is complete, thereby enabling verifiable rankings among all issued certificates of a given type. The authentication of certificate receivers leverages national ID systems. The authentication of certificate issuers uses a system inspired by the web of trust, thereby avoiding the need for a supernational identity provider. A proof-of-concept is built for the Ethereum blockchain and the Swarm distributed data store.