In the modern era, with digitization spree going on in all possible sectors the need for managing and utilizing the document is becoming more and more competitive and crucial. With the generation of a huge number of documents in the digital arena, there needs to be a secure platform wherein the sensitive data can be kept safe and secure. With many governments already having announced their digitization plans, documents like educational certificates, birth/death certificates, driving licenses, health records, employee service records, sale/deed property registration records, MOU/agreements and many similar sensitive documents will have to be stored with utmost security and safety. Also, the inefficiency and difficulty of information being stored as a hard copy of paper is being felt across organizations.
Therefore in the current phase where the whole world is moving towards digitization in every aspect, blockchain is perhaps the most apt and significant technology for the management and storage of documents and other records. The technology still being at its nascent stage of application is finding applications across new sectors everyday. It has already presented a wonderful platform for the financial sector, education sector and government bodies to keep sensitive data safe and secure.
The advantages the blockchain technology offers are plenty, it offers greater transparency, enhanced security, immutability and easier traceability. Tamper evidence is an important advantage as the records are updated in new nodes each time and the credentials of document updates are recorded in blocks.
Even though there are many document management sustenance currently prevailing in the market not all of them can provide required transparency, security and efficiency. The advantage with blockchain is that the document once added cannot be deleted or the order be changed as the system allows only appending. Moreover blockchain can also allow the validation of temporal existence, authenticity and non-repudiation of the documents.
Not only is the confidentiality of documents maintained but the permissible levels of access of various users are managed by providing restricted access to the data stored in the blockchain. The above mentioned classification lists to concept of private and public blockchain.
Blockchain is basically a distributed ledger. Public blockchain is permissionless and it’s managed by peer to peer network where anyone can join the network and add records. Records once stored are secure and cannot be changed.
Private blockchain is a permissioned blockchain and restrictions are in place on who is allowed to participate in the network and for what transactions. The permission levels of access on the blockchain is defined by the identity of participants in the blockchain. Ledger copy is stored at each node that gets updated after consent from all participating parties.
The advantages of private blockchain over public blockchain are as mentioned below.
There are two ways of storing document in the blockchain. Either the document can be stored completely in the blockchain or its cryptographic content can be stored. Cryptographic content also known as cryptographic hash is usually much smaller in size in comparison to original document and saves lot of space and cost thereby resulting in faster processing speed.
The advantages of using blockchain technology over other technologies in document management system are mentioned below.
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