Did the New York Times Predict Blockchain in 1995?

13 years back, in 1995, the New York Times had predicted Nakamoto’s creation and discovered blockchain in its pages.

The fame of blockchain technology rose because of cryptocurrencies, as it is the technology which is behind bitcoin and other digital currencies. Other than cryptocurrency, blockchain technology has much potential for use cases. Blockchain technology has a proven potential for businesses, as a technology that can significantly reduce the operating cost and can be considered as a way of improving data security and transparency. Blockchain technology is impossible to alter and permanently verifiable. From banks to stock market, blockchain may be the future of financial technology.  

It is easy to verify physical documents. There are authorities who can verify the authenticity of the documents but digital documents are difficult to verify. Blockchain technology can help check the authenticity of data and can ensure that the data is not altered. Stuart Harber and Scott Stornetta were the first persons who had invented blockchain technology in 1991. That time both Scott and Stuart used the technology to prove the authenticity of digital documents by time stamp. They have solved the problem of verification of digital data. Timestamp ensures that any changes in the documents will be noticeable. Scott and Stuart also knew that it is impossible to change the timestamp of the data which ensures the authenticity.

The blockchain is a chronological chain of hashed data which can be used for the time stamping of the documents and activities. Scott and Stuart used cryptographic hashing algorithms to generate Unique IDs for each document. The UID change whenever there is a change in the document. Scott and Stuart have also launched Surety, their own time stamping service. Their primary product was AbsoluteProof which was designed to be a cryptographically generated seal for digital documents. A cryptographical hash was generated for digital documents with the help of software, and later the hash is it sent to Surety to create timestamp seal. This seal acts as a unique ID for verifying the authenticity of the digital documents.

The only difference between AbsoluteProof and blockchain is that blockchain is decentralised which adds a layer of trustlessness to the technology which was created by Scott and Stuart 13 years ago. A record of the new hash rates which were added by Surety was published in the New York Times, in the classified ads section, all those years back. It is that record which serves as the first instance of blockchain’s mention.