187 – Let’s Fix the Broken Web with WordPress, WordProof and Blockchain

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By Nathan Wrigley. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Interview with Sebastiaan van der Lans from WordProof, with Nathan Wrigley

WordProof deal – if you email Sebastiaan right after you sign up and mention WP Builds, he’ll increase your WordProof account limits! Nice!

And, in a wonderful new development, WordProof recently won $1m Euros from the European Commission to assist with the development of their technology. Again, nice!


You need to prove, and I mean prove, that you own something online… something digital, something that you created. How do you do that? In the real world, you just ‘have it’. That widget that you fashioned from wood is on your property, but that blog piece that you wrote, that document that you uploaded how do you prove ownership of it. It’s a really hard question to answer, until WordProof perhaps.

You might have heard of the blockchain, and likely you’ve heard of it because of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. That however, is just one way that blockchain technologies can be deployed.

Let’s be clear, I’m no expert on this, but my understanding goes like this… Blockchain can be thought of as a shared system. It’s like a pool of people keeping a shared list (or ledger) of all the content and amendments that anyone in the system makes. I create a WordPress post, all the people in the system get to know about that. If I update it they get to know about that as well. When anyone else in the system creates or amends content, I get to know about it. I don’t mean ‘get to know’ in the sense of you’ll be deluged with update notifications like Facebook might provide, I mean that that it goes on in the background, silently. You don’t really need to do a thing. You just share content and updates with the blockchain.

But why would I need this I hear you say! Well what if you write a great blog post, a piece that’s taken months to write. That post contains genuinely new discoveries, it adds something to humanity that has never been said before. You feel delighted, until, 3 months later you see that someone else is sharing your discovery and claiming it as their own. Naughty!

So you go to the blockchain that you’ve been a part of and you say, I need proof that I wrote this on a date before this other person started writing about it. The blockchain comes back and says ‘here you go’, you and countless other people can assert that you wrote it, because on the date that you did, we all got a copy of it.

But that’s not proof is it? They could all be lying, you could all be in-this-together! Well, yes the humans could, but the blockchain can’t. It’s a mathematical proof that you did write that post and all these other people can back that up too. I’d honestly love to see a lawyer take on the argument that you cannot trust maths!

All this rambling is to say that by spreading the blockchain all over the place, you get a widely distrubuted, mathematically verifiable system of proof. And that could be proof of almost anything…

That song that you wrote and saved as an .mp3 which you just heard playing on the radio, that PhD thesis that you wrote which proves that cold fusion is possible, that insurance document which you know you amended just days before your house was flooded, that video that just went viral etc etc. You have proof. Bullet-proof proof!

Anything.

If you can put it online, you can prove that you did, and that it was or was not amended. It’s watertight, and with the WordProof system, easy to do!

This might not matter to you of course, but it matters to a lot of people and until recently, blockchain was a great idea but all but impossible to implement. Not now that we have WordProof.

WordProof makes this easy to do on your WordPress website. It enables you to assert your authorship of content, and prove when things were created and amended. You could even deploy this in your eCommerce offering to prove that sales happened, refunds occured and so on. In the future, adding timestamps might well act as a positive factor in SEO rankings!

Obviously, there’s way more to it that this and we cover a lot…

  • How do WordPress and the WordProof blockchain work… what are the benefits of combining both?
  • Why you might need to, and how you can timestamp content
  • eCommerce and timestamps
  • SEO and timestamps
  • the WordProof plugin for WordPress
  • GDPR compliance

I’d advise that you get the podcast on and hear what Sabastiaan has to say. It’s a wonderful new frontier and I’d really like to know what you make of it.

Please leave a comment down below or post in the thread over on the WP Builds Facebook Group.

Mentioned in this episode:

wordproof.io

WordProof plugin

sebastiaans.blog

Sebastian speaking at WordCamp Europe 2019

354 episodes