Proving a Message's Origin, Proof of Authenticity (Setting a Device "Public")
In a nutshell, Bitcoin provides a weak form of proof of authenticity. While it does use an irreversible ledger, the ledger is public and subject to counterfeit attacks because a counterfeiter can produce their certificate of authenticity, log it on-chain, and send its reference to an unsuspecting party thinking there is a valid product represented. To combat this, Catenis provides a more fortified proof of authenticity by enabling third parties to verify the originator of a blockchain entry and thus the product itself. Catenis, as a result, enacts proof of message origin so that the certificate of authenticity logged by a given virtual device can be traced when it is genuine.
Catenis’ customer account interface allows you to set the configuration setting of any device to “Public”. Setting a device to “Public” will allow a device to cryptographically prove it was responsible for creating the bitcoin transaction used to anchor the logged content to the bitcoin blockchain. When requesting message attestation via the message origin API method the information expected by the API endpoint is the message ID, and an arbitrary text string. The device will return all of the information it was sent along with the bitcoin address and a signature over the text string (it uses the private key associated with the bitcoin transaction to sign the arbitrary text). With both the signature over the text string and bitcoin address it is straightforward to prove that only this device could have created the bitcoin transaction. This process provides a Catenis message’s proof of origin authority. It is used when a customer wants their device to authoritatively respond to 3rd party inquiries with proof of blockchain logging attestation. This is typically used to prove that a counterfeiter did not log the document’s hash signature to the blockchain attempting to pass off a fake document as the authoritative copy.
Consulting firm PWC estimates the global counterfeit goods market is $1.9 trillion per year, of which the largest segment is the $200 billion per year in counterfeit pharmaceuticals sold to consumers, pharmacies, and hospitals. A key problem is that the technology currently used to fight counterfeits is insufficient and even hospitals are receiving counterfeit medicines. Catenis offers a technological leap forward with its proof of authenticity feature. For example, in the healthcare industry, a pharmaceutical manufacturer using Catenis could enclose the reference ID (i.e. the drug package ID) along with the medicine in a tamper-evident pill container. The pharmacy could confirm the medicine’s authenticity by opening the tamper-evident container to retrieve the reference ID. The pharmacy would then use the reference ID to query the manufacturer’s virtual device and receive cryptographic confirmation if the medicine is authentic.