Are the file’s contents on the blockchain?

By: Geeq

No. For the purposes of this app (and most blockchain apps), it does not make sense to write large amounts of data to a block. Remember, blockchains are append-only data structures, which means they are always growing. Writing a lot of data to a block can cause blockchain “bloat” which then can lead to a cascade of problems.

First, writing a lot of data to a blockchain can raise significant issues about storage and upkeep. The larger a blockchain gets, the harder it becomes for some nodes to keep copies. If fewer nodes participate in the network, access to services may shrink. We want to avoid all of that.

Also, the actual documents and data exist in more conventional data management systems, such as your file manager. Blockchains are not intended to replace existing data systems that already work well at what they can do.

Blockchain apps like Geeq Data are able to provide new and complementary functions that have not been possible before. Geeq blockchains are ideal for proving you had the data in that exact format, at the time you submitted your transaction to the blockchain. The app simply helps you to use this new technology in ways that users are used to interacting with old technology.

If the data itself is not written to the blockchain, what is?

The Geeq Data app asks you to select and upload a file. The app then uses a hash function to hash the file, which produces a non-invertible 256 bit binary string called a hash digest, regardless of the size of the original file.

Running the same file through the hash function always gives the same string. Running any other file through the hash function, no matter how similar, returns a different string.

Even though the hash digest is discoverable and visible on the Block Explorer, it is essentially impossible to guess the data which generated the hash digest. The only way to know what the hash digest represents is to have the same original document, hash it, and see if the hashes match. In fact, this is a straightforward way for different parties to check whether the document they have matches the one that was submitted officially. Every person can do that independently without consulting anyone else (unless there are permissioning structures in place).

Efficiency matters

A transaction on this version of Geeq Data, including the hash of the file and the metadata, is less than 1 kB (which is very small). Geeq’s developers are producing efficient, straightforward, and highly secure processes. Geeq Data also scales through multiple chains and is quite fast: blocks are written every 10 seconds, all transactions are settled on-chain, and the corresponding application block is appended when the new validation block is appended.