What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain or also referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a record-keeping technology that follows a method of maintaining a chronological record of transactions (of any kind) in multiple copies (nodes) on a ledger or smart contract. Even in ancient civilizations, people kept a way to track ownership of items such as parcels of land and other valuables by using tokens to represent ownership. Today we use blockchain technology to solve the problem of ambiguity and trust.
An asset can be tangible (a house, a car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Ledgers can be available publicly or privately; and can be restricted to only authorized people. Blockchain ledgers are not kept in one place (i.e. Microsoft Cloud, Amazon Cloud, Servers, Desktops, Mobile Devices, etc.) but rather they are kept in multiple copies, also known as nodes, where the same ledger is located in multiple physical locations.
“Block” in the Blockchain refers to a block of information that is published on a ledger periodically and the “Chain” refers to how these blocks are mathematically placed together in chronological order. Thus meaning that the Blockchain is an authoritative transaction record-keeping mechanism that is resistant to tampering. In order to maintain ledgers, the record-keeping must follow two properties of Consistency and Liveness. To ensure consistency, the nodes must have the same copy of data on its distributed ledger so as not to cause any doubt of the transaction or ambiguity. Liveness ensures that the record is added to the ledger in real time.
There are many advanced security, privacy and encryption schemes that can be used to govern the use of the information such as who can read it and who can write into it. A record can never be removed from the ledger thus ensuring that there can never be any deniability of a transaction or the content of the transaction. To be able to read from or write to a Blockchain a user must have proper access and the keepers of all the copies of the ledger must verify the information before it can be used. Examples of encryption schemes are: public key, private key, etc.
To learn more about Blockchain and how it can be used, read our “Introduction to Blockchain” article.
Blockchain Example in Real Estate
Let’s take an example of a brand new house on 333 Main St. and a brand new owner Barbara. Everytime Barbara performs a maintenance or upgrade on the house she logs that in the 333 Main St. Blockchain ledger. She is unable to remove any line item once it has been added to the ledger. Only authorized people can add a line item to the ledger. When she is getting ready to sell the house, she can simply run a report that gives the entire maintenance and upgrade history of the house and the buyer can be sure that it has not been tampered with.
Blockchain, eSignature and Digital Transaction Management
Our ancestors used cryptography as a form of communication and today it is at the heart of most digital communications. Some email clients, banking apps, and even messaging apps, use cryptography to message between people. Blockchain technology similarly relies on cryptography to protect the identity of those sending and receiving messages and ensures that all information and transactions are secure and legitimate. In order for this to be valid, blockchain has four key properties it must abide by being: Indelible, Globally Readable, Accepts Rules based rights and Strictly ordered.
ZorroSign uses permissions-based private Blockchain technology to ensure the security and privacy of the users’ information (who are part of a transaction), the data and also to ensure the sanctity of digitally signed documents using RSA encryption. ZorroSign detects tampering and signature forgery of electronically signed documents through its proprietary software. It provides chain of custody, full audit trail, and a number of additional attributes and characteristics about a document that is signed using ZorroSign. To learn more, see ZorroSign 4n6 (Forensics) Token technology.
Four Key Properties of Blockchain
|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.|
Features of ZorroSign Blockchain
Business Benefits of ZorroSign Blockchain
- Time and cost savings
- Enhanced / advanced security
- Highest level of privacy
- Improved accountability
- Increased operational efficiency