DISCIPLINA will store confidential information, such as the courses, students’ tasks, grades, and test results. Therefore, public blockchain solutions, which store all of their transactions in open access — Ethereum or EOS, for example — are unacceptable. At the same time, private blockchain solutions, such as Hyperledger, do not provide enough verifiability of the data stored on them.
How does DISCIPLINA work?
Private layer. The private segment does not allow any data except hashes to open access. This is done to store private and personal user data, as well as those materials that are protected by copyright or commercial confidentiality.
Witnesses check the validity of the segments within the private blockchains of the educational institutions. They will manage the public chain of blocks, on which data created within each school is hashed. The witnesses won’t have access to the data itself, only to the hashes of the data.
Educational institutions. An educational institution is any state or private online and offline organization that conducts any and all educational activity. Private tutors are also included. It can even be a simple marketplace offering the sale of study materials. Every educational institution has its private chain and the opportunity to monetize educational records stored there.
Recruiters and other interested parties are offered paid access to the information about the academic history and achievements of the students.
Public layer. The public segment provides the access to the data that verifies the integrity of the private chains and the reliability of the data stored by the network.
DISCIPLINA is a proof-of-stake blockchain, which means faster transactions and no need for energy-consuming mining farms. We do not require stake delegation — any node is free to join the network and validate transactions. In order to increase participation in the protocol, we offer rewards for nodes that stay online and produce blocks. The probability of such a reward is proportional to the stake of the participant.
Web of Trust
We do not use any central organization to tackle fake educational institutions. Instead, we integrate an intrinsic reputation mechanism called Web of Trust into the core of our architecture. Every entity is able to express opinions on others’ ability to assess skills. The system builds the ratings of the participants based on these opinions. Respected educational institutions would have more weight and influence in our ecosystem.
With blockchains and cryptocurrencies, one small error can cause big damage. This is why we prefer high-assurance software development techniques. Our core blockchain code is written in Haskell — a type-safe functional programming language that catches most of the errors at compile-time. We also value formal specification — it helps us create a clear understanding of how our system should work, and allows us to clarify all the subtleties of implementation before we even start implementing a feature.
DISCIPLINA respects privacy — it has private and public layers in its architecture. These layers work closely in order to guarantee both privacy and validity of the data. The private layer contains the actual data, whereas the public one stores cryptographic proofs that the data is untampered.
Fair data disclosure
DISCIPLINA implements a novel data disclosure algorithm that preserves privacy and ensures that educational institutions can’t cheat while disclosing the data. We use blockchain as a final judgment that decides whether the data being disclosed to the interested party is valid. Most importantly, it does not require opening the sensitive data to the public!