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Author Topic: Service: Proof of Existence  (Read 3968 times)

ewemoa

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Service: Proof of Existence
« on: October 14, 2014, 11:39:43 PM »
Any one tried Proof of Existence?

Quote
service to anonymously and securely store an online distributed proof of existence for any document. Your documents are NOT stored in our database or in the bitcoin blockchain, so you don't have to worry about your data being accessed by others.

All we store is a cryptographic digest of the file, linked to the time in which you submitted the document. In this way, you can later certify that the data existed at that time. This is the first online service allowing you to publicly prove that you have certain information without revealing the data or yourself, with a decentralized certification based on the bitcoin network.

The key advantages are anonymity, privacy, and getting a decentralized proof which can't be erased or modified by anyone (third parties or governments). Your document's existence is permanently validated by the blockchain even if this site is compromised or down, so you don't depend or need to trust any central authority. All previous data timestamping solutions lack this freedom.

via http://www.proofofexistence.com/about

mouser

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 11:54:41 PM »
Very nice find -- such a think could be useful to prove you came up with an idea on a certain date.

Renegade

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 01:22:10 AM »
It's fairly expensive to use. 5 mBTC is still $2.
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Deozaan

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2014, 06:26:03 PM »
I don't get it. Why would anyone need to proof they have a file? I can create just about any file I want on my computer. Just because it exists doesn't mean it's of any use.

EDIT: Reading comprehension FTW. Okay, so it's not about just proving that it exists, but that it DID exist at some point in the past. But still... How is that useful? Maybe for copyright/patent claims? I can prove that I had a file with the idea 5 years ago? But I could just make a bunch of documents and name them secretidea1.txt secretidea2.txt supercoolprogram.exe and timestamp them, and then when someone has a real cool idea/program I can claim I came up with them years ago and point to secretidea1.txt as "proof"

I still don't get the use for this service.


MilesAhead

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 06:40:53 PM »

I still don't get the use for this service.

I think I get the idea.  By storing a hash of the file you do not risk the file being decrypted by someone getting a copy from the service.  But for it to be any use you have to produce the file, then generate a hash identical to the stored one to prove your claim the original contents was not altered in any way.  You still have the problem of a safe place to store the file.  But it seems better than stuff like making a copy and mailing it to a lawyer or other schemes where the information is stored somewhere not under your control.

mouser

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 07:29:35 PM »
Quote
Okay, so it's not about just proving that it exists, but that it DID exist at some point in the past. But still... How is that useful? Maybe for copyright/patent claims?

exactly.  the idea is important -- patent claims and similar things rely on the idea of proving you were working on something at a certain date.
it should be noted that things like patent law can be arbitrarily irrational when it comes to what kinds of evidence is admitted as "proof" of prior work -- it may be that they would decide such a service is untrustworthy while i written notebook with dates on the pages is -- so you can't assume such a service would help you -- but it's better than nothing for people who need to establish the existence of certain work product before a given date.

Renegade

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 08:00:40 PM »
Here it's not the service that you need to trust. The service is just that - a service.

The trust issue is about the blockchain. There's enough literature and enough security material written about the blockchain and the technology behind it to conclude with absolute certainty that the document for the hash existed at the time the hash was entered into the blockchain.

I recently posted in the Bitcoin thread a link to a blog post that walks through the mathematics underlying blockchain security. It's extremely well written and highly accessible to anyone with a little bit of understanding of mathematics.

http://www.donationc....msg366595#msg366595

I think it would be extremely difficult for a judge to rule against a hash entered into the blockchain being admitted as evidence. He would in effect be saying that logic, mathematics, and science have no place in court.

Here's a graphic to help illustrate the kinds of numbers that we're talking about because they are so big that they simply cannot be imagined. i.e. 2^256

bitcoin-laws-of-the-universe.jpgService: Proof of Existence

To throw out blockchain evidence, a judge would in effect be saying, "Yes, it is possible that someone forged a 1 in 2^256 probability with the forgery exactly matching what we are talking about here today."

