Smart contracts, (blockchains, distributed ledgers) and rights management broadly construed are the themes of today's Spotlight Patents. Assigned to IBM, the first of today's patents addresses techniques for chain-of-custody of digital content in a database system. Assigned to nChain Holdings (AG), the second patent addresses techniques for secure peer-to-peer communication on a blockchain.
11,455,380, "Chain-of-custody of digital content in a database system," assigned to IBM
An example operation may include one or more of authorizing a blockchain for a video file, generating a first tracking value for an entry block referencing the video file, the first tracking value generated based on first data and the video file, receiving second data for each of additional blocks in the blockchain, generating second tracking values based on the second data of the additional blocks, forming the additional blocks including the second tracking values, respectively, appending the additional blocks to the entry block, the entry block and the additional blocks cryptographically linked in an ordered sequence, each of the additional blocks referencing a version of the video file which corresponds to an original version of the video file as referenced by the entry block or a processed version of the video file, the second data in each of the additional blocks indicative of processing performed on the version of the video file in that block, and tracing through the blockchain based on the first and second tracking values to confirm an auditable and immutable chain-of-custody of the video file.
11,455,630, "Method for secure peer-to-peer communication on a blockchain," assigned to nChain Holdings Limited(AG)
The invention comprises a computer-implemented method and system for controlling an exchange process, such as a loan, conducted between at least two parties via a blockchain such as the Bitcoin blockchain. A method according to the invention may comprise the step of generating a first blockchain transaction which includes a redeem script. The redeem script comprises a cryptographic public key associated with an initiating party and metadata which includes a hash of an exchange-related document; a redeem address; and an amount of digital currency. A second blockchain transaction is generated and published to the blockchain so as to spend the digital currency to the redeem address. This provides the advantage that the further transaction will be publically available and thus detectable by other parties once it has been published. The further transaction can provide the information necessary to trigger a response e.g. an offer from another (responding) party who publishes their response on the blockchain. Thus, the exchange process can be implemented via a multi-transaction mechanism on the blockchain rather than an alternative medium. The exchange related document may be an invitation (offer/request) which is stored off-block in a repository such as a Distributed Hash Table (DHT). The invitation may be an invitation to engage in a contract. A smart contract (and associated blockchain transaction) may be formed upon condition that a plurality of participants (e.g. lenders/borrowers) are matched with each other via one or more responses effected via transactions on the blockchain.