Bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony
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The present system and method relates to the construction, processing, storage, and management of digital contracts. The present system and method utilizes technology from the following fields, digital time-stamping, encryption, distributed storage, and distributed payment systems. A contract may contain, but is not limited to, contract data and may also include metadata.
Contract data includes, but is not limited to, a plurality of documents specifying details such as the counter-parties, terms and conditions, scope, arbitration conditions, signatures, notary seals, and may also include metadata.
Contract metadata includes, but is not limited to, trustee identity and details, time of signature collection, and data used to maintain authenticity. Digital contracts are contracts that are processed and stored by computers. Digital contracts offer efficiency advantages over traditional contracts, by enabling faster and less expensive services. Contract construction and management services are increasingly being offered online using the Software as a Service business model.
A contract requires two or more parties counter-parties to be consummated. For authentication and verification purposes most contracts require a trustee to attest to the occurrence and exact details of the contract. The trustee is an entity which is trusted by all parties to the contract.
The trustee can be a bank, title company, law firm, notary or any other entity trusted by all the contract counter-parties. The requirement of a trustee introduces additional cost to the contract counter-parties.
Contract counter-parties require the trustee to provide a minimum level of security for the construction, negotiation, agreement, proof and evidence of occurrence, possible future arbitration of the contract, and other processes relating to the contract. Contract construction refers to the process counter-parties undertake to arrive at an agreed upon contract that may be legally binding.
This includes, but is not limited bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony, drafting the contract text, defining terms and conditions e. A contract may have a signature expiry time that requires a counter-party to sign the contract before a specified date, in order for it to be valid. For example, the expiry time may be a particular date before which all bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony the signatures must be obtained, the expiry time may be a time by which the contract must be signed or the expiry time may be a period of bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony hours, days, minutes, etc.
After the contract has been constructed, counter-parties may use a contract management service to store the contract over a period of time. Contract management refers to the process and systems that store and maintain contract data and metadata.
Digital contract construction bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony management systems require approaches to contract security that may be different from traditional contract security measures. For example, most traditional contracts require the physical signature of the counter-parties, whereas digital contracts use electronic signatures.
Online services using electronic signatures must additionally verify the identities of the signators. There are different bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony to digital contract construction and management depending on the users' requirements, the service providers' development and maintenance costs, and inherent technological limitations. Hereafter, we use "contract" and "digital contract" interchangeably. A person of ordinary skill in the art will find a generalization of the discussion to encompass applications with multiple counterparties straightforward.
Contract construction and management systems generally address five important security requirements, 1 privacy, 2 authenticity, 3 integrity, 4 synchrony, and 5 availability.
Privacy refers to the requirement that certain contract data and metadata, based on an agreement between counter-parties, is only intelligible to the counterparties involved in the contract. Third parties should not able to gain access to the content of the contract without the consent of at least one of the counter-parties. In the start-of-the-art, privacy is often enforced using either symmetric or asymmetric encryption. With symmetric encryption, a single key is used to encrypt and decrypt the contract data and metadata.
For example, two counter-parties bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony agree on a passphrase, and then use AES to encrypt the finalized contract using this passphrase as the key. The term "key" in this context refers to a piece of information bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony determines the output of a cryptographic algorithm.
Using this method, the encrypted contract data and metadata can then safely be stored in a public database for a future arbitrator to examine, upon one of bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony counter-parties making the passphrase and encrypted document available to the arbitrator. With asymmetric encryption, or public-key cryptography, two separate keys are used to encrypt and decrypt contract data and metadata.
An important advantage to asymmetric encryption over symmetric encryption is that the counter-parties bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony not need to share a secret passphrase.
The authenticity requirement has two components, 1 signature authenticity, and 2 identity association. Signature authenticity is the requirement that, 1 a signature can be associated with a unique signator, 2 generating the exact same signature by another party is extremely unlikely, and 3 other parties are able to confirm that the contract was signed by the said unique signator.
Identity association is the requirement that the signator can be associated with a real world identity e. In practice, identity association typically requires trusting a third party e. Integrity bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony the requirement that a contract cannot be modified after it has been signed by all counter-parties. Specifically, once any counter-party signs the document, the contract cannot be changed without requiring all counter-parties to sign the contract again.
One method to ensure integrity is to apply a cryptographic hash function to the contract data e. A cryptographic hash function generates a fingerprint for each contract. The fingerprint is then stored securely. One can be very confident that 1 if two contracts have the same fingerprint then the contracts are identical and 2 an attacker who gains access to the fingerprint cannot gain any meaningful bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony about the contract.
