Timestamp: what it is and what it is for, explained by a Blockchain entrepreneur
Timestamp: what is it? What is its utility for companies?
Blockchain has now become a viral phenomenon, which is intensified by every bull run in the crypto market.
The truth, however, is that this technology is unrelated to the price of Bitcoin: it is a tool and should be conceived as such. The fact that it found its first application in decentralized finance has nothing to do with its real potential in the corporate arena.
If we take the timestamp, for example, it has an almost unlimited range of uses in any business environment. And that is precisely what this article is about: explaining how the technique of timestamping on Blockchain a perfect tool is to help companies scale their business by making any activity transparent and certifiable over time.
To do so, we sought the help of Scaling Parrots co-founder and CEO Alessandro Ricci. Who better than a Blockchain entrepreneur to explain the features of the timestamp?
Before we start, though, let’s begin with Wikipedia‘s definition of the term, just so we are immediately clear about what we are talking about in concrete terms:
A time stamp is a sequence of digits standing for a date and/or time to verify the actual occurrence of a certain event. The date is usually presented in a compatible format so that it is easy to compare with another to establish its time order. The practice of applying such a time stamp, in English, is called timestamping.
Timestamp: what it is and what it is used for
Below there is an interview with Alessandro Ricci about timestamp and its usefulness for businesses.
Hi Alessandro, can you tell us what timestamp is and what its functions are?
Hi, everyone! The timestamp corresponds, quite simply, to writing anything on Blockchain. So, I take a piece of data, put it on Blockchain and put the data into a blockchain transaction. It’s called a timestamp because anything you write to Blockchain receives a time signature, which consists of a certain date inherent to the block in which it was placed. So, it will say that “at time x on second y” there was a transaction with that data written.
This then goes along with the concept of immutability. A piece of data written on Blockchain is immutable, an indication of transparency and authenticity.
In which contexts does timestamp have legal value and in which it does not?
Clearly the timestamp itself has no legal value. Legal validity has nothing to do with the timestamp: the only thing that is certain about the timestamp is the time signature. A data on Blockchain gets legal validity the moment the whole flow of uploading the data has been done in a certain way. Let me explain, I can tell the Blockchain that my name is Mario Rossi. But clearly it does not know (and cannot know) that I am not named that way. For this reason, I can, in fact, record the false.
On the other hand, it is also true that anything I write on Blockchain becomes immutable. So, we can assume that if I generate a data stream that goes to record “clearly” and directly on Blockchain, it is truthful. Consequently, that data, that image, that text will have legal value. Ultimately, legal validity will occur if and only if the data recorded on Blockchain is generated from a stream that cannot be manipulated by a person.
Beyond the many examples you can find on the Web, I will try to tell you a real use case of timestamping from a company.
An example of a real-world application of timestamping is in maintenance. If I own equipment, I could track the work done on Blockchain. If I then go and ” add to” this traceability of maintenance done manually (and therefore potentially fakeable) with reports derived from sensors, photos and videos that go to track the fact that the maintenance was performed, at this point I would be able to create a record of the maintenance done on the equipment.
So, the company that produces the equipment can see if and how the maintenance was done, as tangible proof of the course of events. In the specific case of poorly performed maintenance, the company will be able not to take responsibility in case of malfunctions. On the other hand, if the maintenance has been properly performed, the user of the equipment can claim against the producing company by having it take proper action.
One of the winning projects commissioned from Scaling Parrots is based on timestamps. Would you like to tell us about it?
Yes, very gladly! Certyclick, a project designed by our clients Vision s.r.l., is a beautiful example of how an app should be made to take full advantage of the Blockchain and the timestamp. With Certyclick we have focused on the meaning of the timestamp. As developers, we asked ourselves, why should I use timestamps? Because we wanted photos and videos recorded on Blockchain to have legal value in some sense.
At this point it was necessary to focus on what is the flow from the time the photo or video was produced until it was recorded on Blockchain. A lot of work has been done, including the support of court experts, and a system has been created that takes photos and videos and goes and records them on Blockchain. In this case, the flow between the creation of the photo and the recording on Blockchain is instant, as proof that there can be no falsification of the document by a person and therefore it has legal value. I can then know the who, the where (thanks to geolocation), the when (thanks to the timestamp), the what (thanks to the photo), and the device (thanks to the IMEI identifier). This information, put together, provides incontrovertible evidence of the creation of that visual asset.
Could you list other possible applications of timestamping?
The applications of timestamping are almost unlimited. When there is a need to communicate something transparently to one’s customers or when there is a need to give legal value to some data that can potentially be used after the fact as evidence of something that has happened, timestamping is needed.
I could give 10, 20, 50 more examples of the application of timestamping on Blockchain. But in my opinion, it makes much more sense to explain why it makes sense to apply it. After that it becomes clear to us that:
the certainty that a fact happened
are two useful and essential aspects for most companies.
In the next 10 years, where do you see a real implementation of the timestamp in business contexts?
Let’s say I align myself with the data coming to us from very reliable sources. There are so many reports from the Big 4, from MIT in Boston, and from global research institutions that see huge growth of this technology in the industrial sector.
Timestamp primarily, but also Blockchain generally, will be technologies that will go on to tap 90% of the world’s GDP. It will be a technology that will have a significant impact on the ecosystem of protection and operational services of different countries in the future. So much so that the Blockchain sector is seen as having a 70% annual growth rate.
Growth is unavoidable and we are witnessing it with our own eyes. We are ready to help companies scale and to help entrepreneurs and managers understand what the real business needs are towards timestamp and Blockchain.
In this article we discussed, thanks to an interview with Alessandro Ricci CEO of Scaling Parrots, what the Blockchain timestamp is and what its real implementation in the market is.
As you might have guessed, any company in any sector is able to benefit from this tool, if the information recorded and notarized on Blockchain is factual and cannot be manipulated.
Scaling Parrots is a software house specializing in Blockchain and timestamps and can give support in defining a strategic plan for implementing this innovative technology (which we have developed with the name Flux+) in different business processes. To request our help, simply book a free consulting hour using the button below.
We will be happy to listen to any business inquiry.