Frequently Asked Questions
Who developed OpenCerts?
GovTech Singapore developed OpenCerts in cooperation with the OpenCerts Consortium.
What is OpenCerts?
OpenCerts is the umbrella trademark under which we have released a few key components:
- An open source schema for publishing educational credentials
- A set of tools for generating cryptographic protections for educational credentials
- This online website for verifying the authenticity of OpenCerts files.
Where do I get an OpenCerts certificate?
OpenCerts is an open source platform which education institutions can adopt for issuing certificates. Please contact your education institute’s administrative office for enquiries on whether your certificate was issued in the OpenCerts format.
Is my personal data safe on the blockchain?
Academic records of the certificate and personal data are not published on the blockchain. A hash is generated from the certificate and is used to prove that the certificate is legitimate. The process of computing the hash from the certificate is not reversible. Since the hash is the only information published into the blockchain, no personal information can be obtained from content on the blockchain.
Why is OpenCerts backed by blockchain technology?
Using blockchain, we can greatly reduce the barrier to entry of publishing cryptographically protected educational credentials, as compared to currently existing costly proprietary software. In addition, a public blockchain is owned and maintained by the community and is easily accessible by anyone. As a result, there is no need to run or maintain services to verify OpenCerts.
Why use the Ethereum blockchain?
Ethereum is the blockchain network with the largest developer base, as well as having a large number of participants securing the network.
How do I send my OpenCerts certificate to someone?
You may use the share button that is visible when you view your certificate, or you can simply email the OpenCerts file to them.
Why can't I print the certificate?
Printing the certificate discards all the advanced cryptographic protections we have built into OpenCerts, hence printed certificates are not to be considered authentic.
What happens if I modify the OpenCerts file?
The modified certificate will fail validation and show up as having been tampered with.
What does it mean by Signature?
In every properly issued OpenCerts certificate file, there is a hash-based message authentication code which cryptographically certifies that the content of the certificate has not been altered. If you would like to know more about the technical nitty-gritty of how this works, check out our technical documentation.
What does it mean by Ethereum Blockchain?
The Ethereum Blockchain is a publicly usable distributed ledger based on blockchain technology. You can think of it as a publicly readable database.
What does it mean by Revoked?
The issuer has explicitly published a notice of revocation for this certificate and it is no longer a valid certificate.
Is this safe to use? Can't anyone just copy my certificate file and pass off as me?
Yes, the certificate file can trivially be duplicated. However, the recipient's name in the certificate cannot be altered without failing our verification process. Thus it is extremely important that the person doing the verification ensures that the recipient indicated in the certificate is actually the entity presenting the certificate. For more advanced institutions, there is the possibility of using Distributed IDs to associate the certificate recipient's public key for further authentication using public/private key signing in the future.
How can I change the appearance of the certificates I issue?
Each certificate can have a 'template' field. This field identifies the template to be used for that certificate. Once you are a recognised issuer, you may submit a pull request at our GitHub repository to add your certificate template to the verification site.