Protecting Ideas with Blockchain: How Does it Work?

So, here we are. You’ve just trusted us to protect your new idea by using your S!NG digital wallet. But what does ‘protect’ really mean? What happens when you use S!NG and why should you bother?

A great idea warrants great protection, and that means securing it at every stage of its lifecycle. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick snapshot of a hastily scribbled idea for a lyric, a voice note about that digital painting you’ve been working on, or the finished song you’re finally ready to share with the world after months of collaboration and iterations. In the age of digital saturation and readily accessible creative work, all it takes is one repost, one misunderstanding — one act of theft — for your work to become compromised and distributed out of your control. Then comes the daunting ordeal of cleaning up the mess and getting your hard work back by proving it was yours to begin with.

S!NG proves ownership of your creations — before you share them — by using an immensely powerful tool: blockchain technology. But what is a blockchain anyway, and how does S!NG use it to protect you?

The original concept behind blockchain was first described by a group of scientists in 1991, (long before anyone had ever heard of Bitcoin — its most famous offshoot) as an online ledger to record any kind of data securely and permanently. Copies of this ledger would be synchronized across many computers so that if one was ever compromised, others could provide backup. Importantly, would be done automatically without ever needing a centralized authority to keep it going. The simplest explanation of blockchain comes from the name itself: a digital chain with links (blocks) of information. Each block contains a cluster of data — in S!NG’s case, the content you’ve just uploaded: your idea, when you created it and who you shared it with and when.

When a block is completed, a digital fingerprint or ‘hash’ is created which perfectly represents its contents. If that block is ever tampered with, the hash will no longer match. When a block is completed, that same hash is written into the next, new block to be created. As this chain grows, each block becomes permanently and unchangeably (immutably) recorded. Data can never be changed, never be tampered with and becomes an incredibly reliable record.

But there’s more. These blockchains don’t just reside on one computer — perfect copies of the same blockchain reside on millions of computers around the world simultaneously. These computers are called nodes — and the more of them, the better. So even if someone could hack one block on one computer, it wouldn’t matter, because all the others would reject and correct any compromised information. Each node must sign off on which blocks are valid, and which aren’t… creating a consensus. A hacker would have to change more than half of the nodes on the planet — each with their own security and password systems — instantly and simultaneously — to change just one recorded block. This is as close to impossible as computing and cryptography can ever make it. Essentially, what is recorded on the blockchain is forever. More permanent and reliable than any other record-keeping system has ever been in human history. Pretty cool stuff.

So what happens to your song, photo, graphic, document, PDF, voice note or video when you secure it on the blockchain through the S!NG platform? You may know that under U.S. and Canada copyright law (and, by treaty, most of the industrial world), proof that the idea was first yours is key. If you use S!NG prior to sharing with anyone else, then you will have the earliest timestamp of anyone. So, one way to think of us is a notary public. An independent, third party witness that you owned your file (as represented by a perfect hash of its contents) at an exact time. This information is encrypted so nobody else but you can read it and then it’s saved onto the public Ethereum blockchain where more than 50 million nodes around the world bear digital witness. What’s yours will now always be yours and S!NG gives you legal proof. And your property is now recorded on the blockchain, accessible only to you.

Even many decades in the future — completely independent of S!NG or any other entity — you will be able to download a perfect copy of your property along with proof that you own it. This is an incredibly powerful concept — that you can create this kind of protection of your digital assets — in less than one second. This is superior to copyright, far easier to do, and S!NG lets you do this… for free.

Additionally, S!NG hosts all of your files on Amazon Web Services S3, allowing for mega-fast transfers of your files to and from our servers, while your originals are stored on a distributed file storage system called IPFS, always maintaining the proof of your original work along with a signature hash matching this original file. This is quite the feat, considering blockchain is designed for security, not speed. But S!NG has moved the process to the background, so you benefit from blockchain security with fast performance to create and manage your stacks — all in an uninterrupted workflow.

So protect the things that matter to you on the S!NG platform with confidence — knowing the blockchain has your back.

Ideas shared effortlessly and without hesitation, documented and protected in seconds.

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