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May 06

/ nic.at News - 06.05.2020 10:32
nic.at is part of the Austrian Public Service Blockchain

The Austrian Public Service Blockchain (APSB) is an initiative from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer) and other public administration institutions - it enables electronic documents to be stored at a specific point in time with a corresponding time stamp. One of the so-called "Blockchain nodes" of the APSB is operated in nic.at's R&D Lab.

A blockchain is basically a collection of data which - separated into individual data blocks - is stored distributed over several applications without central administration. The individual data blocks (and each new data block created by adding data) are secured by the formation of "hash values" (digital fingerprints). These values are unchangeable (they can neither be modified nor deleted), secure (redundant, decentralized storage) and transparent (each user has the same view of all data or can query the same data).

The first use case of the APSB is the blockchain service "WKO Datenzertifizierung", which has been in live operation since November 2019. With this service, electronic documents can be "digitally certified" by calculating the hash value and saving it together with a time stamp in the block chain. What is special about this is that the hash value changes completely as soon as a document is modified, even if only a single letter has been changed. For this reason, data certification is particularly suitable for proving authorship - for example in the case of software, innovative production processes, or creative content such as photographs or song lyrics - or for protecting company data or proving the authenticity of documents.

Technical support for the Austrian Public Service Blockchain was provided by blockchain expert Dr. Christian Baumann, who is still responsible for programming APIs and installing nodes. He  also created the platform corIn.at as a further usecase: "On corIn.at, data about COVID-19 is retrieved from official sources and stored in the Blockchain application. Several applications and portals, among them for example the information platform covid19info.at, use exactly this prepared data," says Baumann.

The blockchain technology in this application also guarantees that stored data is unchangeable (it can neither be modified nor deleted), secure (redundant, decentralized storage) and transparent (every user has the same view of all data or can query the same data).

nic.at is very proud to operate a node of the Austrian Public Service Blockchain and thus to be a partner in this exciting initiative.