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The World’s Oldest Blockchain Has Been Hiding in the New York Times Since 1995

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posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 06:07 PM
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I don't really understand how blockchain and bit coin works, maybe someone could shed some light for this old fart.




The first time I heard about blockchains was at a party where a friend of mine spent the night talking my ear off about this thing called Bitcoin and why I ought to buy some. I suspect that many others have had a similar experience. Although Bitcoin can be credited with bringing blockchains—a type of distributed digital ledger—into popular discourse, it wasn’t the progenitor of the obscure technology’s key features. In fact, the world’s oldest blockchain predates Bitcoin by 13 years and it’s been hiding in plain sight, printed weekly in the classified section of one of the world’s most widely circulated newspapers: The New York Times. The world’s first blockchain At its core, a blockchain is just a database that is maintained by a network of users and secured through cryptography. When new information is added to the database it is parceled in “blocks,” which can be thought of as containers for this data. Every so often a new block is created and linked to a “chain” of previously created blocks. Each block has a unique ID called a hash that is created by running the ID of the block that preceded it and the data stored in the current block through a cryptographic algorithm. This ensures the integrity of all the data stored on the blockchain because altering the data in any block would produce a different hash.



motherboard.vice.com...







posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 06:28 PM
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a friend of mine spent the night talking my ear off about this thing called Bitcoin and why I ought to buy some. I suspect that many others have had a similar experience.


Yes... and I kick myself daily for not following his advice.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: Groot

These three paragraphs explain the whole thing fairly succinctly:


Surety’s main product is called “AbsoluteProof” that acts as a cryptographically secure seal on digital documents. Its basic mechanism is the same described in Haber and Stornetta’s original paper. Clients use Surety’s AbsoluteProof software to create a hash of a digital document, which is then sent to Surety’s servers where it is timestamped to create a seal. This seal is a cryptographically secure unique identifier that is then returned to the software program to be stored for the customer.

At the same time, a copy of that seal and every other seal created by Surety’s customers is sent to the AbsoluteProof “universal registry database,” which is a “hash-chain” composed entirely of Surety customer seals. This creates an immutable record of all the Surety seals ever produced, so that it is impossible for the company or any malicious actor to modify a seal. But it leaves out an important part of the blockchain equation: Trustlessness. How can anyone trust that Surety’s internal records are legi

Instead of posting customer hashes to a public digital ledger, Surety creates a unique hash value of all the new seals added to the database each week and publishes this hash value in the New York Times. The hash is placed in a small ad in the Times classified section under the heading “Notices & Lost and Found” and has appeared once a week since 1995.


So basically a cryptographic hash is the result of a one-way function, that is easy to do on inputs but hard to reverse from the output to obtain the input. Take for instance the following text: "This is incredibly imaginative test text."

Run that through a bcrypt hash generator like this one and you'll get a hash like so (in fact if you keep submitted the form, you'll notice you get a different hash each time):

$2y$12$LR1ZvhjLAItskUGsj2vMn.YO5mVRjlDHooC3psuax3zKgPf3DC9Hu

You can't take one of the outputted hashes and run it through a reverse algorithm to get the original. (technically, only the last 24 bytes are the bash64 hash but that's irrelevant to the concept) What you can do however is verify the original input against the resulting hash. And if one single character has changed, it will not verify.

So basically, you can generate a hash of something, say a document, and then publish it. And if at some later date somebody with a copy of that document wants to verify that it is exactly what you had when you generated the hash, they could verify it against the published hash.

Essentially, they do something like this for their clients. The customer sends the hash, they add the timestamp for when it was sent and create a virtual "seal" which they then encrypt and store on their servers. The problem becomes that somebody could manipulate their database, replacing a stored "seal" with a their own, with a bogus timestamp or hash.

So what they do is make a hash of the "seals" in their database and then publish it weekly in the NYT so it's out there in the public record. If somebody changed one of the stored "seals" then the database couldn't be verified against the hash.

They're not wrong, it does serve the same purposes as a blockchain.



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 06:42 PM
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originally posted by: BlueShaman

a friend of mine spent the night talking my ear off about this thing called Bitcoin and why I ought to buy some. I suspect that many others have had a similar experience.


Yes... and I kick myself daily for not following his advice.


