U.S. electronics giant Apple, has submitted a new patent application that points to the potential use of blockchain within a prospective system for creating and verifying timestamps.
In its application released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple describes a program able to certify timestamps by combining aspects of blockchain technology with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) tools.
There is a use case in question that entails tying a piece of information to a particular transaction on a blockchain, establishing the state of that data at a particular point in time.
Apple’s application describes three possible methods for establishing timestamps, with one of these scenarios centering around a blockchain platform.
The program would generate a block containing a timestamp, with every subsequent block being added as miners verify each transaction conducted on the chain. This system is part of what Apple is calling a “multi-check architecture,” meaning that another system would confirm the timestamp after the block is generated but before it is added to the chain.
Apple would consider using a blockchain due to its decentralized security features.
According to the document:“If any party attempts to alter a node some time earlier in the blockchain, each hash puzzle solution for block subsequent to the altered block becomes broken or incorrect. Each participant can see that such a broken blockchain does not agree with their own copy of the blockchain. The broken blockchain is thus not recognized by the nodes.”
The two main benefits of using a decentralized ledger to store timestamps includes permanently maintaining proper time and protecting the network from corruption if a single node is compromised by malicious actors.