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Blockchain specialist Factom has partnered with Smartrac, a company which provides Radio-frequency identification (RFID) combined with internet of things (IoT), to launch an authentication system for vital documents from land titles to medical records.

The system, called dLoc, bridges the physical and digital world, as a reliable way to secure information on paper-based documents. It is composed of Smartrac's is IoT platform Smart Cosmos, its near-field communication (NFC) transponders, and Factom's blockchain technology.

The solution can be applied to almost any document, using a printed barcode representing a number, as well as linking personalised data to the document itself, said a statement. A dLoc sticker is applied to the document. That sticker contains a Smartrac Bullseye NFC inlay, within which is integrated a security chip chosen from a range of different chip platforms with storage capacities between 1kB and 64kB. In addition, dLoc stickers support all the security features, like guilloches, UV print, micro text or latent image normally found in high-security documents, it said.

To enable document authentication in the course of the issuance process, document data is married with the unique ID of the NFC tag to create a 32-bit hash value, which is only recognisable by the issuing agency using a private key. The hash value is stored in Smart Cosmos and backed up in a public blockchain. Once that has happened, the document with the dLoc sticker can be verified using a desktop reader, or more likely, a mobile app on an NFC-enabled phone.

Once the hash value is created, the value itself and every verification (read) process is recorded in Smart Cosmos and the Factom Blockchain.

Abhi Dobhal, VP business development at Factom, said: "dLoc is the first practical document authentication system that uses the Factom blockchain to bridge the data integrity gap between the physical and digital world. We now have a reliable way to secure information on paper-based documents with digital data using blockchain technology. dLoc's data and identity authentication solution holds great promise for both public and private sectors where paper-based documents are widely used."

A private key can be used to retrace each document's history opening plots of use cases for any institution that issues vital records – governments, banks, hospitals, universities. Also, the chip inside the dLoc sticker can store context information, such as images and biometrics, which can be stored as public data or as private data accessible to authorised parties only.

Mitch Deyoung, VP, product management secure ID & transactions business division at Smartrac, said: "We are proud to be the first to market with a document authentication solution that combines NFC's convenience, the IoT's capabilities and blockchain's security, while integrating into any issuance authority's existing system.

"Offering convincing advantages over traditional QR code-based solutions, dLoc will definitely strengthen our position as a systems integrator in document security, and will meet the needs of governments, banks, hospitals, universities or any other institution that issues vital records."

The innovative document verification and authentication solution dLoc is Smartrac's entry for this year's Sesames Awards and will be showcased at Trustech, the largest tradeshow event dedicated to trust-based technologies. The event will take place from November 29 to December 1 in Cannes, France.