Blockchain has begun to shape the world in many different ways. Countries have begun to interact with cryptocurrencies and its underlying tech in many different ways. Countries such as El Salvador have embraced Bitcoin as a legal tender, while China has cracked down on its use and cultivation. But Ethiopia might just be the next country to adopt a positive approach to cryptocurrency through its use of Cardano.
Cardano is a blockchain platform designed to be more efficient than “proof of work” networks like Bitcoin by utilizing a “proof of stake,” or PoS, network. The platform launched in 2017 and quickly became one of the most popular blockchain brands. Their cryptocurrency, ADA, recently cracked through to third place for the most valuable and circulated cryptocurrencies behind Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It’s also a continued work in progress, meaning the platform is continually being developed. Its development is clearly defined by a well-planned roadmap. In fact, September saw the release of the Alonzo upgrade, which brought smart contract capabilities to the Cardano blockchain.
Ethiopia began exploring the use of blockchain in its education system a few years ago and settled on the Cardano platform earlier this year.
Cardano is attractive to the African country due to its energy-efficient nature and ability to handle massive amounts of transactions in a short amount of time. Bitcoin mining has received a lot of bad press due to its vast energy requirements, and Cardano avoids that notoriety.
Cardano only requires the amount of energy it takes to power about 600 U.S. homes on an annual basis. Bitcoin’s energy requirements are on a totally different scale and are equivalent to the entire country of Argentina.
The minister of education announced in August that they had been working with the platform to develop a blockchain application that would help streamline and track students' performance. The application, named PRISM, is set to launch in a trial mode by the end of 2021.
PRISM will monitor and track all students’ academic progress from kindergarten through university. This is important for data mining to determine which teaching methods are most effective and helps protect students from the dreaded ‘test phobia.’
Tablets will be distributed to students with the proper software installed. All of the devices are hardwired to be connected to a national network that ensures connection to the central databases. It’s estimated that there are five million students and over seven hundred thousand teachers in the country.
This is a huge improvement over the current paper-based system that leaves many students struggling to prove their history when seeking higher education.
Ethiopia’s decision to use Cardano has propelled IOHK to be a household name in the world of blockchain technology.
IOHK is one of the three entities responsible for maintaining and developing Cardano, and its primary focus is on the research and engineering side of things. In addition to maintaining the Cardano infrastructure, they help build high-assurance blockchain infrastructure solutions for government clients.
This isn’t IOHK’s first experience with the country. They have actively been supporting the education of female developers and assisting them in learning Cardano’s programming language Haskel.
Tackling the monumental task will help the company perfect integration of blockchain technology in people's day-to-day lives.
Ethiopia’s adoption of blockchain technology on a national level is a groundbreaking development. El Salvador recently launched a program to allow Bitcoin as legal tender that can be used to purchase goods and services. Ukraine also announced that they were legalizing the use of Bitcoin so that it can be used in the country and protected if stolen.
The next evolution of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology hinges on mass scale of use at governmental levels. Cardano offers an efficient and scalable solution for organizations, companies, and countries across the world. So as blockchain adoption increases, you might just see Cardano heading the efforts.