Microsoft Office Software Gets a Bitcoin Blockchain Certification Upgrade

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Microsoft Office users can now create immutable documents with help from the Bitcoin blockchain. On April 10 the multinational tech giant Microsoft added a blockchain document certification and verification application called Stampery to the company’s Office program.

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Microsoft Office Adds a Bitcoin Blockchain Certification Feature

Microsoft Office Software Gets a Blockchain Certification Upgrade Microsoft has shown support for Bitcoin-related applications for quite some time. Now the company has announced the implementation of the Stampery blockchain add-in for it’s Microsoft Office suite. Essentially users can certify and verify documents using either the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain. Microsoft believes enterprise organizations and individuals need to record and secure important documents every day. Immutable certification and verification are crucial to the integrity of legal documents and contracts that cannot be manipulated, Microsoft explains.

“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,” Microsoft’s announcement reads. “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.”

Microsoft Office Software Gets a Blockchain Certification Upgrade
How the Stampery program works using Microsoft Office.

Blockchain Certification and Verification Without Leaving the Office Program

Microsoft says they utilized a secure API to introduce the Stampery add-in to Microsoft Office and Outlook without leaving the program. This means the add-in blockchain certification and verification buttons can be found in the software’s toolbar. Microsoft details how the process works within the platform’s user interface;

  • Certification: Pressing the certification button calls a JavaScript function in Office. This function hashes the document and sends the sha256 hash to a Node.js server as a REST call, so the document never leaves Office. The Node.js server runs as an Azure App Service and keeps a copy of the hash for later verification before calling the Stampery API with the hash. The Stampery service then takes the hash and puts it onto the public Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains.
  • Verification: Pressing the verification button calls the Javascript function from the certification process again, which hashes the document and sends the hash to the Node.js server as a REST call. The Node.js server then calls the Stampery API to access the original hash for the document from both blockchains.
Microsoft Office Software Gets a Blockchain Certification Upgrade
Stampery’s certify and verify buttons can be accessed within the Office application without leaving.

A Notary Solution for Individuals and Enterprise Customers

Microsoft believes adding Stampery to the Office platform will enable users to employ a more secure method of document storage. Furthermore, the tech company thinks enterprise customers will find the feature very useful as the application can ensure the validity of important business documentation. Created in 1988 Microsoft Office is one of the most popular word processing software suites utilized in office and business settings worldwide.

The code for the Stampery Office add-in is open source, and the protocol can be reviewed on Github. “Users should be able to see that documents sent to them are signed or stamped, then verified or notarized,” explains Ville Rantala, Senior Engineer at Microsoft.

What do you think about Microsoft adding the blockchain tool Stampery to the company’s Office suite? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Microsoft’s ‘Real Life Code’ blog. 

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