Applying blockchain in education has its own challenges. These include the difficulty of changing established systems, legal questions on the ownership of the data, limitations in storage space and the need for privacy protection.
Recent news on Bitcoin has focused on the total loss of access to the blockchain if a password cannot be retrieved. This human element of remembering passwords could prove a significant inhibitor of the use of blockchain in education.
In addition, like other online databases, blockchain is vulnerable to unexpected failures. The persistence of blockchain can also become a hindrance: If unwanted, fake, unscientific or illegal content is accidentally or maliciously added to a blockchain, it cannot be removed.
There is also a lack of people skilled in implementing blockchain. As well, the speed, and particularly the high energy cost of creating and maintaining blockchain are also concerns.
Using blockchain technology to house open educational resources can be a tremendous asset in fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 of improving access to quality, affordable education globally. But more research and political will is needed to overcome barriers in implementing this technology.