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The Timestamp in Blockchain

BitForex Editor
Oct 20, 2020

Imagine two parties had an agreement via an electronic signature over a contract. That seems to seal it. Unfortunately, one party spills information tied to the agreement to a third party. The easy defense is that the information was out before signatures were appended. To counter this claim, the actual signatures with timestamps must be provided. Timestamps contain the date and time that the agreement was sealed. In the simplest forms, timestamps are visible on digital photo shots, system documents, and even social media posts.

However, time stamps linked to system clocks are highly flawed. Remotely, the date and time of the system are adjustable. Also, a couple of online tools can tweak the details of the concerned PDF or document.

What is A Timestamp On The Blockchain?

A time stamp on the blockchain indicates the definite and sequential arrangements of the blocks. Each block representing a transaction, it labels everyone with its time of occurrence. Timestamps simplify the timing of happenings which cannot be altered. This unique feature is very tangible in the intellectual property sector.

Advantages Of Timestamps

Originality

Authors or content writers love this feature. It portrays them as transparent individuals to their readers, building confidence and trust in the relationship. Nothing beats the feeling of "I did this, all by myself". Besides, it is human to detest a rip off by someone else. With a time stamp certificate, even the history of erased content is retained.

It gives buyers and sellers equal leverage

A time-stamped documentation of terms and conditions, as well as product description linked to the blockchain, is ideal when exchanging goods and services. Dissatisfaction may come from the buyer's end, requesting for a refund or a change, at times. Buyers usually get the upper hand with a change in T&C's and the willingness for sellers to leave them happy. The buyer or seller may be right, depending on the circumstances surrounding the transaction. Anyway, buyers now have a say with this authentic time stamp to defend how the business went and not get cheated. One e-commerce obstacle cleared.

It levels the playing ground for writers and readers.

Every content time stamped on the blockchain is made verifiable by the reader, a shift from the sole trust in the writer's repute alone. This is a huge step in battling fake news and plagiarism in journalism and publishing.

Proof of ownership

In the nearest future, people will be able to connect their actual identities with their blockchain accounts. This will take time stamping to another level, where it can be ascertained that individuals are not pretending as another or are not robots.

The digital world is increasingly threatened by AI misuse and audio impersonation.

Cost and time effective

All the goodness of the blockchain time stamp comes at a reduced price compared to that of a notary. A lot of money can be saved off notary costs. In seconds, time stamping is completed on the blockchain whereas a notary takes days to get done.

Uses Of Time stamps And Blockchain-Supported Time stamping Platforms

Electronic signature has taken a new dimension with Trusted Timestamping. By this process, a document's creation and modifications thereafter are adequately tracked. It had done wonders for the business world. Besides signing contracts, Trusted Time stamping is useful in claiming prizes, creating patents, and defending scientific discoveries. The advent of the internet and the introduction of blockchain tech have made these tasks seamless and painless. Currently, there are a number of platforms devoted to time stamping on the blockchain. Some of them are;

Block Sign

This is a free service that allows multiple people to sign onto a lone PDF document. One of the creators, Andras Szalai, says more services are upcoming to empower businesses while maximizing blockchain and Bitcoin benefits.

Origin Stamp

In contrast to Blocksign, this can be used to sign any file type and provides API for developers. Its unique feature is the inclusion of verification URL. The URL can be included in publications, news, and reports to enable verification. Readers just need to click the link to make sure of any articles' authenticity. Its founder, Dr. Gipp, got inspired during his university days when researchers had problems tamper-proofing their works. This platform is free and accepts donations only.

Proof of Existence(POE)

A huge shift from the others, PoE is worth USD 1.10 per signing. This makes it one of the most expensive services on the blockchain. Through this alluring revenue, PoE has created its API. So far, it has been used to time stamp scientific works, verify communications and even prove the existence of human genomes.

Timestamps In Blockchain Transactions

Normally, hash value and timestamp are allocated to a mined block and the next block is being built immediately. The past immediate block is broadcast to the entire network, with the aforementioned details, as real. It is noteworthy that timestamps are linked through corresponding blocks in the hash algorithm, forming a continuous chain.

Upon the creation of a block, two times are included; the time in the block header and its generation time, the former placed by the miner. Both times are expected to be the same or have a little discrepancy, but it has not deterred miners from acting crafting with it. Bitcoin, in response, has employed two mechanisms to address this problem;

The Median Past Rule: The timestamp must exceed the Median of the preceding 11 blocks. That is, when the timestamps of these blocks are arranged in ascending order, the current value must pass that of the 6th.

Max Future Block Time constant: This rule restrains the blockchain from being too forward. Timestamp cannot be clocked at a period outside the next two hours. Also, the peak time difference between the node and the system clock is 90 minutes. Unlike the first rule, Max's rule has minimal agreement from critics. A time posted much further might be invalid, but it could become valid with time.

These two rules have proven to create a balanced ecosystem and keep malicious miners at bay.

Conclusion

Blockchain timestamps are the deal. Prior to the coming of blockchain solutions, all available forms of Electronic Signature were considered legal and valid. These blockchain options are no different and cannot be misjudged in law courts. For instance, Block Sign is totally compliant with the provisions of the U.S Electronic Signature in Global National Commerce Act of the year 2000 and the UETA(Uniform Electronic Transactions Act). Using the blockchain clearly beats the centralized system hands down and has bright prospects for the future.

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