Blockchain offers a unique solution for secure online transactions. A distributed ledger maintains a list of recorded transactions in files called blocks. Each block has a timestamp and is built on top of an already existing block, preventing any data from being altered retroactively. Due to its transparency and distribution of information on many blockchain nodes, it is nearly impossible to manipulate existing data records, making it suitable for recording valuable assets.
0xcert protocol uses blockchain for storing decentralized certificate imprints — certificate proofs — of a real-world digital assets. These certificates — we call them xcerts — are one-of-a-kind tokens (e.g. unique collectable) stored in users’ digital wallets. Similar to the well known ERC-20 tokens, the xcert, is a specifically designed smart contract, also referred to as a smart certificate, which follows the Ethereum’s ERC-721 specification, also known as non-fungible tokens or a deed standard. Cryptography is used to encrypt original data object into a hash and store it on the blockchain as an xcert, to prove identity and authenticity of the original digital asset without revealing it.
Certification can benefit greatly from this new paradigm. Because the data are stored in the decentralized blocks, the information can fully be trusted and verified by anyone and anywhere. By storing hashed data on the blockchain, individuals, companies and institutions can keep a decentralized record of their certificate proofs, while maintaining sensitive data completely private. At the same time, each certificate record, their issuers and owners, can be easily authenticated and referenced.
I’ll go into more details on xcerts and the protocol itself in one of my next articles. You can dive straight into our 0xcert protocol whitepaper if you can’t wait until then!