Data anchoring on Bitcoin (DAB) is a brand new way to secure data. This article presents DAB, how it works, and why this process will become a new standard for anyone aiming to produce trustworthy digital data.
Assuming you are a company or an individual producing digital data on a daily basis. Nowadays, this is actually everyone’s job; when you write an email, when your web application produces logs, even if you tweet something witty: you’re actually producing digital data. In some cases, this data can have a real value either business-critical or even sentimental.
DAB basic principle is to link the fingerprint (the hash) of any digital data to an immutable transaction that happened at a specific time. This link is built with a very strong cryptographic process and cannot be undone by anyone. Moreover, this link can theoretically last forever. Once the transaction is confirmed and inserted into a neutral, tamper-proof, immutable, and censor-resistant ledger, anyone with just an Internet access can verify whether this data existed at a specific time and had not been modified since.
This process is also known as timestamping but having a new terminology for it is not just to sound cool, it is important to understand that is represents a very particular and powerful form of timestamping.
OK DAB is very cool but why would I use it?
Woleet provides a low-level technical use case: bring in your hash and we send back a certificate or receipt. It allows you to prove the integrity and existence of your data at a specific time to the entire world without any third party. Our platform is up since August and we met many companies interested by the feature. We’ve been amazed by the fact that almost each of them had a different business use case for DAB.
Today we work with pharmaceutical manufacturers, HR software vendors, lawyers, banking companies, customer relationship companies, energy producers, academic institutions, researchers and we don’t plan to stop here. DAB is for everybody and its business uses cases are endless. We even envision that the final user, could heavily use DAB for his/her personal data protection. The only limit is our clients imagination.
Bitcoin? I thought it was all about the “Blockchain”?
Woleet only uses Bitcoin for anchoring data. This is a technical choice because Bitcoin has proven its neutrality and its resilience during the last seven years. We believe Bitcoin will be the principal base infrastructure for trust and the volume of research and work on the protocol is just superior to any other “blockchain”.
This technical choice is based on almost 4 years studying it and seeing other so-called blockchain solutions emerge and proposing completely different security models not as suitable to be used as a global trust layer. To achieve scalability (our platform can produce millions of anchors daily), we are using open source layer 2 protocols like Chainpoint developed by Wayne Vaughan, Shawn Wilkinson and Jason Bukowski. We also will be supporting OpenTimestamps developed by Peter Todd very soon.
Why should I use a DAB provider if I can do it myself?
Bitcoin is a permissionless network where anyone can participate. Nevertheless, there are many advantages in using a DAB provider like Woleet. First of all, we are hyper specialized and stay very close to protocol improvements. It allows us to provide the best possible software as a service. Another advantage using a DAB provider is that you don’t have to buy bitcoins or run and maintain Bitcoin full nodes to leverage the DAB feature.
And finally, the principal advantage is the economy of scale: a DAB provider is acting as a hub factoring all the hashes from different clients to use the fewest possible Bitcoin transactions, lowering the cost of each proof drastically.
DAB is a future standard. Some formats like Chainpoint are already discussed at the W3C. Starting using DAB now gives you a serious advantage over your competitors. Plus, Woleet API is very easy to integrate.