What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is best known in the context of digital currencies like Bitcoin, but those are far from its only useful applications. To understand its other uses, however, you must understand what blockchain is.
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 – so no single, “official” copy exists. The distributed nature of the chain prevents tampering and revision, which makes it easy to confirm the authenticity and security of every transaction recorded on the chain.
Acronis Notary computes a cryptographic hash, or “fingerprint”, that is unique for each file. This hash is an algorithm that produces the same output when given the exact same input file, making it useful for verifying the file’s authenticity. Any change in the input file, however slight, results in a dramatically different fingerprint. Because the hash algorithm is designed to work only in one direction, it is impossible to determine the original file inputs from the output alone – making the process tamper-proof.
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 entity keeping an identical copy of the ledger. Every record in the ledger is time-stamped, immutable, and independently verifiable.
A hash of the whole structure containing the files’ fingerprints is recorded into the blockchain. The authenticity of those files can be independently confirmed by any party (even one not doing business with Acronis) that has access to the blockchain.