1. What is Blockchain Timestamping?
What is Blockchain Timestamping?
Blockchain Timestamping is the process of securely keeping track of the creation and modification time of a document or data in the blockchain. It allows interested parties to know, without a doubt, that a document in question existed at a particular date and time. By design a Bitcoin transaction includes a date and time, held on the Blockchain. By including a cryptographic digest of a file you can later certify that the data existed at that time.
From signing important documents like mortgage deeds and insurance contracts, to claiming contest winnings, to creating patents and even claiming scientific discoveries, there is no limit to the uses of this basic business functionality. Prior to the internet it was time and labor intensive.
In Blockchain timestamping, each block contains a Unix time timestamp. In addition to serving as a source of variation for the block hash, they also make it more difficult for an adversary to manipulate the block chain.
A timestamp is accepted as valid if it is greater than the median timestamp of previous 11 blocks, and less than the network-adjusted time + 2 hours. "Network-adjusted time" is the median of the timestamps returned by all nodes connected to you. As a result block timestamps are not exactly accurate, and they do not need to be. Block times are accurate only to within an hour or two.
Whenever a node connects to another node, it gets a UTC timestamp from it, and stores its offset from node-local UTC. The network-adjusted time is then the node-local UTC plus the median offset from all connected nodes. Network time is never adjusted more than 70 minutes from local system time, however.
Bitcoin uses an unsigned integer for the timestamp, so the year 2038 problem is delayed for another 68 years.
Document issuance history certification
Timestamping of issued documents can allow a public verification of the issue history which is permanently recorded on the public blockchains. There is absolutely no method of potential malicious amendment at a later stage.
Blockchain stamping allows a public verification of the document’s date, authenticity, origin, integrity & content without publicly exposing the content itself.
Certify possession of original content
Content signed by the user before timestamping, can be undeniably claimed to have been in the user’s possession & knowledge at the time of the blockchain time stamping.
A simple reference to the respective public blockchain ledger transaction ID can undeniably prove this with absolutely no doubt.
Blockchain based intellectual property
If the timestamped signed content is original, authentic, non-stolen, non-copied, unplagiarized work then the user has a very strong argument to support intellectual property.
The immutable blockchain timestamp can become proof of prior art existence to any subsequent claim of authenticity by others in the future for the same or similar content.
2. How long does Blockbook™'s Blockchain stamping take?
How long does Blockbook™'s Blockchain time-stamping take?
The document hash digest calculation and the rest of the process up to the transmittal of the hash on the selected cryptocurrency network should not take more than a few minutes.
After the user has finalized this procedure, it normally takes 15 minutes to 1 hour for the blockchain posting to be confirmed with the appropriate number of confirmations.
Blockbook™ will then email you with a pdf certificate showing all the details of the timestamping.
3. How can I use my Blockchain timestamp in the future?
How can I use my Blockchain timestamp in the future?
The user (you) keeps the original electronic file of the document together with Blockbook™’s provided timestamp details included in the emailed PDF certificate. These timestamp details may be used in the future by the user in order to locate and refer to the appropriate transaction within the publicly available blockchain public ledgers.
There are currently various online services that provide easy access to the publicly available blockchains (some examples are blockchain.info, blockexplorer.com, insight.bitpay.com, biteasy.com, blocktrail.com).
Direct links to these currently available online services will be included within the PDF certificate emailed to the user after the blockchain timestamping confirmation.
4. If I use the Blockbook™ app for a data or document, will I be able to prove authorship?
If I use the Blockbook™ app for a data or document, will I be able to prove authorship?
Blockchain stamping can certify the existence of an electronic documents’s content at a particular point in time.
When a user stamps a document, the document’s imprint (i.e. the SHA256 hash of the document) is publicly linked with a certain date & time.
As the document’s hash digest can be easily derived from the document itself, the user is able to prove that his/her document existed at that point in time because its hash digest is publicly linked to that particular point in time. The publicly announced hash cannot be used to derive the document itself thus it depends on the user when to disclose the relation between his document and the publicly timestamped document hash imprint.
If the user blockchain timestamps the hash digest of authentic original work which includes a detailed ownership statement or signature, then this publicly timestamped statement can be used in the future by the user to justify that the content was in his possession at that particular time.
Therefore, if the blockchain stamped document is indeed original authentic non-stolen & non-copied work signed by the user and if no other previous public statement on the stamped content may be found anywhere (including mass media, public authorities, agencies, companies etc) then the user has a very strong argument to support being the author/creator of the content.
Of course, if a third party can actually prove theft of the content prior to the time of stamping, then the ownership justification is discounted.
Thus, blockchain timestamp certification of ownership may be justified for content which is properly signed and is the result of original authentic work not having previously existed.
5. Is it possible to derive the document or file contents using the SHA256 hash imprint?
Is it possible to derive the document or file contents using the SHA256 hash imprint?
No, only the the hash imprint can be derived through a one way function from the original file but not the other way around. It is impossible to derive the original document or file contents using the cryptographic hash imprint.
For more information about the Cryptographic Hash please refer to this article on Wikipedia.
6. Is It Really FREE?
Is It Really FREE?
It is 100% FREE to Timestamp your data and documents in the public Blockbook™ Blockchain Network powered by the EOSIO Blockchain Platform, however, it is not free to timestamp on other public blockchain networks.
Furthermore, all your data and documents available on Blockbook™ are automatically Timestamped in the Bitcoin Blockchain every day for FREE, via our Blockbook™ Blockchain Server.