The technology of time:beat
The main B2B interface is an API that is used to register the cryptographic hash of the data and query validations of time stamps and proofs. This hash is a digital fingerprint created by the one-way function SHA256 (in which case the integer will be represented by 256 bits or a 64-digit HEX encoded string).
Therefore, to timestamp a file, the only mandatory field is the cryptographic hash of the file that should be timestamped. Thus, no business information at all, that can be traced to the source, is required in the call to the Enigio time:beat service.
For B2B users and retail private users, the service also includes a webpage (timebeat.com) where registered users can login to create timestamps, watch all own logged timestamps and to validate time stamps and validate proofs.
How it works
To secure the existence of a digital data file, a SHA 256 cryptographic hash of that data file can be uploaded to Enigio time:beat via the RESTful API or via the timebeat.com website.
The system takes the hash and includes it in a cryptographic structure where this hash together with other hashes creates new hashes so that all hashes in the structure are dependent on each other mathematically (Merkle Tree).
The structure will include hash references from certain events in time that are well known for a large number of independent people, like newspaper frontpages.
Hashes from the structure, called top hashes, representing the complete structure are published to independent channels which are not controlled by Enigio or any other single entity creating an immutable proof of the structure at each publication time.
The whole mechanism ensures that neither Enigio nor anyone else has the power to change or manipulate made timestamps.
Positive and Negative timestamps
The time:beat service uses both positive timestamps (so called publications) and negative timestamps (so called inverted publications).
The time:beat ledger is a blockchained cryptographic data structure based on Merkle trees where every block is mathematically linked and dependent on the previous block.
The service continuously samples international news webpages and links into the datastructure, these inverted publications represent the “negative timestamps” created in time:beat. Example of pages that are sampled are; NY Times, Nasdaq, The Guardian and China Daily e.g.
The positive timestamps prove the existence of a data before a certain time while the negative timestamps prove that a timestamp must have been created after a certain time.
The time:beat service continuously publishes the latest top hash representing the whole data structure on different public channels where Enigio nor any other single entity have control to manipulate the hash. These publications are representations of the “positive timestamps” created in time:beat.
Publications are currently done to the Bitcoin blockchain, Ethereum blockchain, Twitter, GitHub etc.