In an unusual move into higher education, the team behind Polygon, the Layer 2 blockchain, is planning to let students at the National University of Mongolia (NUM) receive their diplomas as Soulbound Tokens on-chain, the project said on Thursday.
“In a world where fake diplomas are problematic, it is commendable that NUM,… along with the Ministry of Education & Science are connecting diplomas with blockchain,” Polygon tweeted.
Soulbound Tokens are a type of non-transferable and non-financialized NFTs that were proposed in May by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder and chief scientist. Buterin said SBTs could be used to establish on-chain reputation and provenance, suggesting the tokens could be used for academic credentials, web3 credit ratings, or online memberships.
The project plans to offer the tokens on the Polygon’s PoS Chain, which is a sidechain designed to offer low-cost transactions compared to Ethereum’s mainnet. It has a total value locked of $1.3B, according to DeFi Llama.
The news comes the day after Meta announced it will soon launch a toolkit enabling Instagram influencers to create and sell Polygon-based NFTs. Instagram and Facebook also rolled out features allowing users to share Polygon, Ethereum, and Flow-based NFTs in August.
Polygon also announced that NUM launched a virtual headquarters on its chain dubbed Meta University in collaboration with Octagon Marketplace, an NFT Marketplace, Guyuk Metaverse, a local web3 open-world project. Students, graduates, and staff can mint one of six different NUM NFTs depicting anthropomorphized birds of prey to use as an avatar in the virtual space.
Octagon, a local NFT and digital asset exchange, also minted 30,000 NFTs that will be distributed to NUM students. The students are encouraged to share the NFTs on Instagram. Polygon added it has lined up similar plans with other top universities in Mongolia.
While Mongolia has typically lagged in crypto adoption, data from the blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis indicates the country’s web3 sector has been making strides over the past year.
Chainalysis’ 2020 Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index report ranked Mongolia among the lowest-ranked countries for web3 growth with an impact score of zero. But Chainalysis’ 2022 report said Mongolia posted the second-great 12-month increase in on-chain transaction volume for the Asian region with 72% as of June 2022.
However, the total value of cryptocurrency received in Mongolia was still very low compared to other countries, positioning the country 84th overall for crypto adoption according to Chainalysis’ rankings.