What the F is Factom – A beginners guide?

There is a history of bad things happening to good people – through mismanagement, corruption or well-intentioned stupidity. Think sub-prime, royal commissions into the banking sector, identity theft, corporate theft, attack vectors – to name a few.

On 25 January 2014, Paul Snow and David Johnston had a conversation about immutable systems and how important it is to have a reliable framework in order to grow, improve record-keeping and deliver best-practice processes so that businesses and individuals can truly tap into their potential.

Less than six months later Paul Snow started coding a blockchain solution, by the years’ end the Factom whitepaper was published and on the first anniversary of their initial conversation Factom was released.

So what does it do?

In a nutshell, it brings honesty and transparency to data systems using the blockchain. It’s a simple concept but building technology that enables people to interact smoothly with data, ask better questions, make better decisions and creating the software that can plug into existing systems, adapt to any domain and be up-and-running quickly has not been simple.

Factom creates digital fingerprints(hash) of documents/videos and stores them in the blockchain, once committed any change in the original document would create a new hash and not match the one stored in the blockchain. This allows a user to determine if the original document was modified in any way. This is an ideal solution for individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments who need accurate and provable record-keeping.

Without getting too technical, Factom takes data entries and reduces it to a single hash and then drops that into the blockchain ledger. This record cannot be changed and therefore eliminates the record tampering, which in turn assists businesses with their purchase lines, record keeping, compliance and auditing needs.

Factom implemented Segregated Witness (SegWit) before any other blockchain. SegWit fixes transaction malleability and increases block capacity. Factom was doing this before SegWit had an official moniker.

Now any institution that retains or issues data – including governments, not-for-profits, banks, hospitals, and educational institutions – can use Factom technology to protect those records.

What is a Factoid?

A Factoid is the underlying, internal scarcity token that allows you to make an entry on the blockchain. Factoids are used purchase Entry Credits which are non-transferrable once assigned to a public key.

Factoids can be converted into Entry Credits, but not vice versa, and are managed on a special Factoid Chain. Entries in the Factoid Chain must be valid Factoid transactions, or the Factom Servers will reject the Entries.

Users are also able to purchase Entry Credits without owning Factoids.

Read more about Factom’s two token system here.

Clients and Partners

This technology has been tasked with the job of advancing the security of digital identity by American Department of Homeland Security and the Science and Technology Directorate.

Factom also recently announced a strategic global partnership with FPT Software, a leading global software and technology company.  It is one of Vietnam’s fastest growing IT services companies with multiple global delivery centres.

Factom has also partnered with Linxens, a leading developer and manufacturer of component-based solutions, to offer dLoc. This is a document authentication and verification system that reliably authenticates any essential documents, including birth certificates, land titles, and medical records.

Factom Harmony is a commercial product for the mortgage industry which allows users to store and create permanent mortgage records and they have recently launched the Factom Protocol which is a fully distributed and autonomous blockchain protocol without any central control.  

Summing it up!

A distributed, immutable ledger is the technology represented by the Bitcoin blockchain. Factom’s blockchain technology solution extends the benefits of the blockchain to the real world and is applicable most industries.