A quality education has become an indispensable element in making our lives complete and prosperous. At the same time, increasing development in the area of scientific achievement predicts that relying only on your old academic background might no longer be sufficient. Continuous learning is our current reality.
Under these types of changes, e-learning has become one of the fastest-growing segments, with global market growth poised to reach 7.2% per annum by 2025. Emerging EdTech projects strive to fill the remaining gaps between online education and traditional education. These new-era entrepreneurs decided to take advantage of ICOs to bring their startups to success.
Blockchain technology has moved beyond the financial industry to other sectors. As a digital ledger, it’s used to record transactions. Completing a course or assignment, publishing an article or book — all can serve as examples of transactions in the field of education.
Those with concerns about blockchain in education may ask how students, teachers, parents, and schools will cope with the complexity of blockchain applications. It’s 2018 outside, but “123456” still remains the most popular password!
Why Blockchain Technology?
So, how exactly is blockchain technology utilized for educational purposes? Some of the answers may be:
- It stimulates the knowledge/reward system.
- It makes credentials more trustworthy.
- It keeps records safe and easy to access.
No more chances of fraud. Organizations issue credentials to students, who can then allow recruiters, companies, and other interested parties to verify the results submitted to them. No need for an intermediary to have control. No need for the parties to trust each other.
Top 3 ICOs Disrupting Education and E-learning: Evaluation Criteria
Over the last year, there has been an increased focus on Initial Coin Offerings. However, there are still very, very few organizations relying on ICOs for educational purposes. According to ICOBench statistics, the education sector is represented by just 81 projects in different stages, out of about 2,500 launched in total! And only two of them have successfully ended with +4 ratings so far: BitDegree and Afterschool. The latter temporarily suspended its crowdsale, however, after the Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) announcement was published to be sure they met all recommendations.
In this article, the top three disruptive ICOs in the education and e-learning industry are presented. To figure out why these ICOs are successful, it makes sense to determine the evaluation criteria first:
- Business plan. Someone may argue that a business plan will be out of date as soon as it’s written. At the same time, product, budget, economic model (token and funding), risk, defense against competitors, and profit are the points in which investors are mainly interested. Audit and security matters, along with marketing plan and legal aspects, have to be well-reasoned, as well. Investors and token-holders don’t want to be at risk. Make sure your ICO launch meets all relevant legal regulations. Deadlines should be specified for each project stage.
- Technology. Avoid a pointless ICO project. Not every project requires blockchain or a native token. Is the white paper well thought out, or just another marketing tool? Development efforts can easily be estimated by checking how active the GitHub repository concerning the project is, or by analyzing the proof-of-concept prototype (if any).
- Team. All roles should be clear. Who stands behind the project? How do their interests align with those of investors? Too many close relatives involved is a red flag. Along with the core team, the advisory board assists the company. They support the project with strategic advice from outside the company.
- Communication. Normally, the team actively shares news about the project, making announcements and updates to demonstrate their advanced attention to the ICO project during the roadmap phases. Their marketing efforts shape the opinion of the public. In general, they should be active, friendly, and answer all questions that may arise over the short term. Often, ICO projects have dedicated Slack or Telegram channels that the public can join.
All of the ICOs described below meet our outlined criteria: a blockchain-related product concept, a dedicated team, a well-structured white paper, and a roadmap.
ICOBench rate: 4.4
Funds raised: temporarily suspended
Country: United Arab Emirates
Afterschool is the world’s first children’s activity marketplace created to support parents in discovering, planning, and booking the most appropriate afterschool activities and summer camps for their kids. This service will also help providers engage new users and offer the best solutions for registered customers.
Prior to running the ICO, Afterschool’s distinguished business model had already engaged five hundred activity providers and over 25,000 users. Activity bookings worth millions of dollars have been generated since 2015.
According to their rewards system protocol, participation in the Afterschool platform (editorial content distribution, validating activities, reviewing activity providers, etc.) brings users tokens.
The Afterschool team is balanced with the right talents. Its members have been contributing to the project for more than two years.
ICOBench rate: 4.0
Funds raised: $22,500,000
BitDegree is the world’s first online platform that offers students online courses based on the Ethereum blockchain, with a clear rewards system and achievement tracking.
It is also a unique tool for businesses to recruit tech talents and shape global education according to their needs. Think of it as Coursera and HackerRank combined, powered by disruptive blockchain technology.
BitDegree is a encouraging project in the field of e-learning. Blockchain is used to offer individuals the most relevant online courses. Platform also provides incentives: token scholarships and achievement tracking.
Further, platform offers companies the facility to shape content in a way that suits current needs. It allows them to hire talents who can be productive from the very beginning. Basically, the idea is to reduce the gap between course providers, learners, and recruiters, thus creating a system that will be of greater value for all.
The BitDegree platform aims to cover a range of tasks:
- match employers and student incentives
- familiarize students with the employers’ offerings
- facilitate continuous learning
- decrease the costs spent on sharing knowledge and assessing proficiency
- provide scholarships for students.
Key team members of the BitDegree project include Andrius Putna (Co-founder and CEO). Andrius has 11 years of software engineering experience. He’s also founded of the world’s first learning and testing cloud hosting platform — 000webhost. Other members of the team include Danielius Stasiulis (co-founder and CBO) and Martynas Andriuškevičius.
With the fundraising phase is over, the Bitdegree team is publishing weekly roundups on Reddit.
ICOBench rate: 4.4
Funds raised: running
Gilgamesh is a knowledge-sharing social platform. It’s based on blockchain technology and Ethereum smart contracts. Dapp changes have established communication and interaction among readers, critics, and authors.
Customers gain GIL ERC20 utility tokens as a reward for productive connections and interactions (like creating an article review) on the platform. Afterward, users can spend them on the application goods and services, or vote on the governance of the application. The GIL token is an incentive to boost user engagement, grow the platform organically, raise capital, and create a fair market economy. Token distribution is composed as follows: token sale purchasers — 25%, founders — 20%, early contributors & advisors — 5%, retained by Gilgamesh — 20%, users of Gilgamesh Platform — 30%.
Guess what? Their white paper is provided in ten languages, including Hindi! It’s well-structured; fully describing product vision and market opportunities, including all necessary components and solutions. The Gilgamesh roadmap contains all the important milestones:
Gilgamesh Platform states its mission as encouraging readers to consume useful, more complete content, to interact with other readers, and to support a fair market for authors, readers, and critics. More possibilities are provided in their presentation.
Gilgamesh Platform’s team members have been selected with care and accurately. They have over ten years of experience in coding, cybersecurity, product management, business development, and legal strategy.
Most of the groundbreaking concepts we enjoy today — the internet, outsourcing, online payment processing, and even e-learning — were met with the same initial awe.
So, while the future of blockchain in education is hard to predict, from the point of view of the ICOs listed above, it definitely looks exciting.
We’re waiting to hear of other emerging uses for blockchain in education and e-learning.
This article was prepared by the Applicature team. To find more information on blockchain technology, please visit our official website.