An overview of the main goal set for blockchain, namely Timestamping
Regardless of the application of blockchain in the world of cryptocurrencies, with the simple implementation of this technology and timestamping, the Internet can be made a safer and more secure environment.
What was the purpose of blockchain technology in the first place?
In general, it is thought that this concept was first coined in 2008 in a part of Satoshi Nakamoto's white papers on bitcoin making. Because Bitcoin is based on a decentralized record-keeping system, the Blockchain network should play a basic role and infrastructure for these cryptocurrencies. A blockchain is an interconnected set of blocks, and each block stores information such as transactions in the cryptocurrency network.
Since 2008, blockchain technology has been much more widely used than digital currencies and has been used in a variety of applications, from healthcare to finance and green technologies. However, according to the Quintel Telegraph website, the starting point for Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper blockchain technology was not. In fact, the technology was first developed in 1991 as a way to validate and protect content through a concept called timestamping.
In Satoshi Nakamoto's famous article on Bitcoin, he mentions another article entitled "How to time tag a digital document". In 1991, this article was written by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. Both researchers knew that in an all-digital world, how to verify documents when creating and modifying them would be a difficult task.
They explained that in the past, when flipping through the notebook, people could easily see the date of the notes. The researchers point to other methods for verifying the authenticity of documents, such as direct correspondence or formal registration. In such methods, document manipulation is detected immediately; But this is not the case in the digital world. In this environment, the data is transformed in such a way that no evidence is left. "The issue is the timing of the data, not the environment," they wrote.
The first solution the researchers came up with was to send the documents to the Time Stamping Service (TSS). In this case, the TSS maintains a copy of the original document to protect it, which is provided for comparison if necessary. The problem with such an idea is that it relies on third-party services that may manipulate or carelessly manage the data. They came up with a solution to the problem in which, instead of relying on a third-party authentication service, it uses a hash function that is cryptically secure and acts as a unique identifier for each piece of content.
In fact, the hash is the same content in the form of fixed-length, encrypted numeric code. In this method, instead of sending the entire document to TSS, the data generator (the transaction operator in the cryptographic domain) sends a unique identifier, the hash. Upon receipt of the data, TSS issues a digital signature confirmation.
By checking the signature, the user will make sure that the TSS has processed the request in practice and that the hash has been received correctly and the correct time has been included. However, what happens if TSS puts the wrong timestamp on the hash? To solve this problem, Haber and Storrenta suggest two solutions: Use of previous request data to process the next request that requires event time recording; ۲. Change the system so that it is decentralized, transparent and measurable.
For those familiar with the workings of blockchain technology, the solution for the Haber and Storrenta is the same as the blockchain system. Blocks are created using the previous hash block and finding the new hash block. Nodes, or cryptocurrencies extractors in the blockchain, which are in the proposed system as TSS, confirm when a block is added. Then, transaction information is sent into the public record system and cannot be changed.
From Haber and Storrenta's point of view, the uses of this type of time tag include ideas and inventions that the inventor intends to prove. In this method, due to the hash registration of documents, intellectual property and patents are labeled with time without disclosing their contents. The researchers also cited examples in which the company could prove the authenticity of its documents through a time tag if the company's documents were tampered with. Haber and Storrenta predicted that this type of time tagging would be used not only to protect documents, but also to preserve the original version of songs, audio clips, images, videos, and so on.
They eventually created their own company called Surety, which functioned as a TSS service. Interestingly, since 1995, the company has been publishing hash listings on a weekly and classified basis in The New York Times. Despite the launch of the shorts, the idea of time tagging on digital documents never became popular. Finally, four years after Haber and Storrenta expired their ownership of the blockchain concept and their patents became invalid, when Bitcoin was introduced in 2008, blockchain technology literally came into play.
The issue of the need to authenticate documents was not unique to the 1990s. In a world where a lot of digital content is being produced, and when distrust of Internet content seems to be on the rise, time tagging may be a way to achieve transparency and accountability.
This idea is very simple. A unique hash is created from a portion of the text or title or content date and added to the blockchain. When creating content, this method not only preserves it in the public records system; But by manipulating each part of the document, the hash also changes. As a result, it turns out that this information is tampered with or a completely new version.
This method allows content creators to prove ownership of the content by calling information from the blockchain. In addition, time labeling can put an end to allegations of plagiarism and copyright disputes; Because in the unchanging blockchain network, you can find the main content connected to your hash.
By simply implementing this idea, the Internet can become a safe and secure environment; An environment in which writers are confident in the security of their content and readers are aware of the accuracy of the content they are reading. It has been a long time since the main article was published in 1991; But now these ideas are needed.