artifacts, blockchain, museum

China’s Tsinghua University researchers have come up with an ingenious scheme to enable the protection of country’s cultural heritage and artifacts using blockchain technology, according to Coindesk.

They have filed a patent, for a system which will save digital versions of ancient artifacts on the blockchain using 3D scanning. The computing model created by a team of three inventors will be able to scan an object, to create its digital version. The resulting digitized artifact and its related information will then be stored on to a private blockchain by using the concept, called “hashing”. To give a better understanding, hashing is described by Technopedia as follows:

“Hashing is generating a value or values from a string of text using a mathematical function. It’s one way to enable security during the process of message transmission when the message is intended for a particular recipient only. A formula generates the hash, which helps to protect the security of the transmission against tampering. It is also a method of sorting key values in a database table in an efficient manner”.

The team, including Tan Jiajia, a postdoctoral researcher and Lu Xiaobu, the head of the university’s Academy of Art and Design, suggest that by principally including museums, the platform has the potential to grow into a kind of shared ledger cultural heritage consortium which can be updated as necessary with participating members’ fresh archives, which could in time be visible to the public as would be artefacts in a museum.

The team’s patent reads as follows:

“Based on the unique design of blockchain for exchanging information, the digital identities of each cultural heritage can be transferred among different parties at lower costs with higher efficiency, so that we can enlarge their economic and social values.”

Now the concept has been patented by the inventors, they need to establish how to put their ideas into working practice. The inventors reported that the work that they had completed to date was based on Tencent’s Trust blockchain platform.

Investopedia describes the TrustSQL platform as a:

“…rich framework for application development and includes basic application models such as digital assets, shared books, proof certificates, stock swaps and proprietary transactions…”.

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