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Introduction to Blockchain

  • Name
    Michael Jones

In recent years, Blockchain technology has become popular mainly because of its application in Crypto Currency. However, there is proven research as to the feasibility and application of this technology. It is widely believed that Blockchain technology addresses the most important part between two parties transacting online being Trust.


In this blog post I will provide a brief introduction to Blockchain, along with how Blockchain can be used in different situations in various industries. We feel it’s important for our customers to have the fundamental knowledge on this topic since ZorroSign is built using Blockchain technology to take advantage of its various unique features specifically related to privacy, security, and sanctity of their users and their electronically signed documents.


Important terms that will be used in the post are:


1. Transaction: Is when one or more users act on a single document set by means of acknowledging its receipt, filling out required information, signing it, putting initials and date. A transaction has a starting point and an ending point which is defined by means of a workflow.

2. Distributed Ledger: An entry is logged into a ledger by authorized user when an action is taken on a document set as part of a transaction.

3. User: A user is a person who has permission to view, manipulate, take action on, or otherwise process the document set as part of a transaction. A user is part of the workflow.

4. Workflow: The process that connects one or more users to take action on a document in a particular sequence. A workflow may have a time limit, example a person has 5 days to sign a document.

5. Action: Users in the workflow can take any number of actions on a document set as part of a transaction. Actions include sign, initial, date, put a checkbox, or fill out information.

6. Chain of Custody: During a single transaction a document may be passed from one signatory to another for processing, form filling, signature, and approval. Each user in the workflow represents a link in the chain of custody.

7. Private Blockchain: Implementation of Blockchain that is not on a public ledger to ensure privacy. Access to the platform and eventually to the ledger and its content for any specific transaction is restricted to only authorized individuals.

8. Public Blockchain: Implementation of Blockchain that is on a public ledger. Access to the platform, the ledger and its content for any specific transaction is available for all to see.

9. Crypto Key: A string of bits used by a cryptographic algorithm to transform plain text into cipher text or cipher text into plain text. Separate, but related crypto or cryptographic keys make up Public and Private keys.

10. Public Key: Information public and accessible by everyone in the workflow. However, the Public Key encryption can only be decrypted by the matching Private Key.

11. Private Key: Confidential and known only to the respective owner.


Now that you are familiar with basic terminology, let’s dive into the details.


What is Blockchain?

In its simplest form, Blockchain is a shared fixed ledger for recording transactions. ZorroSign has extended the concept of Blockchain to have the highest levels of security and privacy protecting the sensitive information and identities of authorized individuals in the network who have permission to access the content stored in the ledger.


Blockchain is a digital record where all transactions are recorded in the order of occurrence and where the next record is linked and related to the previous record. It is a continuous database of records that can only be added to and never edited or deleted. In layman’s terms, Blockchain allows businesses to secure and validate a digital asset, like a contract, enabling the enforcement of ownership or authenticity.


Characteristics of a Blockchain

The noteworthy characteristics of a Blockchain are:

  • Indelible: The most important and distinctive property of blockchain. Once a transaction is written into a block, it can never be erased or modified by anyone, including the person who wrote the transaction.
  • Globally Readable: Anyone who has permission to view the transaction can read what it contains and everyone sees exactly the same contents.
  • Accept Rules Based Rights: Any chosen party can write into the blockchain as long as it respects the predetermined rules set out for that transaction.
  • Strictly Ordered: There is no ambiguity of the transaction. The audit trail will clearly show which block of data came first and which came second.


Use Cases for Blockchain

Wondering how Blockchain works in the real world? Here are some practical applications:

  • Banking: Financial transactions from opening an account to money transfers.
  • Health care: Medical records and drugs composition.
  • Real Estate: Track real estate transactions and tracking maintenance and upgrade of properties.
  • Supply Chain Management: Tracking food supply from “farm to dining table.”
  • Contract management: Chain of Custody, Audit trail, and entitlement tracking.
  • Retail: Protect consumers against issues of product authenticity. Using Blockchain retail consumer goods can be tracked, eliminating the risk of consumers receiving counterfeit goods.
  • Electronic Voting: Voter registration, personal identity, and voting records.
  • Digital Identity: Securing and keeping track of your Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
  • Diamond Industry: Using immutable tamper proof digital ledger, record: color, carat, certificate number (inscribed by laser on the crown or girdle of the stone), and origin in order to increase supply chain efficiency and eliminate conflict diamonds from market. Makes it possible to track diamond from origin to consumer.


Blockchain is NOT Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin uses Blockchain, but they are not the same. Blockchain is not cryptocurrency or Bitcoin. Rather, cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin use Blockchain to secure transactions and publicly record them in a distributed ledger.


Advantages of Blockchain

Blockchain is important because it has unique qualities that set it apart from other transaction database management systems. Specifically, ZorroSign’s Blockchain is private, permissions-based decentralized system that is secure, trusted and automated with bank grade security. Ultimately, Blockchain technology helps ZorroSign make transactions more secure, faster and less expensive.


ZorroSign’s 4n6 (forensics) Token uses a private permissions-based blockchain to deliver verification, security, audit trail along with a lot more features. Users who access a ZorroSign’ed document through appropriate permissions can scan the 4n6 Token and request access to view the documents audit trail. For the 4n6 Token, the individuals in the workflow always have access to the document. Access to any external parties is limited to viewing the content of the document, its attachment, and audit trail and is based on permissions approved by the originator of the transaction.


Now that you better understand the ZorroSign 4n6 Token, you understand how Blockchain technology delivers document verification.


For a brief overview of ZorroSign’s Blockchain platform visit: www.zorrosign.com/zorrosign-blockchain