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Patent Prosecution Advice from Apple to Blockchain

A new patent application from the US electronics giant Apple highlights the potential use of the blockchain in a prospective system for creating and verifying timestamps.

In an application released Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple details a program capable of certifying timestamps by combining aspects of blockchain technology with public key infrastructure (PKI) tools .

The use case in question is to link information to a particular transaction on a blockchain, establishing the status of that data at a given point in time. If this information is changed, additional transactions can be created to detail the changes made to the data.

The Apple application describes three possible methods for establishing timestamps, one of these scenarios focusing around a blockchain platform.

The program generates a block containing a time stamp, each subsequent block being added as the miners check each transaction made on the chain. This system is part of what Apple calls a "multi-check architecture", which means that another system would confirm the timestamp after block generation but before it is added to the chain.

According to the application, Apple would consider using a chain of blocks because of the decentralized security features that it offers.

As noted in document:

"If a party tries to modify a node some time ago in the blockchain, each puzzle solution for the block following the changed block becomes broken or incorrect." Each participant can see that one such Broken blockchain does not agree with its own copy of the blockchain.The broken blockchain is therefore not recognized by the nodes. "

The advantage of using a decentralized register to store timestamps is twofold, depending on the application. Not only can the correct time be maintained permanently, but the network is also protected against corruption if only one node is compromised by malicious actors.

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