Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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    BitDegree to Compete for 1M EUR in the Finals of EIC Horizon Prize for Blockchains for Social Good

    BitDegree Scholarships’ solution was selected to appear among the 23 finalists in Brussels and will compete for a 1M EUR prize in the category “Aid & Philanthropy.” BitDegree has developed the first-ever transparent P2P blockchain system for scholarships tied to educational outcomes. Now, anyone can get paid to learn at BitDegree.org.

    The EIC Horizon Prize ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ focuses on scalable, efficient, and high-impact decentralized solutions to social innovation challenges using blockchain technology. The task requires multidisciplinary expertise. Winning solutions are expected to address sustainability challenges, generate social change, and demonstrate options for a smoother distribution of information and resources.

    Bringing complete transparency to education donations

    BitDegree Scholarships disrupts the general belief that donations and aid deviate from the end-recipients. The solution presents individual stories for donors to see and fund easily. People can request financial support to access high-quality online courses and compensate for their time away from work.

    Blockchain technology underwriting the Scholarships allows complete financial transparency and educational achievement. If the person completes the course in time, a blockchain certificate is issued and the incentive scholarship is transferred in cryptocurrency, allowing to break the financial barriers and reach the unbanked. Otherwise, the donation is returned to the sponsor, as defined in the smart contract.

    Social good potential of P2P scholarships

    The Internet allows everyone to reach quality education. However, there can be two obstacles to learning. First, high-quality online courses can be for someone with a lower income. Second, people can’t afford the time to learn, as they need to work. BitDegree Scholarships solve the issue by paying for online courses and providing a local-income-adjusted grant to buy time for learning. People in need can re-skill and up-skill online to work in the global economy or find qualified employment locally.

    BitDegree Scholarships spans over developing and developed countries equally. Europe lacks tech talent, and the automation of industry threatens the employment of many. Employer or government-sponsored scholarships tied to clear learning paths can enable and motivate the wide-scale reskilling in Europe.

    BitDegree Scholarships open to any education provider

    For demonstration, BitDegree has implemented the BitDegree Scholarships system on its platform as a Showcase. The vision is to attract many different online and offline education providers to use BitDegree Scholarships and enable their learners to receive support. Interested parties can already do so manually. The next version of Scholarships will offer automated integrations with third parties and a joint listing of all scholarship requests for donors.

    The incentive to go beyond state-of-the-art

    In education, blockchain is mainly used for credentials. EIC Horizon Prize has led BitDegree to think of applying blockchain for much greater social good. The company appreciates the ability to network with like-minded leaders sharing common global-scale goals. Winning the prize, BitDegree will use the funds to develop the project further.

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