Blockchain / Frequently Asked Questions

# What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain is the core technology behind bitcoin. At its heart is a distributed data store. Anyone who participates in this network has their own data store that stores all of the transactions that ever happened on the network (this is also known as the distributed ledger). Entries are stored within a cryptographic chain of blocks.

At every stage, the network of participants must agree about the latest block of transactions. Agreement is reached through a process of majority consensus, eliminating duplicate entries, double spending etc. This process and the cryptographic layering of the blocks makes the agreed blockchain irreversible and immutable. The ‘history’ of events within this technology cannot be modified by any one of the participants without majority consensus from the group.

# What Is A Private Blockchain?

Private blockchains are deployed either within an organization or shared among a known group of participants. They can be limited to a predefined set of participants. In this case, no one else can access them or the data residing in them. They can be secured in a similar way to securing other integrated enterprise applications (e.g. firewalls, VPN etc).

# What Is A Smart Contract?

A Smart Contract is code that is deployed to the blockchain. Each smart contract contains code that can have a predefined set of inputs. Smart contracts can also store data. Following the distributed model of the blockchain, smart contracts run on every node in this technology, and each contract’s data is stored in every node.

This data can be queried at any time. Smart Contracts can also call other smart contracts, enforce permissions, run workflow logic, perform calculations etc. Smart contract code is executed within a transaction – so the data stored as a result of running the smart contract (i.e. the state) is part of the blockchain’s immutable ledger.

Ethereum is a group of incredibly smart individuals who have developed the next generation of cryptocurrency. The Ethereum project involves a large single network (much like Bitcoin), and runs on a cryptocurrency that can be mined (Ether). We are looking at deploying private networks of the Ethereum (or similar) within organisations, or across small predetermined groups of organisations.

# What about Mining?

Mining is used a proof of work for participants in the blockchain. Whenever a block of transactions is to be agreed, every participating node attempts to ‘mine’ the block (a mathematical algorithmic process that requires extensive CPU capacity). In public blockchains successful mining is rewarded with a cryptocurrency token.

# What is the blockchain certificate of authenticity for?

When you purchase a Ulysse Nardin watch, we want to provide you with proof that your watch is genuine. To this end, we produce a certificate of authenticity in your name, protected by blockchain technology.

This certificate may be useful in the event that you need to contact the after sales service, a dealer, or anyone you want to give the watch to, whether that is in the context of a gift, or a resale. With this digital certificate, you will no longer need to use the physical guarantee card provided with the watch, eliminating the risk of losing or forgetting it.

# Why blockchain?

Blockchain technology is used to create digital uniqueness. In this way, a digital document – in our case a certificate – becomes impossible to forge when it is protected on the blockchain.

The blockchain makes it possible to create time-stamped attestations as proof that you purchased a genuine watch. The advantage of blockchain technology is that these attestations are digital; they can therefore be shared and stored online. How can I check that a certificate is genuine?

We provide a certificate checker on our site. Simply dropping the document into the web page will allow you to verify that the certificate is genuine. The following section is intended for anyone curious or with more advanced knowledge of blockchain.

# Can you explain to me what a blockchain is?

Blockchain technology is used for storing information extremely securely. Thanks to the blockchain, data can be both public and forgery-proof, which represents a formidable tool for building trust in relationships between people. The blockchain was invented in 2008 by an anonymous person using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto when they invented the peer-to-peer digital currency known as Bitcoin.

Blockchain was originally used as a public transaction ledger allowing people using pseudonyms to trade with complete confidence. That’s how the Bitcoin blockchain arose and still endures today. The term blockchain is used to describe both the data and the protocol that stores this data. The term comes from the fact that data is organised in blocks linked to each sequentially using cryptography.

# Which blockchain do you use?

We use the Bitcoin public blockchain. It is the longest-standing and most reliable thus far. It has been around for 10 years already and at this moment in time has never been hacked; it’s therefore the most secure. Other blockchains for protecting our certificates may have been less costly and faster , but we preferred the safest and most widely recognised solution. Furthermore, we make use of “scaling” thanks to the Balance Wallet startup, which fits with our attitude towards environmental protection.

# Which blockchain do you use?

There are various advantages to using a public blockchain:

  • Maximum security thanks to considerable decentralisation.
  • And absolute transparency that makes the certificates externally verifiable.

It is thanks to the combination of these two elements that trust is created and our certificates are forgery-proof. All our certificates can be verified externally by us or by our provider Woleet , checking the Bitcoin blockchain itself (see section below on this matter). We strictly apply the blockchain principles of “decentralization” and “true ownership” to the basis of the revolution of trust provided by this new technology.

# How can I verify the existence of the certificate in the blockchain for myself?

We use a standard format for the proof, known as Chainpoint

  • To obtain your blockchain proof in Chainpoint format, use your certificate checker, then click on “Download blockchain proof”, which you will receive in JSON format. This format is readable in some browsers by dragging and dropping into an empty tab or using a text editor.
  • The Bitcoin transaction ID is located under “anchors”: “sourceId”.
  • Using an online Bitcoin explorer, you can find the transaction as with https://btc.com/[transaction ID], then trace the Merkle Root in the output OP_RETURN.

# Are my personal details well protected?

Yes, they are protected by various mechanisms. Firstly, only the hash for the certificate is sent to our provider, Balance Wallet , so it cannot access the intelligible data. It is therefore technically impossible to read the data contained in the certificate from the blockchain.

# What is a hash?

A hash is a cryptographic means of representing numeric data in a unique way The hash for numeric data is said to be the equivalent of a digital thumbprint for a human. To obtain a hash from some data, we apply a hash function to the data.

Example Data to hash: “Hello world!” Hash of the data: “c0535e4be2b79ffd93291305436bf889314e4a3faec05ecffcbb7df31ad9e51a”

This feature has various advantages, it allows:

  • For quickly checking that the data is correct and has not been susbsequently altered.

  • Any type of data to be represented in a sequence of characters, Example New data to hash: “Hello world !” Hash of the data: “341d44b969233a48baa4224043705f5bd32230fa0da370d234d7e3d4a73aa613” In this example, we can see that the new hash is very different from the one before, while being the same length.

Last Updated: 8/11/2023, 8:39:42 AM