The internet is currently plagued with deep rooted issues surrounding trust. Having an open public forum where anyone can publish content is an important tool for our modern society. But users are left to their own devices when it comes to determining which publications are reputable and where fraudsters lie.
Sebastiaan van der Lans has uncovered an innovative solution to this problem with his project WordProof and the EOS network plays an integral role in that vision. In this article, we’ll be diving into how WordProof restores trust to the open web through intuitive timestamping. Then, we’ll explore how leveraging the Antelope tech stack on EOS has allowed WordProof to scale this solution in an impactful way, resulting in a €1M grant from the European Commission.
If you’re short on time, jump down to the bottom of this piece for the TL;DR.
Restoring Trust to Online Relationships With Timestamping
Trust is an extremely important part of our relationships with people, organizations, media and more. But the internet lacks an unbiased standard for building trust between parties in online environments. When it comes to deciding who or what to believe, most rely on arbitrary social metrics, biased algorithms or unreliable search engines.
This model has proved unreliable, with a 2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust revealing that 86% of people have fallen for fake news at least once.
Sebastiaan van der Lans and his co-founders recognized a unique opportunity to overcome these issues, utilizing blockchain technology to build a layer of trust around existing online infrastructure. The result was WordProof, a tool that allows publishers to generate a unique fingerprint for their content and timestamp it to a blockchain’s public ledger. This introduces a verifiable source of truth that brings transparency and accountability to information that matters.
WordProof’s impact goes beyond building reputation and trust for publishers. It also solves issues around copyright protection, search engine optimization, ecommerce agreements and more. Learn about all the use cases for WordProof at WordProof.com. Additional educational resources can be found at TheTrustedWeb.org, an organization chaired by van der Lans, with a mission to educate, empower, and accelerate the adoption of timestamping across the internet.
The WordProof team envisions that by 2030 the Trusted Web will be fully embraced. Timestamping won’t just be an option but a requirement if content is to be taken seriously. However, this presents a new problem. How can a project like WordProof keep up with growing demand and offer blockchain timestamping, in a way that is fast, affordable and able to scale with the gradual adoption of this technology? That’s where EOS comes in.
Bringing Accessibility & Scalability to Timestamping With EOS
The Web3 industry is fraught with congested networks, long transaction times and high usage fees. With these barriers in place, it would be impossible for the average publisher to justify timestamping content on most networks.
Publishers need timestamps in real time and high transaction fees would mean that only value generating content could be reasonably timestamped. Beyond that, the sheer scale of use cases for WordProof requires a network with the capacity to keep up with the number of requests being generated.
These are some of the many reasons why the WordProof team decided to develop their project on the EOS network, powered by the Antelope protocol. EOS offers 0.5 second blocktimes, meaning it can process as much as 10,000 transactions per second. The network is also nearly feeless, with negligible transaction fees and the ability for applications to pay for user transactions. This means that there is virtually no barrier to entry for end users and timestamping can be made accessible to everyone. All while keeping up with high influxes of content.
Another hurdle in developing this project has been accessing capital. At its core, WordProof is a pillar for the open web. So, even though there is extreme value to the work that WordProof is doing, making it accessible to everyone means that there is a lack of an inherent value capture mechanism. WordProof has always had deep ties to the Antelope ecosystem for this reason. They funded the initial Proof-of-Concept through Telos Works, a funding body on the Antelope powered chain, Telos.
The EOS Network Foundation is on a mission to support the growth of decentralized communities built on open collaboration. As such, the WordProof team received a grant from the EOS Network Foundation in Q1 2022. This helped the team expedite their goals and push product development forward. Keeping the tooling accessible to anyone who might want to access this valuable piece of technology.
Start Timestamping and Join the #TrustWeb
In 2019, the team unveiled WordProof at WordCamp, the largest WordPress conference with over 2,500 attendees. Recently, they teamed up with Yoast, the #1 SEO tool for WordPress, bringing accessible timestamping to tens of thousands of users around the world. WordProof was also recently integrated with Drupal.
To date their tool has logged over 5 million pieces of content on the EOS blockchain. While they offer integrations with other networks, over 99% of users choose EOS for its speed, low cost and ease of use. Perhaps their most notable accolade was receiving the Blockchain For Social Good award in 2022, directly from the European Commission. This included a €1M grant given to projects that develop blockchain-based initiatives with a significant impact on social change.
All of this to say that there’s no better time to start timestamping your content. Additionally, you should encourage all media you read, and all e-commerce places you buy at to start timestamping, and become part of the #TrustedWeb.
Power Your Project With EOS!
WordProof is one of hundreds of projects, leveraging the EOS Network and Antelope Protocol to develop solutions for the future of Web3. EOS is powerful, accessible and offers financial and non-financial support for those leveraging this innovative tech stack in their work.
If you think your project could benefit from the all that EOS has to offer, the following resources are awesome places to start:
- EOS Grant Framework
- Pomelo Grants for Public Goods
- EOS Developer Documentation
- EOS Community Discord
Conclusion: The #TrustedWeb is Just Getting Started
In an introductory video to the Trusted Web, Sebastian van der Lans states, “I believe that to save the world, we need to fix the internet and trust must become part of the internet’s DNA.”
In this article we covered, how WordProof achieves this by leveraging the EOS network. Here’s a recap:
- WordProof makes it possible for publishers, merchants and content creators to timestamp their content onto a public blockchain.
- This brings transparency and accountability to the information that matters most.
- This creates new opportunities in search engine optimization, copyright protection, e-commerce, online publishing and more.
- Building on EOS has allowed the WordProof team to scale effectively, offer fast time stamping and at little to no cost to the end user.
WordProof is just one of many innovative initiatives leveraging the Antelope protocol and EOS blockchain to push the boundaries of Web3. Learn more about EOS and join our community at EOSNetwork.com.
WordProof was founded in 2019. In 2020, WordProof was awarded €1 million in Europe’s ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ competition, after securing first place in the final round. The Dutch startup is on a mission to restore trust in the internet. Fraud and fake news make the Internet unreliable. WordProof’s Timestamp Ecosystem now enables consumers and search engines to verify the source of the content. Today over 5.000.000 articles have been timestamped by over 2.000 sites.
About The EOS Network
The EOS Network is a 3rd generation blockchain platform powered by the EOS VM, a low-latency, highly performant, and extensible WebAssembly engine for deterministic execution of near feeless transactions; purpose-built for enabling optimal web3 user and developer experiences. EOS is the flagship blockchain and financial center of the Antelope protocol, serving as the driving force behind multi-chain collaboration and public goods funding for tools and infrastructure through the EOS Network Foundation (ENF).
About The EOS Network Foundation
The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) is a not-for-profit organization that coordinates financial and non-financial support to encourage the growth and development of the EOS Network. The ENF is the hub of the EOS Network, harnessing the power of decentralization as a force for positive global change to chart a coordinated future for EOS.