The blockchain industry has been criticised for being too complex and not delivering practical real-world solutions. The only way to counter this critique, is by giving the world a firsthand experience to understand and exploit the blockchain technology. To attain this goal, the Atlas 3T team created Timescribe; an easy-to-use, low-cost and blockchain simplified tool that delivers incredible value to the users. There is no prior blockchain knowledge required and Timescribe is free to use. With zero commitment, users will be able to get one step closer to adopting blockchain.
1. What is Timescribe?
Timescribe is a unique asset protection tool that enables you to protect your intellectual assets in a matter of seconds. You can create a free account here and get started straight away to make sure your intellectual property is fully protected.
2. How is Timescribe different from other timestamping services?
Digital timestamping services (that are not blockchain-based) require reliance on a trusted timestamping authority. There are 2 key reasons why this is a problem. Firstly, you have to rely on a third-party to accurately record and timestamp your important documents. Secondly, the security and confidentiality of your file is at risk, as you have to share it with the authority for timestamping.
Timescribe eliminates these risks. So, how does it use blockchain?
1. A public blockchain is decentralised, meaning it’s not controlled by any entity or group. All assets registered via Timescribe are publicly accessible and provable, so you do not have to rely on us for ensuring the integrity of your timestamps.
2. Timescribe only accesses the encrypted hash code of your assets and not its contents. Therefore, your assets remain confidential and no one, except you, has access to the contents.
3. The asset evidence is stored across thousands of computers (or nodes) that are a part of the Ethereum blockchain network. This means that your evidence will always be available and tamper-proof.
4. Asset evidence is created within minutes and is cost-effective as there is no third-party involvement or dependency.
3. What is a timestamp?
The word 'Timestamp' is constructed from two words: 'time' and 'stamp'. Consequently, timestamping is a method of recording the date and time of a specific event. Usually, timestamps are created for documents or files (such as contracts, patents or photographs) and they allow you to prove that the respective document or file existed at a specific point of time in the past.
4. Who is Timescribe for?
Timescribe can be used by any creator of an intellectual asset. An intellectual asset could be a document, a design, a contract or a pitch deck. It is relevant for anyone who requires a way to ensure proof of ownership at a specific point in time. Your assets must be protected as soon as they are created, so signup to Timescribe now!
5. What is an intellectual asset?
Intellectual assets include everything from ideation to materialisation. They cover intellectual properties such as copyrights, trademarks and patents, and go a step further to include trade secrets, know-how, processes and ideas.
6. Is Timescribe timestamping legally valid?
Each country has its own legislation so it varies. Therefore, it is up to the discretion of the specific nation’s legal authorities to determine whether the timestamp is acceptable or not.
For the European Union:
As directed under Article 42 from REGULATION (EU) No 910/2014 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL, a qualified electronic time stamp shall meet the following requirements:
(a) it binds the date and time to data in such a manner as to reasonably preclude the possibility of the data being changed undetectably;
(b) it is based on an accurate time source linked to Coordinated Universal Time; and
(c) it is signed using an advanced electronic signature or sealed with an advanced electronic seal of the qualified trust service provider, or by some equivalent method.
Timescribe is compliant with all the three mentioned criteria. Consequently, assets that are evidenced with Timescribe will be legally recognised in the EU member nations.
For the rest of the world:
There are no specific laws that describe acceptance criteria for electronic timestamping. However, this does not mean that timestamps are considered invalid in these regions because they are electronic in nature. Several nations have set out laws to legally recognise electronic signatures. Therefore, a timestamp may not be legally binding by itself, but it can be admissible in the court of law as a supplemental evidence and provide you a leverage in supporting your claim.
7. What is a hash?
The asset you choose can be an image, database, pdf, audio or any other format. The hashing algorithm converts all the contents of the asset into a 256-bit string and the hash is unique to each asset. If you change any detail on the asset, the entire hash will change. These algorithms are one-way functions i.e. you can create a hash from an asset, but it is impossible to re-create the asset from the hash.
The use of hashing makes every Timescribe transaction totally secure and ensures the confidentiality and uniqueness of each asset evidence. Therefore, Timescribe a great tool for timestamping extremely confidential research or personal data.
8. Do I need to share my certificate when I send my document or creation?
No, once you have Timescribed your asset, you are fully protected. You can share your asset independently of the Timescribe hash and/or certificate. However, note that if the recipient alters your asset, this will no longer have the same asset identity so it is advisable to share your content in an uneditable format.
9. How can I prove ownership of my asset?
All Timescribe evidence is registered on Ethereum and contain 3 elements: the unique hash of the asset, a unique signature generated from the private key and the unique public key. Let’s assume that you evidenced an investor pitch deck using Timescribe on 27th July 2020. 4 years forward and you are now in court due to an IP dispute. You need to prove that the investor presentation was existent on that day. So, on 27th July 2024 you create a new evidence for the same investor pitch deck using Timescribe. When you compare the evidences recorded in 2020 and 2024, all the 3 elements will be exactly the same and indeed prove that the specific asset version (hash) was evidenced by you (signature + public key).
