The Government completed a successful pilot project to implement a national credentialing system using blockchain technology, a first in the Caribbean and Latin America. Bahamas Blockcerts are nationally accredited digital certificates that use blockchain technology.
The new platform will radically improve the national system of creating, issuing, viewing and verifying national certificates of varied types, including academic credentials, professional certifications, workforce development, business and civic records.
The pilot was conducted with the National Training Agency (NTA), which will now issue Bahamas Blockcerts for all of its training programmes. That means, instead of paper certificates, NTA graduates will have a portfolio of shareable digital certificates (or website links) that can easily and freely be viewed and verified using secure blockchain technology from anywhere in the world.
How are they used? Bahamas Blockcerts are issued by an accredited national institution (like the NTA) through a free mobile app [Image uploaded with a screenshot of the Blockcert]. Each Blockcert has a unique website link that identifies the individual credential. Individuals can add the website link to their resumes or simply email a link to an employer or relevant institution, such as a bank. Instantly, the institution can view and securely verify the certificate.
That means, no more travelling around to physically pick up and drop off paper certificates; no more having to scan paper documents or to fight the bureaucracy.
Right now, the NTA is the only agency able to issue Bahamas Blockcerts. However, up to 23 national agencies could be integrated into the national platform created under the pilot project. Preliminary discussions are underway to have the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) brought onto the system next. The Ministry of Finance also plans to onboard the Department of Inland Revenue (DIR). In the future, other agencies such as the University of The Bahamas (UB) and the National Insurance Board (NIB) could be included.
A grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed the pilot project with the National Training Agency. The technology underpinning the system was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Ministry of Labour was responsible for the pilot project's implementation.
Last week, the Government signed a loan agreement with the IDB that will expand the pilot project and add other dynamic elements to promote skills for current and future job growth in The Bahamas.
PHOTO CAPTION: L-R Marlon Johnson - Financial Secretary Ministry of Finance, Cecilia Strachan - Permanent Secretary Department of Labour, Hon. Dion Foulkes Minister of Labour, Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Michael Nelson- IDB Acting Country Representative, Timyka Davis- IDB Labour Market Specialist at the signing ceremony for the loan project "Skills for Current and Future Jobs in The Bahamas".
Source: Government of The Bahamas