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As part of its ongoing work involving blockchain, SAP’s Innovation Center Network has produced TrueRec. This is a secure and trusted digital wallet for storing professional and academic credentials. These credentials can include anything, from:

  • IDs, such as passport, driver’s license, or voter ID
  • educational credentials like university degrees
  • employment certificates.

Why TrueRec?

In a world where identity theft is an ongoing threat, TrueRec is a real blockchain applications. It enables users to:

  • maintain sole ownership of their information
  • prove the legitimacy of credentials
  • collect them in one central location
  • securely share them with anyone.

How TrueRec works

If TrueRec issues a new credential or document the user receives the credential as a TRU file and the digital fingerprint (hash) of the credential as recorded on the blockchain.

This protects the privacy of the individual – because the credential itself Is not stored on the blockchain. Nevertheless, with the blockchain as a single source of truth, anyone can instantly verify the validity of the credential upon receiving it from the user.To improve security further, TrueRec also does not store the certificate. The user can choose where to keep it. That might be on a PC or mobile phone.

Users can view their TRU file in the TrueRec app. The app allegedly makes it easy to share certificates with, for example, employers, institutions, or whomever the user decides. Better still this can be anytime, anywhere. In turn, the recipient can verify the submitted credentials by simply comparing the documents with the hash on the blockchain.

TrueRec is based on Ethereum. This is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform. It features smart contract (scripting) functionality, which facilitates online contractual agreements.

Who benefits?

TrueRec was recently made available to anyone enrolled in the “Touch IoT course for SAP Leonardo” offered by openSAP. This is an online learning platform. It provides massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Over 4500 students currently enrolled in the Touch IoT course will receive their certification for the course through TrueRec. They can then manage their certifications as described earlier.

What does it mean

Credentials are rarely easy to verify. Faking is common. Lost or stolen is the same. Authentication is tedious. SAP offers two example practical instances of applicability:

  1. The instance of a commercial pilot where he or she has frequently to authenticate the applicable licenses to be able to do the job
  2. Prospective employers who must often undertake lengthy background checks to verify a candidate’s credentials are genuine.

TrueRec, as a practical implementation of blockchain, is in good company. Microsoft’s announcement of its Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) offering seeks to make it easier for businesses to build real-world applications atop a blockchain. It recent next step in its BaaS strategy is the introduction of Enterprise Smart Contracts. “Our customers and partners often say to us, ‘Ok, you’ve made it easy for me to stand up these blockchain networks, but what do I do now?‘ blogged Marley Gray, Principal Program Manager for Azure Blockchain Engineering.

Rather than blockchain staying the preserve of a minority, its potential is arriving, as TrueRec and BaaS evidence. This represents a major step forward for enterprises.


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Charles Brett
Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.


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