Bitmark Papers

Bitmark: The property system for the digital environment

Christopher Hall, Casey Alt, Lê Quý Quốc Cường, and Sean Moss-Pultz


This paper proposes a digital property system that achieves secure authentication and transfer of both digital and physical objects, from one party to another, without requiring a central authority. Digital signatures provide a method to issue and transfer titles (“bitmark certificates”) within the system. Using a blockchain algorithm, distributed consensus on who owns what can be achieved. Digital assets can be uniquely identified using cryptographically hash functions. Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) provide a method to uniquely identify physical assets. Title transfers are peer-to- peer, verifiable, and create an unforgeable chain-of-ownership (“provenance”).

Defining Property in the Digital Environment

Casey Alt, Sean Moss-Pultz, Amy Whitaker, & Timothy Chen

2016 NOVEMBER 29

While physical goods are protected by a long history of private property rights, digital assets are, to date, essentially unownable. This paper examines and proposes solutions to the current problems of digital ownership by retracing the history of property in the West. What is needed is a trustworthy, secure, and enduring property system that is flexible enough to incorporate digital properties into any community’s broader property rights traditions. As a solution, we propose Bitmark, a blockchain-based property system for the digital environment that expands and strengthens the Internet’s essentially decentralized, open, and transparent ethos. The ability to establish ownership claims to digital assets — of well-understood forms of intellectual property such as music, movies and books but also for emergent and increasingly critical ones such as computer code, digital art, user-generated data and metadata - will transform many of the 21st century’s largest negative externalities into a new asset class capable of powering the next economic revolution.

ObjectMinutiae: Fingerprinting for Object Authentication

Tzu-Yun Lin, Yu-Chiang Frank Wang, Sean Moss-Pultz, Research Center for IT Innovation, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, Bitmark Inc., Taiwan

2015 NOVEMBER 27

Forgery is a serious issue and can be devastating to business. Valuables like art, medicine, and official documents often require certain procedures (e.g., watermark, barcode, RFID, etc) or even expert verification of an item’s authenticity. Unfortunately, it is still possible to replicate or even tamper with such authentication processes.

In this work, we present ObjectMinutiae, a framework for authenticating different objects or materials via extracting and matching their fingerprints. Unlike biometrics fingerprinting processes, which use patterns such as ridge ending and bifurcation points as the interest points, our work applies stereo photometric techniques for reconstructing objects’ local image regions that contain the surface texture information. The interest points of the recovered image regions can be detected and described by state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms. Together with dimension reduction and hashing techniques, our proposed system is able to perform object verification using compact image features. With neutral and different torturing conditions, preliminary results on multiple types of papers support the use of our framework for practical object authentication tasks.