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Technology & Terms Explainers

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Due to complexity of industry terminology, we have prepared technology and terms explainers for terms; (1.) eDelivery; (2) blockchain; (3) blockchain eDelivery; (4) blockchain wallet; (5) RSA and AES encryption, and; (6) SHA 256

According to Connecting Europe: CEF eDelivery supports trans-European multilingualism, n.d. , eDelivery is a network of nodes for digital communications. It is based on a distributed model where every participant becomes a node using standard transport protocols and security policies. eDelivery helps public administrations to exchange electronic data and documents with other public administrations, businesses, and citizens, in an interoperable, secure, reliable and trusted way. It is one of the building blocks of the Connecting Europe Facility (Connecting Europe: CEF eDelivery supports trans-European multilingualism, n.d.). These building blocks are reusable specifications, software, and services that will form part of a wide variety of IT systems in different policy domains of the EU.

Blockchain provides a decentralized and secure shared digital ledger, which gives participating parties a way of validating information related to a transaction. In doing so, it speeds up the process and cuts out intermediaries and costs. Blockchain is made from a trail of validated facts. These facts can be anything from money to information. As part of this digital system of record-keeping, each transaction and its details are validated and then recorded across a network of computers. Everyone who has access to the distributed ledger receives this information and the parties agree on the accuracy before the block is replicated, shared and synchronized among the entities. A Blockchain is virtually impossible to tamper with since each block of information references the block before it. In an age when trust is both elusive and held at a high premium, Blockchain presents a way to confirm, validate and authenticate both values and events. Smart contracts are a code or rules written into a digital program, which determines what happens when digital assets come in or when certain conditions are met. 

Blockchain eDelivery is a network of nodes for digital communications and electronic data and document exchange. It is based on a decentralised model where electronic data and document exchange process runs between blockchain wallets. Private and public cryptographic keys are used for transaction authentication. Blockchain eDelivery has significant security advantages, comparing to traditional eDelivery. Blockchain eDelivery protocol (i.e. FOURdx) developed and tested blockchain eDelivery protocol capable of; (1) connecting senders and receivers by executing document exchange; (2) performing eDelivery based on the current EU guidelines, and; (3) archiving securely encrypted data.

According to Cryptocurrency wallet – Wikipedia, n.d. , a cryptocurrency wallet is a device, program or service which stores the public and/or private keys and can be used to track ownership, receive or spend cryptocurrencies. As all cryptocurrencies run on blockchains, cryptocurrency wallet can be referred also as blockchain wallets. Up to now, blockchain wallet was mostly used for cryptocurrency asset holding and exchange. The 4thtech add-on is a Google Chrome extension wallet, that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow in your browser today. It is one of our main innovations, a first system on the market capable of handling not only digital assets but also other assets such as links to encrypted documents or files. Designed and build from the ground-up, the Chrome add-on is fully operational and offers a secure identity vault, providing a user interface to manage digital identity mechanism (i.e. FOURid) identities and sign blockchain eDelivery transactions. A 4thtech Chrome add-on can be comparable to a bank account. It contains a pair of public and private cryptographic keys. A public key allows for other wallets to execute eDelivery to the desired wallet’s address, whereas a private key enables the description of documents from that address.

According to RSA (cryptosystem) – Wikipedia, n.d., RSA is one of the first public-key cryptosystems and is widely used for secure data transmission. In such a cryptosystem, the encryption key is public and distinct from the decryption key which is kept secret (private). In RSA, this asymmetry is based on the practical difficulty of factoring the product of two large prime numbers, the “factoring problem”. FOURdx blockchain eDelivery protocol uses the advanced encryption standard (i.e. AES), with a combination of RSA encryption algorithms. The files and documents are first encrypted with a symmetric algorithm (i.e. AES). The asymmetric algorithm (i.e. RSA) is used to encrypt symmetric key and initialization vector (i.e. IV) with the public key of the receiver. This design does not allow an attacker to infer relationships between segments of the encrypted message.

According to What is Secure Hash Algorithm 256? Get the definition here., n.d., Secure Hash Algorithm 256 or SHA 256 is defined as one of the most secure ways to protect digital information. SHA 256 is a mathematical process that generates a 256 bit (64 characters long) random sequence of letters and numbers (hash) out of any input. The same author points out, that a hash is as a mathematical computer process that takes information and turns it into letters and numbers of a certain length. Hashing is used to make storing and finding information quicker because hashes are usually shorter and easier to find. Hashes also make information unreadable and so the original data can become confidential.

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