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Blockchain could lead to staff-less universities, expert claims

Universities could face an Uber-like disruption from blockchain systems that do not need humans to function, an academic has warned.

John Domingue, director of the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University, revealed his ideas on how universities might change in future at the British Council’s Going Global conference in Berlin on 14 May. He said “Uber-style” universities could be created by using blockchain—a complete data record that is almost impossible to hack—and smart contracts that automatically pay for content such as uploaded lessons.

“You could think about having Uber-style universities…disaggregating what universities do through the blockchain and through smart contracts,” he said, adding that staff at the University of Oxford have set up an platform called Woolf University to which anyone can apply online to become a faculty member or a student.

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