Microsoft Office Can Now Verify Docs on the Bitcoin Blockchain

Microsoft is continuing its Blockchain journey by integrating Stampery into Microsoft Office Outlook with cross-compatibility.

Office Applications Verify Docs On Bitcoin, Ethereum

Stampery, which provides verification of documents against both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, will be accessible for verifying emails without users leaving Outlook itself.

“Stampery provides this functionality today by creating hashes of documents submitted through the web and storing them on the Ethereum and Bitcoin public blockchains. To enable this capability, Stampery provides a RESTful API that is accessible from applications,” a dedicated release about the integration from Microsoft explains.

In this project, we leveraged this secure API to create a convenient add-in to Microsoft Outlook that performs like a near-native feature to stamp/certify an email without leaving Outlook or even the specific email that you are viewing.

Removing Centralized Trust

Microsoft adds that while various solutions already exist for document certification online, these involve signature storage via a centralized entity, thus placing trust at a weak point.

“An alternative to relying on a single entity (commercial, public, government, etc.) to keep such proof of identity safe is to create a hash of the document and send that hash to the publicly accessible blockchain, such as Bitcoin,” the release continues.

“Once the hash data is present on the public blockchain, the document can’t be changed without invalidating the hash. This approach guarantees both the document’s privacy and the data’s availability for future validation purposes.”

The solution is compatible with products across the Office suite. “In a more general sense, anyone wanting to certify and verify any digital asset could reuse and build upon this knowledge, too,” Microsoft adds, noting the code for the Office implementation is open source and available on GitHub.

Microsoft ‘Will Signal UASF’

The move comes as a source claims Microsoft would “by default” support a user-activated soft fork (UASF) on the Bitcoin network.

In a tweet Tuesday, Daniel Buchner, the corporation’s head of decentralized identity, said that such signalling would occur across “all (Bitcoin) full nodes and clients used in Microsoft’s open source decentralized identity implementations.”

By default, all #Bitcoin full nodes and clients used in Microsoft’s open source decentralized identity implementations will signal for #UASF

— Daniel Ƀ (@csuwildcat) April 11, 2017

Asked whether this would mean following a minority chain, Buchner said in a response that it would be “any chain’s version (it’s a cross-chain system) that best preserves/enhances the decentralized state of IDs rooted on it.”

Will Microsoft’s Stampery integration and UASF support boost Bitcoin adoption? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of, Shutterstock, Twitter

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