Blockcert uses the Bitcoin blockchain and thus needs some amount of Bitcoin to issue certificates. The current price estimation is 10 cents/certificate as stated in one of the guides. Will the cost increase as the bitcoin value increase? And if so what’s the relation of the value and price?
Actually, that information is out of date (so if you could point me to it I’d like to see it so I can fix it). Now the cost is batch based. You can have an unlimited number of certs in a batch. Then the only cost you have to worry about is the transaction fee. If you want your transaction confirmed in a timely manner, that can be $1-2 USD lately. If you don’t mind waiting you can lower fees. (Bitcoin transaction fees in general are a much bigger issue I won’t get into here)
So in sum, the cost is independent of the number of certificates in a batch – there is only a transaction fee that you need to pay to have it processed.
In the future, other (non-Bitcoin) blockchain implementations will likely have different cost structures.
Oops, turns out it’s not a guide. It’s in one of the community topic Issuing options . Thanks for answering the question!
Slightly related: I’m sure you’ve discussed this in other threads, but I was wondering on what basis Blockcerts chose to use bitcoin, rather than another blockchain?
Bitcoin was chosen as the initial blockchain for implementation because of its stability (which increases trust among institutions and verifiers) and low overhead cost for users. But note that support for other blockchains will be added very soon. There are a wide variety of use cases which would argue for different blockchains, multiple blockchain targeting, or even anchoring/snapshotting across chains. Blockcerts should support this range of cases.
This is a really useful reply about the cost of issuing a certificate. I am trying to understand the complete economic model of the system in simple terms. Is there/will there be a cost for the verification of the certificate? - if say in the future a potential employer wants to confirm a student’s qualifications how do they do that? I am afraid my technical understanding of this is pretty basic, so I might be completely missing the point, but we are looking at the potential for a blockchain ledger for vocational qualifications and trying to map out the cost implications for all stakeholders.
The only cost involved is anchoring records to the blockchain. As Kim said, this is currently ~ $1 per batch, regardless of the size. This fee is paid to miners to record transactions. There are no other costs. Using the verification service later is free.
In regard to your scenario of an employer, there are several ways they could verify. Ideally, the verification service would be built into their HR system and automatically check records. It is easy to include. Of course, any independent lookup service will work. Learning Machine is a providing Issuers the ability host a verification page to create additional convenience for employers, until more IT systems have verification built in.