Millions of students are graduating each year in Pakistan and all of these students need to verify their degree documents from some relevant organization. However, the current verification process is manual and is not free. Hence, it results in the wastage of both time and money. Even the HEC(Higher Education Commission) Pakistan require the verification fee for the verification of the photocopies of already verified original degree documents. It inspired us to come up with a blockchain-based degree verification application that can be used for offering the free of cost degree verification solution that we called as DocsChain. It was previously offered as an IoT solution and we have published an IEEE Transaction Paper(available in the attachment) on that solution. However, the solution presented in that paper was focused on degree verification organizations like universities or HEC. However, now we have converted it to a mobile application to offer the same services to anyone equipped with a mobile device.
What it does
We have four different access levels of University, Admin, Students and Verifier as Guest. Roles of each of these are described below:
University can define the templates of their degree documents and can also upload the data of the already or newly issued degree documents. Our application passes this data through a _ PoE (Proof-of-Existence)_ algorithm of blockchain and stores the resulted hash on the blockchain ledger. We are planning to charge a small fee to the universities against each bulk submission of multiple degree documents.
Admin verifies the templates generated by the university administration and only allows the data submitted to the blockchain against the correctly generated templates of the degree documents.
Student uses the mobile application of DocsChain to capture the image from the phone gallery or camera of the mobile device. Our application applies the image processing and OCR to verify the legitimacy of the submitted degree document and generates a verifiable degree document by adding the QR code on the successfully verified degree documents. We can charge a one-time minimal fee for generating the verifiable degree documents of the students. The QR-enabled verifiable degree document can be submitted to any organization for the purpose of job or higher education.
Verifier does not require any login and therefore, can also be considered as a guest user. A verifier can verifier any number of QR-enabled verifiable degree document. DocsChain offers free of cost degree verification service to the verifiers and it uses the architecture presented in Fig. 5 of the attached paper.
How we built it
We have used the Flutter, OCR and blockchain technologies for implementing the solution of DocsChain. The details of core technologies are given in the attached paper.
Challenges we ran into
As there is no existing blockchain-based verification solution available for the degree documents, therefore, we have gone through a lot of iterations for reaching at the current workflow of the DocsChain application.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
DocsChain is the first blockchain-based degree verification solution in the world that is capable of verifying the hard-copies, scanned images or photocopies of the degree documents.
What we learned
We got the hands-on experience with dart, flutter, OCR and blockchain technologies.
What's next for DocsChain.org: Blockchain-based degree verification solution
DocsChain can currently operate with the public blockchain solutions of bitcoin and ethereum. However, we are currently working on a more closed solution based on the hyperledger that will give us more control over the policies of the underlying ledger. We can also accomplish the better distribution of on-chain and off-chain transactions for different oeprations of the DocsChain solution.