The ODEM Team has been hard at work developing our core ODEM Platform. We’re delighted to share highlights with you from last month’s publication of our technical whitepaper.
For those new to the ODEM, we’re creating the world’s first On-Demand Education Marketplace for students and educators to come together in pursuit of exceptional opportunities to learn and to teach. Students will use the ODEM Platform, an online software-as-a-service platform, to discover and register for academic programs around the world. Educators will promote their courses and teaching talents. Blockchain technology and associated digital tokens combine to automate the organization and delivery of in-person learning experiences. Supported by a growing community of students, educators and service providers, the platform embodies ODEM’s mission to improve the accessibility and affordability of higher education.
ODEM differs from many other blockchain-based enterprises because it relies on two types of digital tokens instead of one. ODEM-Tokens (ODEM-T) provide access and function as a core platform currency. They’re also used for student-and-educator staking, or registering, for specific academic offerings. ODEM Credits (ODEM-C), the other type of token, act as a secure deed, or certificate of a student’s verified student scholastic history.
ODEM-T are derived from the Ethereum blockchain’s ERC-20 that functions according to a series of rules with the Ethereum ecosystem. ODEM deliberately chose the token as the basis of ODEM-T because the ERC-20 was specifically designed to promote the use of smart contracts. The contracts, which execute automatically based on previously agreed-upon terms and conditions, play a significant role in streamlining of the organization of academic programs.
The ODEM-T’s economic model is based on research conducted by the U.S.-based Sweetbridge Foundation. On the platform, the token design isolates the utility of the token from external market forces, ensuring that use of the tokens is always advantageous.
ODEM-C tokens that securely hold students’ academic history are based on the Ethereum blockchain’s ERC-780 protocol. The protocol allows students, for example, to establish their identity and academic record on the blockchain. ODEM will grant ODEM-C tokens to students after they successfully complete an educational offering.
The ODEM-C contains the name of the student and educator, the program, date and other
unique identifiers to reference the completed program. The token’s payload will have an identifier to off-chain history; the program and educator’s name and the student’s grade so that the platform will not have to be accessed. A link in the certificate allows a user to access data in exchange for ODEM-T.
Staking, a critical process in the operation of the platform, is enabled by the ERC-900 interface, an open-source template for making user interaction as simple as possible. The simplicity of the interface is crucial because many newcomers to the platform may not be familiar with buying or selling digital tokens.
The ERC-900 interface also allows for what we call third-party staking. That’s when a student, for whatever reason, is unable or doesn’t want to stake directly. Third-party staking increases the likelihood that token holders will earn a return on their investment. Third-party staking is also related to fine-tuning the overall function of the ODEM Platform.
In the staking process, a student expresses interest in a desired program by pledging a small amount of ODEM-T. Educators also stake to list their program offerings. Staking assists the platform in measuring levels of student-and-educator interest in certain courses. It will enable program managers to plan with confidence while also covering costs for programs that aren’t completed because students have changed their plans.
Those who back out of course offerings will forfeit their staked tokens. Smart contracts will guarantee payments.
As the platform’s core currency, ODEM-T will provide faster, more reliable transactions for cross-border, multi-payer, multi-payee, currency-agnostic transactions on the platform.
All this was inspired by the success of ODEM’s partner, Excelorators Inc. For more than five years, Excelorators has provided high-quality educational services to overseas students, managers, and executives on the campuses of top U.S. learning institutions. In the coming weeks and months, Excelorators’ clients will test the ODEM Platform in preparation for mass adoption. At least initially, ODEM will stake on behalf of Excelorators’ students and educators during initial testing. I look forward to keeping you aware of developments.