10. Do I need to disclose the contents of my asset?
No, your asset is totally secure and is never shared with us or anyone else, which is why it’s a great solution to protect all your confidential data.
11. Why do I have to create two different passwords?
There are two types of passwords on Timescribe: an account password and a 6-digit PIN. The account password is the one that allows you to access the Timescribe application. . If you forget your account password, you can use your email address to reset it.
For creating evidence of your asset, you need to sign it with your unique public-private key pair. The public-private key pair allows you to prove that the asset evidence was created by you. It is one of the most important components of Timescribe and therefore extremely important to keep it accessible only by you. As a result, the 6-digit PIN is one-time process and not stored anywhere i.e. it cannot be reset. You must ensure to safely record your 6-digit PIN and not disclose it anyone.
12. What happens if I lose my 6-digit pin?
If you lose your 6-digit PIN, your public-private key pair cannot be accessed. Consequently, you can no longer prove ownership of all the evidences that you have created in the past and not be able to Timescribe any more of your assets. So it is very crucial for you to securely store or note down your PIN.
To continue using your account, the Timescribe team can issue a new public-private key pair. However, you will lose all your previously created evidences. Please get in touch with us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. What are public and private keys?
Public keys are visible to the public whereas private keys are for only your eyes. Public and private keys are always generated as a pair so that they can be linked to each other. Timescribe uses this technology to allow you to create publicly verifiable evidences. When you create a timestamp, 3 elements are sent to Ethereum as a transaction: (1) the unique hash of your asset, (2) a unique signature generated by your private key and (3) your unique public key.
Once the transaction is registered, any entity can view the transaction and see your public key, signature and asset name – but not your private key. The private key and the signature allow you to lay claim over the timestamp.
14. What does confirmation time mean?
Ethereum is a public blockchain network and is utilised by millions of people across the world. As a result, there are hundreds of transactions being processed per minute and every transaction incurs a fee for execution. It is this fee that determines how fast your transaction will be processed. The higher the fee, the faster your transaction is processed. Confirmation time is the amount of time you have to wait until your evidence is successfully processed and registered on Ethereum.
15. What does a ‘pending’ status mean?
If your asset evidence shows a ‘pending’ status, it means that it has been queued on Ethereum for processing. It can take from a couple of seconds to a couple of hours, depending on your Timescribe subscription plan. You must wait until your asset evidence is processed to access its certificate.
16. How accurate is the time source?
Timescribe uses Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) for recording the time at which the evidence was successfully created. The time source is obtained from the Ethereum network and is sufficiently accurate to be legally valid. Time in Ethereum always remains accurate as it is synchronised across thousands of computers across the world. Any malicious attempts are rejected as the time would not synchronise with the rest of the network.
17. Why do I need to maintain a copy of my file after evidencing it?
Timescribe converts all your asset content into a 256-bit encrypted code called the ‘hash’. The hash is extremely unique to the asset version i.e. a small change in the asset contents and the corresponding hash will completely change. As a result, your edited asset will not match with the evidence you created earlier and adversely impact your ability to prove that the original asset was evidenced. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you maintain an unedited copy of your asset every time you evidence it on Timescribe. If the asset is edited, then you must stamp it again.
18. Can I change the file name of my asset, where I save it or its format?
Changing the file name or where you save your asset does not impact the evidence in any manner as the hash of your asset remains the same. However, changing the asset’s format will alter its hash and not match it with your evidence. Therefore, you will have to stamp the new asset format on Timescribe.
19. What can I 'Verify' with Timescribe?
When an individual shares the original asset and its Timescribe certificate with you, you must ensure that the asset evidence is genuine. The Verify function easily lets you do so by adding the asset and the Proof ID (from the certificate). By doing so, you will be certain that the shared asset was evidenced by the that individual at a specific point of time.
20. Is there a way to integrate timestamping into other software?
Yes, Timescribe can easily be integrated with your existing systems. If this is something you’d like for your workplace, then please get in touch and we’ll look into sorting you out with a customised solution.
21. Do I need to pay?
To register for our free plan, you do not have to pay. Just sign up and start stamping! If you wish to upgrade and benefit from more stamps per month or faster stamping, you will need to pay using your debit/credit card. We have a range of plans dependent upon your needs.
22. What are the payment options?
We currently accept payments via VISA or MasterCard debit/credit cards. As we continue to improve and develop Timescribe, we will be offering other payment options soon. For using our free plan, you do not need to provide any payment details. Signup now!
23. What are the different subscription types?
With the free plan, you can enjoy up to 10 timestamps per month absolutely free of charge. If you require more stamps or faster stamping, you should look at our paid plans which are designed more for enterprise use.
24. When can I cancel my subscription?
You can cancel your subscription at any time. If you choose to cancel your subscription, it will automatically terminate on your plan's monthly billing date.