Dmitriy Shironosov/123RF
 

20 Startups Using Blockchain To Transform Education [Market Map]

  • 19 December 2018
  • Sam Mire

Education hasn’t changed much since the modern take on university education took shape in Berlin during the early 1800s. Some of this is because how humans learn hasn’t changed much. But the channels through which knowledge can be shared and accessed have changed significantly. While digital systems have completely disrupted data gathering and information theory, the broader educational system and supporting industry has remained largely the same.

The advent of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies may be the beginning of a disruptive wave of change within the education industry. Since blockchain increases the veracity of data and removes the need for centralized verification of authenticity, there are numerous applications emerging that will not only change the way we recognize educational achievements, but also the ways in which we structure educational systems and services. If you’ve ever wanted to learn something but hesitated because you thought the course was too expensive or you wanted to learn in your own way without a university telling you what you should or shouldn't know, definitely explore these projects.

Blockchain in education market map


CATEGORY #1: LEARNER DATA TRACKING

Blockchain market map - Education - Learner data tracking

When it comes to student success, most educators lack the data resources needed to truly ensure that every student in their institution is receiving the customized learning environment they need. As more courses go digital, however, there are a whole host of tools emerging that will help educators track student performance. Blockchain is especially helpful in this regard because it can provide a ledger for student performance that helps educators assess student success and needs.  These companies are working to help integrate blockchain with student success programs to help increase education outcomes for all.


cubomaniaCubomania

Cubomania is a game-based, blockchain-enabled platform for the creation and transmission of personalized educational content. CuboBuddies are AI-based digital characters that serve as the basis for the platform, functioning as a tool to deploy educational programs while learning more about the user’s learning style. The CuboApp is tied to the toy, but can also be accessed independently to engage with enriching content, while the Cubomania blockchain marketplace is the central means of facilitating the educational content creation that forms the basis of the platform.

Founded: December 2016

Funding type: ICO


shikapaShikapa

Shikapa was developed by a team based in San Francisco, but its focus is West Africa — specifically, fostering stronger educational systems in the region. The goal is unity among the many links in the educational value chain, including students, teachers, academic institutions, government officials, etc. The mobile Shikapa platform uses blockchain as a secure, uniform tool to measure academic progress across the educational outlets of Sub-Saharan Africa. Features of the platform include school payment capability, long-term performance tracking, transparent recordkeeping, and measurement of ROI on educational investments.

Founded: Oct 1, 2014

Funding type: Private / Venture-backed


Open Source UniversityOpen Source University

Bulgarian Open Source University is “The World’s Academic and Career Development Ledger.” OSUni seeks to provide authentication for students’ academic credentials on a single ledger that prospective employers and other educational institutions can rely upon as verified truth. OSUni’s matching algorithm will help businesses seek out qualified candidates using the platform, while users’ degree credits will be leveraged to help them view potential, suggested career options. The platform also contains a teaching component, and all payments to learning content providers are executed using smart contracts.

Founded: 2015

Funding type: ICO


CATEGORY #2: DECENTRALIZED EDUCATION MARKETPLACES

Blockchain market map - Education - Decentralized education marketplaces

Digital education solutions have been on the rise, but the usual gatekeepers of knowledge and credentials still control people’s access, meaning quality education is still relatively expensive, even in digital formats. Blockchain can help solve this, however, by creating decentralized marketplaces that can validate the quality of the courses being provided, facilitate payment, and provide immutable certificates of completion. These companies are working to create decentralized marketplaces for the exchange of knowledge.


woolfWoolf, Blockchain University

Woolf is a model for an online, blockchain-enabled university that will allow any accredited academic to launch and teach courses that will advance users toward a degree. Blockchain will be an integral aspect of the Woolf model, ensuring regulatory compliance, minimizing the bureaucratic aspects of legacy universities that lead to overpricing, and securing financial and personal data. The Woolf model is aimed at providing more cost-effective yet equally rewarding educational opportunities for both students and academics, and stresses personal interaction between educator and pupil.