Now the thing is that if you were able to forge a hash, the original source would be gobbledy-gook, and not a coherent document. So the probability again skyrockets beyond comprehension.
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mouser

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 08:48:44 PM »
Quote
I think it would be extremely difficult for a judge to rule against a hash entered into the blockchain being admitted as evidence.
To throw out blockchain evidence, a judge would in effect be saying, "Yes, it is possible that someone forged a 1 in 2^256 probability with the forgery exactly matching what we are talking about here today."


unfortunately that's not how the law works.  a judge won't look at that evidence and say "i conclude its insecure", he will simply say "there is no established standard for such evidence and thus i will not consider it." actually if you got to a court you might be able to bring in expert witnesses -- but it will never get that far.  the real question is whether a PATENT examiner would use it.  i spent a brief amount of time reading patent law when someone tried to bully me out of software that i had developed and distributed before their software was a twinkle in their eye, and while they did no succeed, i learned that the patent examiner frequently will not look at evidence other than material PUBLISHED in a journal/magazine/newspaper.  the patent law is an ass.

bottom line is -- you cannot use logic to figure out what evidence would be sufficient proof.  and the BEST way to establish you were working on something at some date is to have it published somewhere reputable.  however, using a service like this would still be valuable and could be used to dissuade disreputable people from ever getting to the point where they would try to take you to court -- and in our legal system thats the way you win.

Renegade

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2014, 09:03:44 PM »
unfortunately that's not how the law works malfunctions.

FTFY. :)

But seriously... yeah... I know. There is no hope.

But still, my point stands in what the judge would effectively be saying.

Kangaroo Court.jpg

"Evidence? We don't need no stinking evidence~! ;D"

Sad and depressing...
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mwb1100

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 09:14:36 PM »
Even if it might not be acceptable in a legal proceeding today, things like this are important stepping stones to getting to that point.

Deozaan

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 01:35:34 AM »
But the hash still proves nothing about the document other than that it existed. I could make a blank txt file called SuperGeniusIdea.txt and put the hash in the blockchain and then when I want to sue Apple for bajillions for infringing on my patent, I could just point to that hash and say, "SEE! I hashed my document on the blockchain years ago!"

So I still don't see the point in this service.


Renegade

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 01:44:25 AM »
But the hash still proves nothing about the document other than that it existed. I could make a blank txt file called SuperGeniusIdea.txt and put the hash in the blockchain and then when I want to sue Apple for bajillions for infringing on my patent, I could just point to that hash and say, "SEE! I hashed my document on the blockchain years ago!"

So I still don't see the point in this service.

Here's what happens...

1) You get the hash.
2) You enter it into the blockchain.
3) Wait...
4) Infringement...
5) Pull out hash from the blockchain & compare to hash of the document that you have. 100% proof.

Does that make sense then? You have your dated, secure source that PROVES beyond ANY doubt that the document that you are showing was present then.


I could make a blank txt file called SuperGeniusIdea.txt and put the hash in the blockchain and then when I want to sue Apple for bajillions for infringing on my patent, I could just point to that hash and say, "SEE! I hashed my document on the blockchain years ago!"

You would still need to produce the document that showed that Apple stole from you and then you would have to show that the hash for it matches the hash in the blockchain.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Deozaan

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 01:49:14 AM »
Well of course I'd have revised my brilliant plan over the years... And dangit-all! When I updated Adobe PDF Maker/Microsoft Word it saved it in a new format that changed the hash! And when I opened the file on Linux it changed the line endings, too!

But I swear it was all in the document I hashed 5 years ago! Promise!


Renegade

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 02:20:12 AM »
Well of course I'd have revised my brilliant plan over the years... And dangit-all! When I updated Adobe PDF Maker/Microsoft Word it saved it in a new format that changed the hash! And when I opened the file on Linux it changed the line endings, too!

But I swear it was all in the document I hashed 5 years ago! Promise!

Hahaha! Yeah, that won't fly. You need to keep proper records. Which isn't hard. You simply archive it and back it up.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 10:28:20 AM »
Well of course I'd have revised my brilliant plan over the years... And dangit-all! When I updated Adobe PDF Maker/Microsoft Word it saved it in a new format that changed the hash! And when I opened the file on Linux it changed the line endings, too!

But I swear it was all in the document I hashed 5 years ago! Promise!

Hahaha! Yeah, that won't fly. You need to keep proper records. Which isn't hard. You simply archive it and back it up.

And as it changes, you have to do it again, and again.  There are already manual services that do this- and it costs a pretty penny.  I used to contract as an auditor for lawyers that did this very thing; I'd have to audit the code to make sure it did what they said it did... and then it was certified.  It was expensive for the people having it done, and lucrative for me.  This would take that costly human effort out of the middle.

Renegade

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Re: Service: Proof of Existence
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2014, 11:03:39 AM »
It's actually useful for other purposes.

Let's say that you want to screw with someone. For fun or otherwise.

You can make a bet, incorporate it, then show them the evidence. You could use this in magic tricks. :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker