In the context of the Blockchain world we have identified that in recent years it has been necessary to resolve certain common requirements as part of our global customers’ demands. As a response to the market ZirconTech is announcing the launch of its Notarizer seeking to use Blockchain technology as irrefutable proof of the existence of complex data types, such as documents, or in general any type of file.
Notarization plays an integral role in any legal transaction and negotiations. Notarized documents are an indication that the parties involved are genuine and can be trusted. In other words, the notary public provides a security level that prevents us from becoming victims of fraud.
With the emergence of technology in the business landscape, blockchain entered the picture to automate notarizations. The blockchain serves as storage for notarized records and documents. In this way, any unauthorized user will not be able to edit nor delete portions of the document.
Notarization blockchain technology ensures the integrity of data as soon as it enters the chain. It provides functionalities, including tampering-resistance, non-repudiation, and traceability.
In particular, a network like Ethereum’s is not suitable for handling large volumes of data or storing files, therefore a feasible solution is to calculate a hash that represents this file in a plain text format. that it can be stored as part of a block. Then, it will be the job of a centralized system to make sure to maintain the consistency that this hash saved in the blockchain corresponds to with its original file.
One of the main objectives, therefore, has been the implementation of a software product that provides the necessary functionalities to solve this problem, as well as other additional functionalities, in such a way that it is adaptable to multiple use cases.
What are the Benefits of Notarization with Blockchain?
ZirconTech Notarizer is a blockchain based product and brings a private, remote notary channel to address all your notary needs. This channel allows organizations to acquire notaries without having to step out of their homes or offices. Thus, ZirconTech Notarizer leverages notarization with blockchain to provide notary solutions to organizations across different industries. Notarization blockchain technology testifies to the documentation of proof of ownership to protect owners of their rights. Notarization via blockchain can also establish agreements across multiple parties. These documents can only be accessed and signed on the blockchain.
Notarizer main functionalities
The product offers a set of services and scales to add additional layers of integration.
Smart Contract and API Rest
Considering that the objective of this product is to achieve the notarization of documents in Blockchain, a series of Smart Contracts have been developed capable of processing the references to the documents together with their owner and other eventual additional information. ZirconTech offers a solution on the Ethereum network that can be extended to other Blockchains. On the other hand, the public functions of this Smart Contract are not accessed directly, and has been built an additional logical layer that interacts with these contracts and offers access to them in the form of REST services as well as other complementary functionalities that facilitate the data usability. Users must register in the system to use the functionalities. Communication with the API services can be authenticated through the use of API KEYS that the user will obtain after registering.
A web interface allows users to register and use the product, prioritized by registering files and viewing that they have been notarized.
As an anonymous user you can register a new account in the system using an email and password. For this, there is a REST endpoint that allows the registration of new users. It is also possible to egister in the web interface.
The system persists this information in the database and creates an API KEY / API SECRET pair for the new user. The key pair is required in each request made to interact with the system.
The Notarizer also associates a new data set in the Smart Contract for this new API KEY, that is, the data is federated by user.
Users could access through a web interface to configure the following options:
Signature type: it can be Centralized, where the backend uses its own Wallet to sign all its notarizations on behalf of the user, or Client-side, where the users could connect their wallets using Metamask and other options to be defined and must sign and authorize the documents to be processed.
A maximum gas price limit that you are willing to pay for your transactions (help texts are displayed to the user).
A switch to persist the files, in which case it is decided if the files that are uploaded for notarization should be stored by the system and made available to the user or if, on the contrary, the file is not stored and simply its hash is calculated.
Optionally, it is allowed to enter an email address where you will be notified when a new document has been registered. It is also possible to granulate these types of notifications in greater detail.
As an existing user, you could “notify” a new document or file, that is, to create a record in the Blockchain of its existence.
The Notarizer provides an endpoint that allows users to receive a file and from it create a hash that will be entered into the blockchain for this user. At the same time, this mapping is also entered in the database for easy access.
The response to the user is the hash of the transaction that contains the information that represents the original file, and optionally, the user can send additional data to identify the document that will also be added to the block as part of the transaction.
This functionality is available through the web interface.