Founded: Feb 28, 2018

Funding type: ICO


ntokNTok-X

NTok-X is a Latvian startup that has created a decentralized educational ecosystem that employs blockchain technology. The platform offers real-time online lessons, the completion of which results in users’ skillsets being verifiably enhanced. Users can use that knowledge in turn to educate other users, earning tokens as they do so. Personal token sales and personal crowdfunding are two ways for users of the NTok ecosystem to fund their education.

Founded: 2017

Funding type: ICO


jalapeno-inventiveJalapeno Inventive

The Jalapeno Inventive is an educationally-minded, blockchain-enabled platform that encourages its users to learn about one subject in particular: the blockchain. Whether that means taking tutorials about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, or the blockchain more generally, users simply register, select a course that interests them, and start earning while they soak up all sorts of blockchain-centric knowledge.

Founded: May 2015

Funding type: Private / Venture-backed


english-forwardEnglish Forward

English Forward is a Q&A-style platform for those seeking to learn about the English language, and it recently announced that it would be adopting blockchain technology — specifically, the Bancor Protocol — to increase the accessibility and utility of the service. The transition into the realm of blockchain will provide greater incentive for users of English Forward because it will afford them the possibility to earn the more that they learn. The Malta-based EdTech platform is set to see how the blockchain can help the platform evolve and continue to serve those seeking to learn or perfect their English.

Founded: 2002

Funding type: Private / Venture-backed


vanywhereVanywhere

Vanywhere is a live skill-sharing platform conceived in Tel Aviv, Israel. The idea is to connect social influencers and their followers in an unprecedented way, allowing them to communicate through live, 1-on-1 voice or video chats. It is an idea that has appeal to both parties; influencers have a new way to increase the breadth and intensity of their followers while getting paid for their time, and followers can interact with their influencers in a more personal manner than they could on YouTube or other social networks. Privacy and payment will both be facilitated by Vanywhere’s blockchain integration.

Founded: Apr 1, 2016

Funding type: ICO


CATEGORY #3: DIGITAL CERTIFICATIONS AND RECORDS

Blockchain market map - Education - Digital certifications and records

Have you ever had to ask your alma mater for transcripts and waited for weeks while they took their sweet time making their way through a labyrinth of cubicles and paper-based processes? Or maybe an institution you received a certificate from lost the records of you completing a course and it caused you strife. All of these companies are working to leverage blockchain technology to make these issues a thing of the past. Read on if you want to know about how blockchain can be used to verify records and certificates in education and other fields. 


vivagogyVivagogy

Vivagogy is embracing the Montessori style of learning, and taking it to the blockchain. By creating differentiated learning paths based on user capability and learning style, Vivagogy is seeking to ensure that no learner is left behind. Their use of artificial intelligence is used to guide assessments of users, while the blockchain creates the ledger upon which immutable certifications are issued as users progress through different lessons. Ultimately, users can maintain lifelong competency profiles that may help them get that new job or promotion down the line.

Founded: 2016

Funding type: Venture-backed


Leap With AliceLeap With Alice

Orlando-based Leap With Alice is taking advantage of several emerging technologies to rethink the way that education is administered. The platform is aimed at providing a space for the creation and exchange of next-generation educational tools and platforms. Augmented reality is at the heart of Leap With Alice’s vision for how education will take on a more interactive form in the not-so-distant future. The blockchain will serve as the underlying security mechanism for users to ensure that their original programs and content remain fully theirs until they consent to sell or exchange it within the LWA marketplace.

Founded: January 2018

Funding type: ICO


edgecoinEdgecoin

Edgecoin is positioned as a education and e-learning token, which they believe will advance their vision of the education of the future. That vision includes smart contracts containing all of a student’s/candidate’s/employee’s educational history, qualifications, skills, certifications, and employment history so that the hiring process can become more objective and automated. The Edgecoin is envisioned as the transactional token for acquiring these smart contracts, as well as other aspects of the educational future that will require some form of tit for tat.

Pre-ICO: Nov 6, 2017

Funding type: ICO


disciplinaDISCIPLINA

DISCIPLINA is an Estonian spinoff of the educational course platform TeachMePlease. DISCIPLINA is a multifunctional blockchain tailored for programs and projects in the educational and recruiting sectors, and it is being designed for the purpose of hosting personal profiles that reflect academic and professional achievement. These profiles will ultimately be used to create a scoring system within a searchable, easily-browsable database for use by potential employers, academic institutions, etc.

