Let’s recount the steps that we’ve taken to create a proof of process:

  1. Extract trust by deriving proofs of the four key factual elements to address the four information security concerns for each step of the process:
    • What: data integrity through cryptographic hashing
    • Who: actor non-repudiation through digital signatures
    • When: proof of anteriority through trusted time-stamping or common time
    • Where: proof of context through cumulative proof via hash chain
  2. Generate a single proof for each step
  3. Publish the final proof in a distributed fashion through a network in which truth is established through a consensus mechanism

We’ve covered the first two steps in some detail while the third has been implied in our examples of tasteful gamers and technologically progressive banks. The fact remains that proofs are only useful if people accept them through usable networks. Proof of Process only functions in a situation of human collaboration and technical implementation.

This human reality is also the fifth factual element that does not belong to any step in a process, but to the entirety of Proof of Process: why.

The previous four key factual elements enable the conditions to address the factual element of why through Proof of Applicability: Why does this proof apply to me? Using this element, the proof must be established in the interpersonal human context of trust — through a network of trust.

Because people are naturally curious about why things are the way they are and most developed countries have abundant access to relatively inexpensive computational power and connectivity, this fifth element is also why people have a strong incentive to build and participate in networks through this protocol. PoP serves as a powerful lens to discover the truth behind situations, as traceability, compliance, privacy, and accountability have been enabled at the protocol level.

In today’s hyperconnected world, there are no islands, only continuous movements of information, ideas, conversations, goods, and products. There must be a strong foundation of trust to make this movement possible. Through the Proof of Process protocol it is possible to establish networks that manage trust in a decoupled and modular way, and to thus create a new paradigm for communication, collaboration, exchange, regulation, and governance.

This paper was written by the Stratumn team in collaboration with their customers and partners, and published May 10, 2017. Its authors are Anuj Das Gupta, Richard Caetano, Akbar Ali Ansari, Stephan Florquin and Gordon Cieplak.