What does blockchain technology initially intend to do? It is generally believed that it was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 as part of his white paper on the creation of Bitcoin (BTC). Since Bitcoin is based on decentralized ledger technology, blockchain should be created as the basis of cryptocurrency.
Since 2008, blockchain technology has gone far beyond the use of cryptocurrency, and is now used in a variety of use cases from healthcare to finance to green technology.
However, blockchain technology did not start with the Satoshi white paper. It was invented in 1991 to verify and protect content through a concept called time stamping.
He studied the history of blockchain
In Satoshi’s famous Bitcoin white paper, he cited another “How to Time Stamp a Digital Document”, which was published in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornita. Researchers know that in a fully digital world, getting a document certified-whether it is when the document is created or when it is changed-becomes a problem.
They explained that in the past, you could view obsolete entries simply by flipping through the pages of your notebook. You have cited other authentication methods, such as: B. Sending emails or notarized documents. However, in these cases, the tampered document was immediately discovered. However, this is not the case in the digital world, where documents can be changed without evidence.
They wrote: “The problem is the time stamp of the data, not the time stamp of the media.” The first solution suggested is to send the document to a time stamp service. TSS then keeps a copy for safekeeping, and if necessary, you can carry it with you for comparison.
What is wrong with this solution? It relies on third parties who may abuse it.
Instead of a third-party verifier, they can use an encrypted secure hash function, which acts as a unique identifier for a piece of content. Instead of sending the entire document to TSS, the creator sent a unique ID. Upon receipt, TSS will create a confirmation with a digital signature. By verifying the signature, the customer can ensure that the TSS has actually processed the order, received the hash correctly, and given the correct time.
But what happens if TSS adds a fake timestamp to the hash? Haber and Stournetta proposed two solutions: (1) Use part of the previous query to create new jobs to force the establishment of time records; (2) Make the entire system decentralized, transparent and questionable.
For anyone familiar with how blockchain technology works, this is it. These blocks are created by extracting from the hash of the last block and the new block hash solution. Once a block is added, it will be verified by the contract in the blockchain in the decentralized system, locked in the general ledger, and cannot be changed.
Original use case
Haber and Stournetta outline the use cases for such timestamps and list inventions or ideas that require proof of authorship. Because the documents are recorded as hash functions, they are set with intellectual property and patent timestamps without revealing the content. They also gave an example of a company that, if it has processed a document, it can prove the original document through a timestamp. They believe that time stamps not only contain text documents, but also original recordings, photos, videos, etc.
Haber and Stornita eventually founded their own company called Surety, which operates similarly to TSS (Interestingly, since 1995, it has been published weekly in the New York Times Publish its hash value in classified ads), but the idea is not completely popular. The blockchain technology was not fully developed until the advent of Bitcoin in 2008, which was four years after the patents of Hubble and Stoneta expired.
Why do you need a time stamp today?
In the 1990s, the need for documentation was not just a problem. In a world where large amounts of digital content are produced and distrust of online content is growing, timestamps may be the only way to achieve the required transparency and accountability.
The idea is simple. Create a unique hash based on the content, title or date and add it to the blockchain. This not only protects the security when part of the content is created in the distributed ledger, but also when part of the content is changed