blockchain birth certificates

Blockchain Birth Certificates | The Future of Vital Records?

What is blockchain and how will it affect the future of vital records? This Ultimate Blockchain 101 Guide defines blockchain as a chain of blocks containing digital information. Each block relies on the one before it. To help create a better sense of understanding, they use Bitcoins (the first cryptocurrency) as an example. “Bitcoins are powered by the underlying technology of blockchains. Each block will contain a series of Bitcoin transactions that have taken place within a certain time frame. All the blocks together constitute Bitcoin’s blockchain and witness all the transactions that have occurred since its creation.” 

Medium elaborates a little further explaining it as “think of blockchain as a public spreadsheet in the cloud that can be programmed to record and track anything of value. Once a transaction occurs, a record is created and is validated globally by computers participating in the network. Once the transaction is validated, the record is permanent and immutable. The owner of the transaction has the power to move anything of value freely and instantly without borders or intermediaries. Some examples that can apply to Blockchain are financial transactions, medical records, or even land titles.”

So how will blockchains revolutionize the way we interact with one another? Medium breaks it down into three categories. 

  • Information. Blockchain technology stores information in batches called blocks. The blocks are linked to one another. If there is a change in information, rather than altering or rewriting the block, a new block is created to store that information displaying that a new change has been made at a specific date and time. Essentially blockchain is a non-destructive way to track data changes over time.
  • Decentralization. By decentralizing the blockchain, this will reduce the ability to tamper with any data. Before any new block is created, a puzzle must be solved first. The computer that solves the cryptographic puzzle shares the solution with the rest of the network. This is known as “proof-of-work”. Once the solution has been admitted into the entire network, all the other computers will confirm that the information is correct. If it is, a new block will be added to the chain. “The combination of these complex math puzzles and the verification from other computers on the network ensures that we can trust each and every block on the chain. This phenomenon allows the network to confirm, validate, and build trust with each transaction so the user can simply interact with the data that has already been fully insured. This is a great segue into one of the most important features of blockchain technology and how it transfers total power to the user.”
  • The end of intermediaries. When a transaction is facilitated between two parties, usually an intermediary is involved to make sure the transaction goes smoothly. The middle man is responsible for validating and retaining the information. With the blockchain method, because the information is already validated by every computer in the network, the information is trusted, therefore the intermediary is no longer needed. 

So what does this mean for vital records? Dan Gisolfi, chief technology officer for Trusted Identity at IBM says “The birth certificate is a foundational identity document of which trust is established for downstream derived identity documents such as a [driver’s license]. This first of its kind [demonstration means] the establishment of an immutable audit trail of transactions from approvers that leads to a government attestation about an individual’s identity and reputation. Just like in the physical card domain, the issuance of a digital birth record is a stepping stone to bootstrapping a broader digital credential marketplace.”

In layman’s terms, blockchain is being looked at as a technology that will be used to record all kinds of official records. Anything from buying a house to getting married and even having a baby. Speaking of which, the first ever blockchain birth certificate has been recorded in Brazil! To learn more about it, click here

Blockchain is the beginning of a new technological era but it still has a ways to go. In the meantime, if you are in need of any vital records such as birth or marriage certificates, allow VitalChek to lend a helping hand. We are able to process your requests quickly and securely and get you the official records you need.  


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