Frequently Asked Questions

What is data anchoring?

Data anchoring consists in building a time-stamped proof of existence for a data by linking it to a tamper resistant and time-stamped blockchain.

A strong cryptographic link between the data and a timestamped transaction in the blockchain is built and saved in a proof receipt. This receipt can be used later on by anyone having the data and an access to the blockchain to prove that the data existed and has not been modified since the transaction's confirmation date.

Woleet's data anchoring implementation relies on the resilience and immutability of the Bitcoin blockchain to provide the best possible security level. The Bitcoin blockchain being publicly accessible, Woleet proofs can be verified without any third party, at anytime, from anywhere.

What are the use cases of data anchoring?

There are many: proof of existence, timestamping, intellectual property protection... every use case where data integrity and timestamp need to be proven.

What is signature anchoring?

Signature anchoring is an improvement over data anchoring: instead of anchoring the data, the data is first signed, and the produced signature is anchored in place of the data. Anchoring a valid signature of the data is not only equivalent of anchoring the data itself (in the sense that it creates a timestamped proof of existence of the data) but it also creates a timestamped proof of signature of the data, allowing new use cases like certification and authentication.

What are the use cases of signature anchoring?

There are many: proof of signature, certification, authentication, traceability... every use case where data validation need to be proven.

What is a proof receipt?

Woleet produces two types of proof receipts: data anchoring and signature anchoring proof receipts

A data anchoring proof receipt is a small file containing the cryptographic proof required to verify the validity of an anchoring process. It is important to store the proof receipt with the anchored data, both being required by the verification process.

A signature anchoring proof receipt is similar, but is also contains the signature of the data, the identity of the signee and optionally a link allowing to verify the identity of the signee (see Signature Anchoring).

Are my data readable by Woleet?

Woleet only needs the hash (ie. digital fingerprint) of your data, not the data itself. The hash is calculated client side (usually by the web browser) so that the actual data is never uploaded to our servers. It is impossible to build back the data from a hash. Our clients keep their data safe.

What is the purpose of metadata?

You can use metadata to enrich your anchors (most often to associate custom identifiers to them). Metadata are for your eyes only. You provide them as a set of key/values providing some contextual information only meaningful to you. Metadata are not used by the verification process nor included into the anchoring receipt. Nevertheless, we encourage you not to put sensitive data into your anchor's metadata, as they are stored into Woleet's databases.

What is the purpose of tags?

You can use tags to classify and search your anchors. Tags are for your eyes only. You provide them as a set of labels classifying your anchors in a way that is only meaningful to you. Tags are not used by the verification process nor included into the anchoring receipt. Since tags are indexed to allow very fast searches by tags, we encourage you not to add too many tags to your anchors.

What happens if I lose the anchored data?

If you lose the anchored data, it will be impossible to prove the anchoring process. It's therefore very important to carefully save the anchored data.

What happens if I lose the anchoring receipt?

Don't panic! Woleet can re-generate any anchoring receipt as we keep the useful information to rebuild it on demand. You can ask for a receipt via our web interface or our API.

What is the legal value of data anchoring?

Data anchoring has no clear legal value yet, but multiple initiatives are taken all around the world to give a legal recognition to blockchain proofs. Data anchoring on blockchain is regardless a totally safe mathematical proof and by anchoring your data now, you can be sure that it will be valid by the time each country legislation is ready for it, either by law or by jurisprudence.

What is the average delay for data anchoring?

The average delay for data anchoring depends on the type of contract you sign with Woleet. By default the maximum time for anchoring is 6 hours and the mean time 3 hours.

What happens to my anchors if Woleet disappears?

The proof format used by Woleet is open and interoperable: a proof receipt built by Woleet is verifiable by anyone with an internet access and tools compatible with this format.

How do I share a data anchoring proof?

You just have to share the proof receipt and the data to be verified. The recipient will be able to use any compatible tool to verify this operation. We also provide a share link to send to anyone who wants to verify a blockchain proof.

Which blockchain is used for anchoring?

For its security, its immutability and its open architecture, Woleet has chosen the Bitcoin blockchain for data anchoring. This choice is based on our will to base on the safest infrastructure available out there, battled tested and resilient with the highest level of security.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a currency, a network and a protocol. Woleet uses Bitcoin as a commodity useful to share an internationally verifiable timestamped truth.

Why not using Ethereum or other blockchains?

As we want a digital tamper-resistant digital proof, a certain degree of robustness and global security are mandatory. The security model is crucial because we need an immutable and censor-resistant ledger. Ethereum or other blockchain solutions implement other security models not suitable for the use cases offered by Woleet. Moreover, those blockchain solutions are not mature enough to consider using them in production.

Is Bitcoin secured?

Bitcoin has almost 8 years of research and development in multiple domains like cryptography, distributed computing and have seen important investment in its infrastructure globally. The maturity of Bitcoin ecosystem gives the opportunity to deploy applications in production. The decentralized model of Bitcoin moves the responsibility of securing the bitcoins to the end user. By using Woleet the user does not have to bother about buying or secure their own bitcoin as Woleet uses its own bitcoin and is in charge of their security.

Are bitcoin transaction reversible?

Bitcoin transaction are not reversible. Once confirmed by the network a bitcoin transaction cannot be modified or reversed. This is a crucial feature in the Bitcoin protocol and this is why Bitcoin has value.

What is the proof format used by Woleet?

The proof receipts used by Woleet are compatible with Chainpoint 2.0.
Woleet can also generate proofreceipts compatible with OpenTimestamps.

Is Woleet a Trust Service Provider?

Not per se. Woleet is a middleware platform simplifying access to the Bitcoin blockchain for specific use cases. You need to trust our ability to link the hash of your data with the Bitcoin blockchain, but when done you don't need Woleet to use the generated proof. In the case of e-signature, especially if Woleet generate the signature keys, Woleet is acting more like a trust service providers as we ensure that emails and OTP SMS are sent to the right signatories, but still Woleet do not see the documents you sign. All in all, we minimize the amount of trust you need to put in your e-signature provider.

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