We all know blockchain because it's the technology used by Bitcoin in the context of cryptocurrency. "Virtual money" or "Digital currency" is only one application of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). At iText, we've developed a series of patents that describe mechanisms:
to automate document workflow and version management,
to ensure document integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation,
to provide long-term validation, and
to manage document identification and retrieval.
You may already have read our RefCard on DZone, entitled Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology for Documents. Or you've seen the article on Forbes explaining the rationale of our Blockchain efforts: Can Blockchain Solve Your Document And Digital Signature Headaches? This Forbes article was inspired by an OracleOne talk by Joris Schellekens. The patents were filed on December 22, 2016. They were already granted in Belgium, and they are now pending internationally (ETA: June 2019). We've also created an iText add-on pdfChain that is released on github.
We've been evangelizing these mechanisms at events such as:
the ETDA workshop for e-Tax Invoice (Thailand),
the PDF Days Washington DC (USA),
OracleCode Los Angeles (USA),
the Great Indian Developer Summit (India),
the PDF Days Europe (Germany),
the Document Strategy Forum, Boston (USA),
and so on.
In the next handful of articles, we'll take a closer look at specific topics related to Blockchain and documents.