The Proof of Process paper was first drafted and published in early 2016. Since then, the team at Stratumn as been working with many clients building and deploying business networks with Proof of Process. Here are some of the most relevant questions we've answered.
Is Proof of Process a new kind of blockchain?
No. Proof of Process is an independent protocol that can be used privately between parties. However, Proof of Process works best when a public blockchain, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, is used to timestamp each step of the process. This gives all parties in the audit trail a single source of truth.
If I use Proof of Process with a public blockchain, will my data be available publicy?
Not at all. Timestamping Proof of Process on a public blockchain chains means a digital fingerprint, often called a hash, is stored in a blockchain transaction. That finger print does not leak any information about your process. It's actually the reverse. The transaction and the finger print are recorded back into your audit trail which can then be used to independently verify the historical existence of your process data.
Is "Proof of Process" like "Proof of Work" or "Proof of Stake"?
Not at all. Proof of Work and Proof of Stake are protocols used to secure blockchains through consensus. Proof of Process is entierly different, it is essentially an audit trail that is secured with basic cryptography. It can be shared peer to peer and is guarenteed to be immutable.
Okay, but then why do you say it's a protocol?
Your computer browser connects to websites and secured with HTTP and SSL/TLS. These two protocols define how your computer and the web server can exchange information universally. HTTP describes how to access or store data and SSL descibes how to use cryptography to secure the exchange.
Proof of Process is a protocol that describes how multiple parties can share proofs about each step in a process. Using digital signatures and hashing algorithms, the protocol can enable other parties to verify an audit trail of who did what, when, where and why.
What are typical use cases for Proof of Process?
There's many! Any time you need to prove traceablity, Proof of Process can help. Examples include supply chains, Know Your Customer, insurance claims and internal control, the provenance of food, and so on. For example, a scientific medical paper was published that described how Proof of Process can be used to secure clinical trials.
Is Proof of Process being used in production?
Yes. Stratumn has multiple clients that have deployed networks built with Proof of Process.