What is Blockchain Technology?
You may have heard of blockchain in the context of the digital currency called bitcoin. Despite the bitcoin hype, it is far from the only useful application of blockchain technology. But, to understand the other applications, you must understand blockchain. Simply put, it is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list, or chain, of data transaction records. Every portion of this decentralized system has a copy of the chain of records; no “official” copy exists. In this way, the information is secure from tampering and revision.
Acronis Notary computes a cryptographic “fingerprint” hash of each file that is unique for each file. This hash algorithm produces the same output given the exact same input file every time, regardless of circumstance. Any change, however slight, in the input file results in a dramatically different fingerprint. The hash algorithm is designed to work in one direction – making it impossible to determine the original file inputs from the output alone.
Anchoring data in the Blockchain
Think of the blockchain as an “append-only”' ledger with a transaction order that is distributed across many entities, with each one keeping an identical copy of the ledger. Each record in the ledger is time-stamped, is immutable, and independently verifiable.
A hash of the whole structure containing the files’ fingerprints is recorded into the blockchain. Authenticity of those files can be independently confirmed by any party (even one not doing business with Acronis) that has access to the blockchain.