In the state-of-the-art, integrity and authenticity are provided using a Message. SHA1with the contract and signator's authentication key as input. These algorithms must be used bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony conjunction with other mechanisms to ensure security. For example, in bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony systems the fingerprint, signator's keys, bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony the original contract must be available bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony an arbitrator to verify integrity.
Synchrony is the requirement that all relevant parties agree that the contract was signed at a particular point in time. The relevant parties may include, but are not limited to, the contract counter-parties and possibly arbitrators.
Specific contract details, for example, terms, conditions and execution, may be a function of time, which makes synchrony paramount to contract validation. In the state-of-the-art, synchrony is achieved by trusted third party timestamping systems that keep track of the creation and modification times of the contract data. A limitation of these approaches is that they may require the trusted third party time-stamping service to be available at the time of verification or arbitration.
In the state-of-the-art privacy, authenticity, and integrity are addressed using industry standard cryptographic tools such as PGP with a public key infrastructure to perform real world identity association, however contracts also have the synchrony requirement that is not directly addressed by these systems. For example, an arbitrator and the contract counter-parties must also know and agree when the contract was signed in order to evaluate the bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony and conditions.
A weakness of existing contract management systems is that either they do not provide trusted time-stamping, or the responsibility of synchrony is placed with a single third party e. This requirement implies that if the said third party can no longer be trusted, or if it bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony operations, then previously generated time-stamps cannot be verified.
This is a technical problem that exists with existing contract management systems. Availability is the requirement that the contract be available to any designated third party in the future over some reasonable period of time e. This can be achieved by either assigning the responsibility of contract availability to the involved counter-parties or trusting a third party entity to store the contract on behalf the contract counter-parties.
Contract availability has two components, 1 time availability and 2 accessibility. Time availability refers to the period of time over which the contract data and metadata can be retrieved by any of the counter-parties. Accessibility is measured by the delay and cost incurred by the counter-parties to retrieve the contract's data and metadata. For example, a contract management system with high accessibility may cache contract data and metadata in several geographically disparate servers across the bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony, so that global counter-parties can retrieve the contract data and metadata fast and at low cost.
A weakness of present contract management systems is that bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony assign the responsibility of contract availability to a single third party e. This limits the level of contract availability to the resources and lifetime of the said single third party.
Note that this limitation grows with the size of the arbitration window, i. There are five security requirements addressed by many of the state-of-the-art contract management systems. Recently Bitcoin Blockchain technology has been suggested as a possible solution to some of these security requirements.
Below we discuss distributed public ledger technology, i. A peer-to-peer electronic cash system" Nakamoto, is incorporated into this application by reference. Users submit transactions to the Bitcoin network. Miners collect these transactions and group them together to construct a new block. Subsequently miners verify and attach the newly created block to the most recently verified block. Further, miners attach to bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony block a time-stamp of when the block was constructed that remains permanently unaltered.
Miners then proceed to gather new transactions to construct the next block, and this process repeats. Nodes in the Bitcoin network store this chain of blocks, i. The Bitcoin protocol supports a scripting language, i.
An example constraint supported by Bitcoin Script is a deadline which is a predetermined execution time before which the transaction will not be processed, via the LOCKTIME field in the current implementation. Other constraints include M-of-N multi signature which requires M counter-parties of N total counter-parties to bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony the transaction before it is valid.
The Blockchain is bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony by thousands of nodes to ensure that the verified blocks remain permanently accessible and unaltered. The Blockchain is publicly accessible to download globally from many of these nodes.
Nodes in the Bitcoin network have an incentive to maintain the network's security, availability, and robustness. Historically Bitcoin has improved in response to security and performance concerns. As more and more applications are built on the Bitcoin network the security and longevity of this system is expected to exceed that of most centralized networks.
The Bitcoin network is a public, permissionless network. Blockchain technologies do not necessarily need to be public or permissionless. Entities can create a distributed private ledger consisting of a group of entities that participate in the private network and restrict who can publish or access the network. A person of ordinary skill in the art in the field of this system and method is familiar with distributed source control systems, such as Git.
A contract construction or contract management system is said to be scalable if it can support an increasingly large number of contracts without severely impacting key performance metrics such as processing time, cost, or availability. Digital contract management systems can enable automated contract execution with execution constraints.
The management system may automatically trigger and execute events specified in the contract. Most contract management systems require users to place trust bitcoin scrypt out of synchrony a single or a few third- parties.
These systems do not necessarily meet the identified security requirements for contract management systems. What is needed is a contract management system that reduces the amount of trust users place in a single or a few third parties and improves upon the security limitations of the current state-of-the-art.
For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference is made to the following description and accompanying drawings, in which:. Detailed Description of One or More Embodiments.