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Efficient Evidence Preservation Using Blockchain And Electronic Data Archiving

Written by Kevin Little

July 10, 2023

Electronic Archiving

Blockchain Developments

Digital technology is growing at an exponential rate, influencing not only the habits of consumers and the digital society, but also corporate operations, as well as the processing, retention, and analysis of data that is given and received via the Internet, which is altering.

The European Commission, by Regulation (EU) No 910/2014, establishes a legislative framework for electronic identity and trust services in the context of electronic transactions in the European Union’s single market. It has been in effect since the first day of July 2016, and it is known as eIDAS.

For example, the eIDAS is being developed to make it easier for existing national systems linked to electronic registered delivery services (ERDS) or electronic delivery services (eDelivery) to be recognised across borders. It is possible to transfer communications between entities using an eDelivery service in a safe and reliable manner, while also generating proof of the sending process that may be used in court.

A supplier of electronic registered delivery services must thus verify the secrecy, integrity, authenticity of the document’s origin, and availability of the evidence stated in the document before the document may be delivered.

A blockchain-based model for evidence preservation has been used to the long-term electronic archiving services provided by SYMTRAX, which is an eIDAS Qualified Trust Service Provider and ERDS service provider, in order to comply with the requirements of the legislation.

Integrity: Each piece of evidence must be safeguarded from modification.

Availability: The evidence must be accessible as soon as possible and for the duration of the legal term that applies to the relevant document in question.

Individual Confidentiality: A requirement, with access to evidence restricted to the parties involved, and not to third parties.

Scalability: To be effective, the solution must be quick and scalable.

Adaptability To Change: The system must be able to maintain its integrity even if an administrator attempts to edit or remove evidence.

As of today, the blockchain is being utilised in a variety of applications other than bitcoin, with which it is almost exclusively associated. Sectors such as banking, transportation, logistics, and e-commerce stand to gain from the usage of this technology.

Archiving Electronic Data For A Long Period Of Time And Using Blockchain Technology

Blockchain functions similarly to a transaction system’s unmodifiable public database. As a notary public, Symtrax employs Blockchain to replace transactions with ERDS evidence. This allows assuring that evidence exists from a certain point in time, as well as guaranteeing the non-alterability of the recorded procedures.
In our blockchain, blocks are linked together in chains, and each block contains encrypted information about the ERDS transactions that have been performed. To get a hash or cryptographic summary, each block organises its evidence into a tree structure (known as a Merkle tree). It is this hash, along with references to the prior block and information from the new block, that is utilised to produce a hash for the block itself. In the event that any attempt is made to modify it inside one or more transactions or blocks, the chance of the hashes that concatenate them not matching is high.

We have a certified electronic time stamp that performs the data validation of the block (also known as the mining process) in our instance… As a result of integrating all the information included in the block, this signature is applied to its hash value. Thus, the hash of the signed block is used to protect both the contents and integrity of the blocks.

As part of SYMTRAX’s solution, SYMTRAX has developed a private and centralised blockchain network to ensure, in this case, evidence on electronic document archiving that assure the integrity of the documents. The fact that it is a private network means that membership in the network is not contingent on the users’ stored documents remaining discreet and secure.

In the instance of an electronic stamp, it satisfies the essential criteria of certifying that a piece of evidence exists at a given moment in time. Because each block is connected to the one before it, information cannot be removed or altered without causing the chain to be disrupted completely. Compliance with the demand of integrity and resistance to change is the result of this process. Furthermore, scalability is ensured by the flexibility of the blockchain construction, which allows it to manage a wide variety of events.

The benefits of blockchain technology for electronic archiving are discussed below.

Integrity: It is not possible for any stakeholder or administrator to modify the outcome of a transaction once it has been produced or information has been shared.

In order to ensure the validity of the information, each block includes a digital signature and an electronic time stamp. The concatenation of hashes is used to verify the security of the infrastructure and the information it contains, respectively.

All actions on the blockchain will be recorded, ensuring transparency and traceability. It is not possible to terminate or change operations.
Maintaining the evidence’s confidentiality requires the use of a private network, which allows for more control over how it is generated and archived.

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