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Factom Seeks Patent for 'Secret Data' Sharing on a Blockchain

Factom, a system for auditing and securing millions of real-time records using blockchain technology, has filed another blockchain patent application for the advancement of its operations this year.

CCN reported earlier this month that the data distribution company had filed a patent application for a system enabling document validation on the blockchain, a feature likely to be integral for the future operations of the platform's services to governments, companies, and non-profits.

The firm's second proposal, published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) today, on Aug. 23, has a more stealth-oriented goal:

"Confidential, secret data may be shared via one or more blockchains. Mortgage applications, medical records, financial records, and other electronic documents often contain social security numbers, names, addresses, account information, and other personal data. A secret sharing algorithm is applied to any secret data to generate shares. The shares may then be integrated or written to one or more blockchains for distribution."

The system is designed to secure sensitive financial and personal information protected with a hashing algorithm that splits the sensitive information into different shares and then distributes the shares across different blockchains for added security. The data is essentially encrypted and then stored in separate blockchain data vaults, a design that could prove very highly secure if well-implemented.

Data security is often listed as one of the top use cases for blockchain technology. In a world where millions of people can be hacked simultaneously from a common database with a single point of attack, blockchain networks offer increased security.

Blockchains are more difficult to hack due to the information being distributed, updated, and verified across multiple computer nodes instead of just one, meaning multiple nodes need to be forcibly controlled for hackers to seize sensitive information or attempt to alter it. The new patent may take things a step further by distributing secured data in scrambled parts across multiple distributed ledgers.

Listed as one of the inventors of the patent is Paul Snow, who is head of the Texas Bitcoin Association in addition to the CEO of Factom. The other inventors are Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya, Factom's former EVP of engineering (who has left the project since the patent application was submitted) and Brian Deery who is the company's chief scientist.

Factom took off in 2014 after being integrated into the Microsoft Azure platform, leading to increased publicity and a 600% increase in the value of the company's cryptocurrency token. Today, the project is ranked 119th on CoinMarketCap with a circulating market cap of over $42 million.

In 2016, the project secured a smart city deal in China to plan the blockchain administration of multiple smart cities currently in the concept and development stage, essentially amounting to a partnership with the Chinese government.

Images from Shutterstock

Last modified (UTC): August 24, 2018 6:12 PM

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Conor Maloney @iWriteCrypto

Conor is a blockchain and cryptocurrency journalist from Ireland and founder of The Written Craft content service. A firm advocate of decentralization through blockchain technology, he's also an off-grid enthusiast and really fun at parties too. Other stories written by Conor: https://www.ccn.com/author/conor-maloney/ Follow him on Twitter @iWriteCrypto to hear him roar.

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