Uproov, a new and upcoming app for smartphones, is going to be the first to bring “heavyweight” real time global timestamping to the world, allowing anybody the ability to prove virtually anything without the need of “trusted” authorities.
Timestamping is a process where certain information is wrapped in a block of the blockchain, thus engraving it “forever”. The concept is nothing new after the advent of Bitcoin, of course, and several online timestamping services have spawned in the past years: Tangible.io, Proof of Existence, OriginStamp, BitSig and BitProof.
Timestamping Replacing Notary Functions
What can you do with a timestamping system?
Basically, it’s a notary function, only infinitely more economical and 100% trustable, and with the added option to make a timestamping public any time, if the user decides so. Until that moment, all you can see on the blockchain are hashes (numbers) that bind to a particular document, in the case of Uproov, a video, a picture or an audio recording.
Timestamping is more trustable than the traditional notary system, because that document cannot be touched by anybody, ever. The signature is written on the blockchain and the past of the blockchain cannot be modified in any way. If the document gets modified, the hash won’t match, and thus manipulation will be detected.
The timestamping function is another use of the blockchain that could revolutionize the future of humanity.
So Many Functions, So Many Risks
So what could this technology allow us to do? It’s easier to make some example than talking theory:
Are you afraid of having your work being stolen, i.e. not paid by the client?
Timestamp it: the client won’t ruin his reputation by not paying you.
Want to prove that the police are acting brutal?
Record and timestamp them—then make that public. Nobody can bring down the blockchain, so governments can’t fight this.
Want to prove a certain artwork you did is yours before publishing it?
Timestamp it with your face near it: that will prove you were the first to have that piece of artwork in your hands.
Want to show off that a certain mechanism is your idea before sending it to the patent office?
The possibilities are nearly endless, really, and so are the chances to fall into illegality.
Let’s make some example here as well:
Want to prove your wife is cheating on you?
Timestamp her in intimity with her lover and make it public. Yeah, you just destroyed her life and you will spend a period of life behind the bars.
Want to show what the police are doing to your neighbors?
Timestamp it and have a SWAT team at your house in minutes.
Just to mention a couple, even though probably the large majority of troubles would arise on privacy and government secrecy concerns. There are good chances Uproov will constitute a source of troubles more than anything else for a certain category of people.
By the way, you read Uproov like “you prove”, of course.
Read a more extensive list of possible uses on the Uproov website itself.
Uproov Fundamental Difference
At this point, one may wonder what is the difference between Uproov and any of the services linked up above.
It’s not only the fact that Uproov will be an app on your smartphone, and not a web page where you upload a document. There’s another major difference (with a solution that has been registered for patenting).
Existing services allow the user to upload any document, any file, in fact. It could be a photo, or a video, or a sound, or a PDF. Existing files.
This mean that they could be counterfeited before upload.
John Bulich, Co-Founder of the project, says that Uproov avoids this, because it creates the hash and uploads the file immediately after it’s been recorded by the device, even though the app also allows users to upload existing files, but they will be marked differently.
“There is no time lag between the taking of the photo, video, audio and its encryption to the Blockchain for any manipulation to be performed, it’s instant.
Taking it a step further, Uproov will then stamp an Ezy-Id on the bottom of the photo so others that see the photo posted (on Ebay, dating site, etc.) can use the Ezy-id to verify the photo on our website.
GREEN Ezy-ID means it was taken LIVE with Uproov, making it easy for people to view, verify and trust the original photo.
A RED Ezy-id means it was a pre-existing photo.
Additionally, users can upload their media files to our servers, located in Switzerland, for safe storage, sharing, and verification.
Another great feature is 3rd party viewing of the photos can be made public or private, which means only people you have shared a security code with may view the original photo on our server in its original state.
Watermarking, time-stamping, and geo-location can all be turned on or off as required by the user.
Uproov has many features and is light years ahead of any other systems that can only be used for time-stamping and "locking" a pre-existing file.
We will also be offering the free web based service for existing media very shortly.”
A Smartphone App For IOS And Android
Uproov will be free for the first 20 uses, then the user can buy a pro license, or, if a company is looking to use it for its business, the dev team can be contacted to discuss use conditions.
Income will be used to cover expenses for servers, other costs, and investment for future development.
“Up until now the focus has been on editing, photoshopping, and enhancing images making it difficult to know what is real or fake. Uproov reverses this process and brings a new level of authenticity and integrity to images and videos that simply was not possible before.
So with all these added features and being a mobile app we feel that we have increased Uproov's usefulness exponentially. We are therefore charging a small fee to assist in its running costs and future development—and hope users will support us.”
Uproov is a smartphone app: the iOS version is practically ready and will be released in days, while the Android version is 90% ready and is expected to hit the Google Play Store in a couple of weeks.
The developers chose to implement FIAT currency to pay for the service, which is surely anachronistic, considering how the software works. However, it’s not their fault: the Apple Store does not allow payment in Bitcoins, and neither does the Play Store.
The Uproov team is considering adding support for Bitcoin payment through a top-up facility added to their website, which looks like a decent solution at the moment, even though I’m wondering why they didn’t simply integrate it as a form of payment through the app itself, leaving apart the stores obsolete payment system.
Bitcoin Blockchain For The Win
There’s still one thing to say, which could have been bouncing inside your head while you were reading this article: Uproov works on the Bitcoin blockchain. No proprietary blockchain has been developed.
We have another potential killer app, here, that couples up with OpenBazaar and BitHappy, as well going to be released this month or the next one.
The Bitcoin software ecosystem was, up to now, only composed by self-referral apps and platforms: wallets, exchanges and such, and small betting games.
We are now entering a period of application development for the real world based on the blockchain technology.
On the Bitcoin blockchain.
These are the apps that will start the uprise of Bitcoin into the mainstream.
For anyone curious to see Uproov in action, the team will show a live demo at Inside Bitcoins in San Diego on Tuesday at 3 PM.
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