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1  Bitcoin / Project Development / Photo Timestamps? on: May 12, 2011, 08:13:34 PM
Hi all,

New to this forum, and new to bitcoin in general.  I'm absolutely floored by the potential I see here.  All my friends are sick of hearing about it, but I can't stop talking/thinking about bitcoin!   Cheesy

I had an idea for a service: phototimestamp.org (don't bother going there.  I've registered the domain, but nothing else)

Here's how it works:

You want to prove to someone the 'recency' of a photo.  Lets say you have a rare baseball card for sale.  It's so rare, that many people are going to doubt you are actually in possession of the card.

The classic 'trick' from books and movies is to take a picture of the baseball card, with today's newspaper in the background.  Then others can verify the authenticity of the newspaper, and be confident of the recency of the photo.

But what if the seller is in a foreign country?  If I got a photo of, say, a Chinese newspaper, it would take a significant chunk of time for me to be confident in its validity.

Enter phototimestamp.org.  How it works:

- Every 15 minutes, it generates a time string (YYYY/MM/DD HH:MM).
- It salts the string with randomness, and signs it.
- It then takes the cyphertext, and creates a QR code, which it displays (largly) on the front page of phototimestamp.org
- A seller then navigates to the site, and take a picture of the baseball card with the QR code in the background, and sends it to the buyer
- The buyer sees that, yes, it is the card he's interested in.  He then uploads the photo to phototimestamp.org to find out what the stamp is.

That's the free service, one could also sell 'custom' timestamps that come with a custom message...

What do you guys think?  Is it secure?  Is it useful?  Already done?  I'm still fairly new to this whole bitcoin thing, so I'd appreciate any feedback anyone might have.

I see the potential for something like this to be used with escrow services to minimize risk of transactions (people might even start insuring transactions based on previous ratings, and some sort of proof in this form)
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