That's like a curse. You wished he never told you about it, right?



posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 06:53 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: Groot

These three paragraphs explain the whole thing fairly succinctly:


Surety’s main product is called “AbsoluteProof” that acts as a cryptographically secure seal on digital documents. Its basic mechanism is the same described in Haber and Stornetta’s original paper. Clients use Surety’s AbsoluteProof software to create a hash of a digital document, which is then sent to Surety’s servers where it is timestamped to create a seal. This seal is a cryptographically secure unique identifier that is then returned to the software program to be stored for the customer.

At the same time, a copy of that seal and every other seal created by Surety’s customers is sent to the AbsoluteProof “universal registry database,” which is a “hash-chain” composed entirely of Surety customer seals. This creates an immutable record of all the Surety seals ever produced, so that it is impossible for the company or any malicious actor to modify a seal. But it leaves out an important part of the blockchain equation: Trustlessness. How can anyone trust that Surety’s internal records are legi

Instead of posting customer hashes to a public digital ledger, Surety creates a unique hash value of all the new seals added to the database each week and publishes this hash value in the New York Times. The hash is placed in a small ad in the Times classified section under the heading “Notices & Lost and Found” and has appeared once a week since 1995.


So basically a cryptographic hash is the result of a one-way function, that is easy to do on inputs but hard to reverse from the output to obtain the input. Take for instance the following text: "This is incredibly imaginative test text."

Run that through a bcrypt hash generator like this one and you'll get a hash like so (in fact if you keep submitted the form, you'll notice you get a different hash each time):

$2y$12$LR1ZvhjLAItskUGsj2vMn.YO5mVRjlDHooC3psuax3zKgPf3DC9Hu

You can't take one of the outputted hashes and run it through a reverse algorithm to get the original. (technically, only the last 24 bytes are the bash64 hash but that's irrelevant to the concept) What you can do however is verify the original input against the resulting hash. And if one single character has changed, it will not verify.

So basically, you can generate a hash of something, say a document, and then publish it. And if at some later date somebody with a copy of that document wants to verify that it is exactly what you had when you generated the hash, they could verify it against the published hash.

Essentially, they do something like this for their clients. The customer sends the hash, they add the timestamp for when it was sent and create a virtual "seal" which they then encrypt and store on their servers. The problem becomes that somebody could manipulate their database, replacing a stored "seal" with a their own, with a bogus timestamp or hash.

So what they do is make a hash of the "seals" in their database and then publish it weekly in the NYT so it's out there in the public record. If somebody changed one of the stored "seals" then the database couldn't be verified against the hash.

They're not wrong, it does serve the same purposes as a blockchain.




Yep that explains it well.

You see, I'm old school, meaning working to make op amps turn off and on. Like boolean logic.


Need to study it a bit more, but thanks !




posted on Aug, 27 2018 @ 07:06 PM
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a reply to: BlueShaman

I have the best/worst story. I was part of an LTC mining operation a couple years back. Without getting into all the details, it fell apart because of conflicting egos at a time when LTC was more than a 1/3 off its historic peak (which it'd hit months earlier while we were mining) and it just seemed to be petering out.

So two of the partners decide to buy out the rest. I'm fairly ambivalent but I decide to go ahead and cash out. Not being super pressed about it, I'm the 4th of 4 to get paid out and they wanted to pay me part of my share in LTC, about 850 LTC to be exact which was worth about $1,500.

At the time, LTC wasn't the easiest thing to convert back to and then withdraw in USD so I declined and told them to get me the USD whenever. So not long after, I get the $1,500 PayPal'd to me. And literally, 2-3 days later LTC went through the roof and was up over $40. ($34,000).

LTC is currently around $60 so that would be like $51k. Back in December it was bouncing well over $200 with a peak over $300 in the middle of the month. Had I a crystal ball, I could have taken that 850, held it for just over a year, and have gotten out with over $250k.

It's of course all about timing which I haven't been super great at but even so, I've managed to net a few tens of thousands.
edit on 2018-8-27 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 06:58 AM
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Yep.... I was one of those guys telling everyone about bitcoin.... I bought 34BTC with the most I paid for one being $260AUD....
Anyway, the bloody exchange ran off with my money. (They were called iGot, and have since re-branded as Bitlio...STAY AWAY!)
Bitter sweet.... I get to say to everyone: "I told you they'd go through the roof"
And they get to say to me " Where's your money then?"

I was right and I was wrong.... And I don't follow the price of bitcoin anymore.




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