Introducing Lockness: A Platform to Secure Certificates on the Blockchain

Shani Mithani
Oct 22, 2018 · 4 min read

The Queen’s Technology Media Association provides students access to Canada’s first undergraduate product management program, giving students the opportunity to develop software applications throughout the year to serve today’s market needs.

Today we’re going to be showcasing Lockness, a project one of our three product teams have been working on this year. Over the last few months, the Lockness product team has made tremendous progress towards bringing their idea to life. We’re very excited to be sharing with you what the team has been working on, how they’ve been doing it, and what they have planned for the future. We sat down with Nicholas Chan, the Product Manager, so we could learn more about the project. Keep scrolling to learn more about Lockness — a platform aimed to to eliminate the current problems of issuing digital certificates.

So tell us, what is Lockness?

Lockness is a software service that allows institutions to issue and verify their educational certificates through the blockchain. This allows for fraud reduction, faster verification, and increased security. Businesses can issue their certifications through the platform, while users can store and access all of their online certifications in a secure manner.

Why did you want to create Lockness?

When you take an online course, you are issued a form of certification upon completion. This online certification is usually a simple PDF that can be duplicated and utilized by anyone. How can any employer or institute know that the candidate’s certificate is legitimate? In the case of an eLearning institution such as Lynda or Udemy, anyone can easily duplicate the certification offered. Additionally, in the case of a large institution such as Queen’s, the process to verify a transcript involves contacting the school or searching through online databases. This is inefficient if you need to undergo such processes for thousands of people. We wanted to create a solution that allows these certifications to be distributed in a more secure manner, while also making the certificates easily accessible to users on a single platform.

Awesome! Who’s it for?

For the everyday consumer: Keep track of all your certificates and degrees on one platform. Never worry about the physical copy or PDF being lost or destroyed as it will always be stored on the blockchain. This also makes it really simple for you to prove to employers and institutions that you have the credentials stated, without the hassle of picking up physical transcripts.

For Institutions Issuing Certifications: Lockness is a solution that reduces the cost and time that is being wasted on providing and verifying degrees manually. In addition, online course providers can have increased credibility, knowing that their course certificates cannot be counterfeited since they are stored on the Ethereum blockchain.

For Verifying Businesses: Ensure that potential candidates and individuals have the skillsets and degrees which they have stated, while saving time on the manual verification process that is currently taking place.

What’s the tech being used?

Prototyping is currently being done through Photoshop, but we’re also looking to use a prototyping tool such as Invision or Marvel App. We are building our platform on the Ethereum Blockchain. We’re also using uPort, a blockchain identity system that will allow users to register with their own identity with Ethereum. Truffle Suite is going to be utilized to help simplify the process of developing smart contracts.

For the front-end user interface we’re using React.js — A Javascript library that will make it easy for us to break down the UI into reusable components and work with constantly updating data. The ability to reuse and update individual components is important as we expect to constantly be iterating on our designs and code.

Cool! What are the next steps moving forward?

We want to finish our first functional prototype sometime in November. The next step is to gain feedback from pilot customers in the upcoming months. This will allow us to add and modify features based on customer feedback. We are also reaching out to educational institutions and online course providers to form potential partnerships.

The team behind Lockness

All members of the team are from Queen’s University and a part of the Queen’s Technology Media Association

Thanks for updating us — we’re super excited to see where the team goes with Lockness!

Learn more about the Queen’s Technology Media Association at https://qtma.ca/

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Shani Mithani

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QTMA Insights

Our Insights Into The Tech World

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