Academic Fraud is a Yet Another Reason the World Needs Blockchain Technology

Just this week, the CEO of multi-billion-dollar luggage company Samsonite, Ramesh Tainwala, made headlines when he was caught falsifying his academic credentials.

Tainwala claimed to hold a doctorate which he didn’t have. A claim that no doubt helped him reach executive status. He’d done what so many people do: padded his resume.

Tainwala was caught red-handed (Source:

Tainwala’s deception shows the challenges all companies face: verifying the academic credentials of candidates.

And demonstrates the risks if they get it wrong.

In Samsonite’s case, wiping hundreds of millions of dollars off the company’s market cap.

Tainwala’s case is a clarion call for the trusted data blockchain technology enables and the immutable CVs we’re creating at

Samsonite Isn’t the Only One to Get Duped…

In 2012, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson had one of the highest profile jobs in the tech industry.

At the time, Yahoo was valued at around $20 billion.

Thompson had taken the job at Yahoo following successful stints at other big-name companies like PayPal and Inovant (a subsidiary of VISA).

He rose to the ranks of President and Executive Vice President at these companies on the back of long resume that featured a computer science degree.

Only problem was, Thompson didn’t actually have a computer science degree.

Scott Thompson was in hot water after the news broke (Source:

Of course, academic fraud isn’t confined to CEOs at massive companies like Samsonite and Yahoo: 85% of recruiters say they’ve caught a candidate lying on their resume.

Why does this kind of fraud occur so freely?

Because of the way today’s data is stored.

With academic data stored across countless fragmented systems, it makes it difficult for employers to verify and makes it very easy to fake a line in the resume or lie on a LinkedIn profile (which research shows 34% of people do).

This disconnected data model leaves the multi-trillion-dollar education sector riddled with fraudulent behavior.

How Tainwala And Thompson Got Away with it For So Long

Tainwala and Thompson had spent decades in the working world before their academic lies were detected.

How could it possibly take this long?

Simply, employers, recruiters and HR managers are forced to rely on laborious, imprecise ways to verify academic claims.

And the weight of candidate claims is far beyond the time constraints of employers and recruiters who need to verify them.

Consider this as evidence of the impossible task recruiters face: Google alone receives more than three million applications per year that must be vetted.

It’s no wonder, then, 37% of employers say they have hired the wrong person due to a candidate lying about their qualifications.

These days, 95% of recruiters have come to rely on LinkedIn when it comes to hiring. But its user-supplied data is hardly more trustworthy than the ink that’s on a resume.

And that brings us to the power of the blockchain.

Putting an End to Academic Fraud with the Blockchain

Through its consensus model, blockchain technology can create immutable education records that can be inherently trusted — education records that can confirm a degree, academic records and an institution.

At, we’re harnessing this power of the blockchain with the goal to make academic fraud a thing of the past.

Sure, we might be too late to prevent Samsonite and Yahoo hiring the wrong CEO, but for every other employer, we’re on a mission to make hiring simpler and more accurate, removing the risk and cost of marking a bad hire.

Not to mention saving hours and thousands of dollars on laborious, imprecise background checks.

Here’s how will use blockchain technology to add trust to the education sector’s data:

  1. Degree validation and academic record verification
  2. Vetting educational institutions
  3. Creating tamper-proof academic records
  4. Enabling complete academic histories through smart contracts

With trusted, verified education records on the blockchain, recruiters will be able to accurately and conclusively vet a candidate’s academic credentials.

Want to read more about how blockchain technology will reshape the education sector and the working world that relies on it?

Download our free in-depth research paper.

And to find out more about will power the future of payroll and to create your own immutable CV with workID, visit

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