Getting my notifications
A user can access the list of their previously created notifications. The configuration section shows information about the processed documents and a link to view them in the Blockchain explorer and, if they have been persisted, download them.
Additionally, a summary of the ETH expenses of the transactions is shown. The Notarizer provides an endpoint to access this information-
The Notarizer offers an endpoint in its API to validate that a document exists in the Blockchain as well as a web interface that allows uploading the file and visualizing if it exists in the blockchain. The Notarizer receives the file, calculate its hash and search for the corresponding record in the Blockchain. The answer is an error if it does not exist or the transaction if the document is valid and exists.
Payment of transactions
Since the insertions in the Blockchain network have an associated cost, it is assumed this cost in one of two ways:
- If the user has selected the option for the system to centralize the notarizations, the associated expenses are calculated and accumulated in the user’s account. This involves integration with a payment system, also accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. Users must select a cost control so as not to generate excessive consumption outside of what was planned. The Notarizer incorporates a cost optimization mechanism.
- Alternatively, users bear the costs associated with signing client-side notarizations using an electronic wallet such as Metamask or similar, or even an HSM device.
How does notarization with blockchain help businesses flourish?
Notarization with blockchain has several benefits to organizations, but here are key points on how they helped businesses flourish:
Secured Storage of Notarized Documents
The primary goal of notarization is to certify the authenticity of any document. Notarization blockchain technology leverages various automated tools to carry out this goal seamlessly and quickly. On top of that, users can secure the storage of notarized documents on the blockchain. This organized and infinite storage process allows them to retrieve the agreement when needed and detect any changes made through the timestamps attached to every document.
Encrypted Documents Providing Users With Private Access
A majority of notary services require user information for creating an account and proof of ownership. This security measure happens on their system database for your notarization needs. The transaction ID and the user account information in the database often reside outside the blockchain. This measure gives security to the users considering that most authentication services happen on the blockchain system. They would only take a hash of the document to verify the proof of ownership of the user to notarize documents.
Moreover, the transaction ID integrates encryption to documents for easy retrieval. User account information helps perform cross-checks of the document’s ownership before its release.
Transfer Document Ownership Seamlessly
With notarization service blockchain, organizations can transfer ownership of documents seamlessly. The system would first verify the ownership of a specific form through the user account that acted. Blockchain technology locates the certificate authority system that confirms the blockchain’s bounded blocks’ data.
Users can quickly transfer document ownership by following these steps:
- Like modifying any legal record, the system identifies the user through the previously recorded transactions used for verification.
- The transaction identification verification will then create a signature for the user in the data field.
- Notarization blockchain technology prompts the hash verification and signature storage on the duration of deploying the contract.
Global Share is a company dedicated to the continuous improvement of business processes, providing innovative solutions to companies to add up value and competitive advantage by improving their processes productivity. As a major milestone in Global Share/edoxOnline history, the company launched a service for the preparation, issuance, signing, transmission, negotiation and presentation of the electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL). Zircon Tech has been a key partner implementing blockchain technology in the solution architecture.
Zircon Tech helped Global Share in the implementation of the solution that tracks the changes in the documentation over time and ensures tamper proof and no possibility of modifying the information of the same. Zircon Tech proposed to identify the documents through hashes (SHA256) and then leave the same “notarized” in the Ethereum blockchain using a document ID and the mentioned hash. Each change in the document is registered using the corresponding ID and hash update. For this project a smart contract was developed using Solidity and an API using Node JS.
Global Share’s edoxOnline electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) meets its customers’ expectations and business needs, going paperless and efficient. Particularly, in the midst of the complications that the coronavirus has presented for the trade of products linked to agriculture, these Argentine’s developments facilitated the electronic transmission of documents through the digitization of processes representing a great advantage, and has been used by firms like Cargill, Bunge and Dreyfus. In COVID-19 times, this application helped a lot to avoid obstacles to the agricultural trade.
Prova Technology is a US technology company working with universities in the process of certification of diplomas. Prova Technology has partnered with ZirconTech to implement the notarization services to start engaging with United States universities to issue diploma certifications for the graduated students.
ZirconTech has developed a Notarizer version based on Hedera Hashgraph (https://hedera.com/), a proof-of-stake public network, powered by hashgraph consensus.