Pre-ICO: July 16, 2018

Funding type: ICO


bitdegreeBitDegree

BitDegree is a platform offering online courses with free certifications in the IT field, with academic performance and achievement tracked on a blockchain ledger. From web development to gaming animation, BitDegree offers a plethora of courses that fall in line with the tech-centric future of the professional world. The platform has been compared to “Coursera and HackerRank merged together,” and is intended to serve as a tool not only for the students, but also for businesses seeking out certified, verifiable talent in the IT fields.

Founded: 2017

Funding type: ICO


leduLiveEdu

LiveEdu is a decentralized ecosystem of courses in key technology fields. Powered by a native token, they seek to give people new platforms to access technical education that are cheaper due to the lack of institutional expense. In a field where what you know matters more than where you went to school, LiveEdu is working to help recognize talented tech experts for their efforts and knowledge over their credentials.


records-keeperRecordsKeeper

RecordsKeeper is a company using blockchain to create secure records and academic certificates. In general, RecordsKeeper offers an independent open and mineable blockchain for data security and record keeping. They help users publish their data as a key-value pair into blockchain transactions and then query the published record using a key-driven infrastructure.

Founded: Aug 26, 2016

Funding type: Private


blockcertsBlockcerts  by Learning Machine

Open Protocol. Learning Machine provides a complete system to issue official records using a blockchain-anchored format designed to be instantly verifiable anywhere in the world. Essentially, the have created a standard for blockchain credentials, which has obvious value in an industry that is so dependent on the use of trustworthy certificates of completion.

Founded: 2017


CATEGORY #4: EDUCATIONAL PAYMENTS & REWARDS

Blockchain market map - Education - Educational payments and rewards

Education is expensive, and paying for coursework is often a cumbersome process. These blockchain companies are working to disrupt payments and rewards systems within the education system through the use of cryptocurrencies and novel tokenomics. They hope to disrupt the often one-sided approach to educational payments through the use of compelling distributed ledgers and decentralized currencies.


tutellusTutellus

Tutellus, a company born in Madrid, is seeking to transform education in the Spanish-speaking world. Their model is predicated by flipping the traditional model of education on its head; instead of making people pay to study and attend school, they will instead be rewarded for the time they put into furthering their education. The blockchain is the linchpin that allows students to demonstrate proof of learning, and be paid for it. Conversely, the success of students generates greater rewards for their educators, as proof of teaching is tracked using blockchain tech in this peer-to-peer learning marketplace.

Founded: 2013

Funding type: ICO


educoinEducoin

Educoin encourages its users to augment their skills through online lessons that are administered in return for payments using blockchain technology. Their ERC-20 blockchain payment technology will be the transactional means for students to learn skills that will prepare them for the technological economy of the future. The India-based company caters specifically to those in areas where traditional payment systems are either difficult to use or access but means to maintain a digital wallet are accessible. These areas are also, non-coincidentally, also regions where skills development is necessary to avoid poverty and professional obsolescence.

Founded: ICO. Mar 18, 2018

Funding type: ICO


odemODEM

ODEM is an on-site educational platform that is predicated on affordable, customizable courses and experiences. Drawing its inspiration from a partnership with a Cambridge, MA-based startup, ODEM seeks to tailor courses in the way that they have been personalized for international students adapting to the English-speaking university and professional circuits. Through blockchain-enabled payment systems, students will be able to interact more directly, albeit remotely, with academic professionals who are able to adapt to each learner’s specific needs.  

Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO


gilgameshGilgamesh

Gilgamesh is an open source, knowledge sharing network that supports participation in education. The Gilgamesh platform is designed to empower readers, critics, and authors to socially connect and exchange knowledge through a cohesive user experience, while using GIL Tokens to transact with one another.

 

Want more blockchain in education content?

Read: Blokchain for Education: 3 Possible Use Cases

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Front Lines Media. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.

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