I had a restless weekend, and left alone with my dev environment, I added a new beta feature to the SCP program: e-certificates. While the handsome thick-stock certificates, hand applied into attractive black wooden frames are the most popular component of the welcome kit, there are some cases where an electronic copy could be handy, especially if you want a printed copy on your wall immediately after certification.
Beginning with new SCPs today, the SCP welcome emails now contain two elements. First you get approved vector logos to use to indicate your success in email, on websites or business cards, and second, you'll now receive an attached PDF containing an personalized electronic copy of your certificate.
There is however, one important difference with the paper certificate that you should be aware of. The e-cert is labeled, and in fact password protected with, an e-code unique to your e-certificate. That e-code is included in the text of your welcome email under the "E-Kit" section. Use the e-code as the password to open your PDF. In addition to encryption, it also limits the PDF to saving and printing only. It also allows us to authenticate any certificate regardless of type simply from an image of the certificate.
So why have two different codes? Why didn't we just seal it with your master 16 character SCP Verification Number? The reason is simple- to protect your account. The 16 character SCP Verification Number is seen only in your welcome email and on the optional framed certificate. It is the "fingerprint" of your SCP and you should not share it with anyone. However, the e-cert's e-code is only used to seal and verify only the e-cert, so you can share it (sparingly) with others who need your SCP status. I still wouldn't put it on a website or Twitter, but it's a great new way to have a personalized SCP certificate immediately.
In fact, you can now consider the welcome kit optional. It's indeed lovely, but in countries where postal delivery is difficult, you may find the e-certificate is all you need if you have a decent printer.