How Smart Contracts Could Benefit Education: Bank of China
A marker of continued interest in Web3 technologies by public and private entities.
Identifying the need for blockchain integration in retail, supermarkets, tourism, medical care, public services, and education — the Bank of China has launched a smart contract pilot test with a focus on the education sector.
The pilot test explores auto payment for parents enrolling their children in after-school programs and explores a payment pool model that is designed to make refunds more easily accessible to parents.
Through the proposed smart contract, funds would be deposited into a holding contract for a series of lessons, the lessons that are completed would be automatically paid out to educational entities, and those missed or canceled by the student would result in the funds being automatically credited back through the same smart contract.
To access the pilot program, users would convert their funds into digital yuan (e-CNY), which is a recently developed central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“The program seeks to explore the benefits brought forth by e-CNY smart contracts. One potential use case is replacing the role of regulatory authorities to monitor payment transactions between parents and private education entities. Another is improving transactions’ liquidity via zero transaction fees embedded in the e-CNY design,” shared The Bank of China in its announcement.
Other attempts at integrating the CBDC have been seen through an airdrop program in which the Bank of China sent to residents of the city of Chongqing to use for public transportation, food delivery, recyclable shopping bags, and more. As of July, nearly 4.6 million merchants across China accept e-CNY as payment, showing an increased interest in blockchain technology and integration.
While adopting CBDCs provide a layer of modern convenience and ultimately advance a world where blockchain technology and smart contracts are used more commonly — they have also become an area of concern in the eyes of many leaders in the crypto space.
One major concern is the lack of self sovereignty and privacy of transactions. Like fiat, institutions will have the majority control over the monetary tool and also have access to see nearly every transaction made. It remains to be seen if this is a trade-off the world is willing to make for convenience sake, or if another form of digital payment such as Bitcoin might become the global standard.