For the first time blockchain was implemented in 2009 as a nucleus element of bitcoin. “The technology behind bitcoin lets people who do not know or trust each other build a dependable ledger. This has implications far beyond the cryptocurrency”, described it The Economist.
Indeed, blockchains are suitable not only for cryptocurrencies but medical records, food traceability and recording of events in general. No wonder that on December 7, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released an application by Apple, giving details about the program which can establish and verify timestamps. This program is able to combine some aspects of blockchain technology with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) tools.
What Apple’s new patent is and how it works
The proposed use case includes binding a part of the information to a specific transaction on a blockchain. This way is supposed to be established the state of that data at a certain point in time. If this information is altered, further transactions can be generated that detail readjusts to the data.
In the Apple’s application, there are described three probable methods for creating timestamps. One of these patterns focuses on a blockchain platform.
“Multi-check architecture” by Apple
This program would create a block including a timestamp. Every following block would be supplemented to it as miners certify each transaction, which took place on the chain. Apple calls this system a “multi-check architecture”. It means that another system would affirm the timestamp each time after the block is created, however, before it is supplemented to the chain.
As it is stated in the application, the American multinational technology company would contemplate whether to use blockchain given the decentralized security qualities it provides.
“If any party attempts to alter a node sometime earlier in the blockchain, each hash puzzle solution for block subsequent to the altered block becomes broken or incorrect. Each participant can see that such a broken blockchain does not agree with their own copy of the blockchain. The broken blockchain is thus not recognized by the nodes,” points the document.
The advantage of applying a decentralized ledger to retain timestamps is two-fold. Thanks to it the actual time could continuously be maintained as well as the network could be protected from deformation if at least one node is endangered by deliberate intruders.