Trusted timestamping is a process for proving that certain information existed at a given point in time. This paper presents a trusted timestamping concept and its implementation in form of a web-based service that uses the decentralized Bitcoin block chain to store anonymous, tamper-proof timestamps for digital content. The service allows users to hash files, such as text, photos or videos, and store the created hashes in the block chain. Users can then retrieve and verify the timestamps that have been committed to the block chain. The non-commercial service enables anyone, e.g., researchers, authors, journalists, students, or artists, to prove that they were in possession of certain information at a given point in time. Common use cases include proving that a contract has been signed, a photo taken, a video recorded, or a task completed prior to a certain date. All procedures maintain complete privacy of the user’s data.
“Difficulties of Timestamping Archived Web Pages”, (2017-12-08):
We show that state-of-the-art services for creating trusted timestamps in blockchain-based networks do not adequately allow for timestamping of web pages. They accept data by value (e.g., images and text), but not by reference (e.g., URIs of web pages). Also, we discuss difficulties in repeatedly generating the same cryptographic hash value of an archived web page. We then introduce several requirements to be fulfilled in order to produce repeatable hash values for archived web pages.