Creating “OKWAVE EBISU”, a knowledge distribution system built on blockchain technology
Making a safe mechanism for user authentication, payment and content management for user
OKWAVE (headquartered in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, CEO: Kaneto Kanemoto), operator of Japan’s first and largest Q&A website (http://okwave.jp), has created a knowledge distribution system called “OKWAVE EBISU” using the private blockchain platform,“mijin”(*1), developed by Tech Bureau Corp. (headquartered in Nishi-ku, Osaka City, Osaka, CEO: Takao Asayama).
This system was developed by OKWAVE for an integrated approach to handling user authentication, payments and content management with regards to managing intellectual property.
Blockchain technology (*3), which is receiving much attention in the field of FinTech (*2), allows for developing payment systems at low cost and with zero downtime. In addition to this, due to its high level of security using encryption technology, it is also becoming known as a fundamental technology for user authentication, managing content use licenses as well as records regarding transfer of rights (payments).
Through the use of the “mijin” pivate blockchain technology developed by Tech Bureau Corp., “OKWAVE EBISU” distinguishes itself for its position as a semi-public consortium type content information-storing blockchain that can be shared among the participant content holders.
The strengths of a consortium blockchain are as follows:
・Zero downtime and strong security
The actual information content of rights data is saved in the blockchain, allowing for strong security and zero downtime due to the increased strength in tamper resistance and failure tolerance compared with standard databases.
・It is possible to use the content management system as common infrastructure
By using a consortium blockchain, the actual management of rights data and rights management are registered in combination, making it unnecessary to manage content separately and allows for using the blockchain as common infrastructure.
This platform can be used for a wide variety of rights data including text, images, software, etc.
・Centralization of management of rights data, virtual currency payments and user authentication.
With this system, it is also possible to coordinate payments for content use licenses using encrypted (virtual) currencies like Bitcoin, which has attained a high level of circulation (*4). This makes it possible to make payments for even small amounts. Also, forms of user authentication such as registration and logins are saved in the blockchain, allowing for easier and safer use of websites.
Consequentially, this system allows for the centralized management of all user authentications, payments, content and/or user licensing of intellectual property.
・Strong security against the misuse of licenses, etc.
Since the actual rights data is saved in the blockchain, the transference or issuance of rights is visible and provides higher security against the common risk of misuse of licenses that conventional databases have.
Also, the system provides has high processing ability and convenience as well as higher tamper resistance through a process called “anchoring” in which a separate hash is made of piled up saved blocks, and it is registered to a public blockchain called NEM, which is compatible with bitcoins and “mijin”.
While implementing “OKWAVE EBISU” onto our own OKWAVE Q&A site, OKWAVE plans, at the same time, to implement it as a base technology for the creation of new web services like individual consultations with experts and sale of intellectual property contents.
OKWAVE wants to use this system as a base to distribute paid knowledge content while protecting the rights to the knowledge provided by the people and experts answering at OKWAVE.
Also, taking advantage of the characteristics exclusive to a consortium blockchain that can act as shared infrastructure and content management system, we want to encourage the participation of external content holders.
By using “OKWAVE EBISU “, content holders like blog services or news websites, which are considering buying and/or selling content between users, will have centralized management of all user authentication, payment, content and/or user licensing of intellectual property.
OKWAVE will contribute to expand the chance of creating a safer internet through actively advancing research, demonstration as well as implementation of the blockchain technology.
(*1) “mijin” is a platform that allows creating a private blockchain in a cloud or data center that allows usage both within and among companies developed by Tech bureau Corp. While dramatically reducing costs by transferring existing databases and accounting systems, its security environment makes falsification impossible and enables actual zero downtime. It can be used in fields as varied as finances, electronic money, points, online games and logistics.
It is a highly versatile blockchain platform developed by the project “nem” team, with experience since 2013 who joined Techbureau.
(*2) FinTech is a neologism combining the words “Financial” and “Technology and refers to the revolutionary use of financial systems that combine both finance and IT. Traditionally, FinTech was a field only for major IT vendors, providing services to financial institutions, however, in recent years, small venture and startup companies have entered the market together with technological innovation.
(*3) Blockchain is a P2P format platform technology that first appeared as the base foe the digital currency “bitcoin”. A number of computers create a distributed consensus building model and process data in blocks through cryptographic signature. It enables operation in cheap computers, zero downtime and security that makes falsification impossible. It does not require backups or redundancies and dramatically reduces costs.
Since it doesn’t affect the service even if the capacity is surpassed, it has the attention of financial institutions.
(*4) Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be used on the internet. It is called virtual currency since coins and bills are not issued. Bitcoin can be sent and received between individuals and its use as payment of services or purchasing articles is increasing. There are places in which they can be exchanged for Japanese Yen or American Dollars.
In the case of bitcoin, there is no middle institution like a bank and no specific country or company is operating it. The issuance and transactions with bitcoin is done in a P2P network. A record of all bitcoin transactions is kept in a “blockchain” that allows to verify the consistency of these transactions.
■About OKWAVE http://www.okwave.co.jp/
OKWAVE was established on July 1999. By creating a space for everyone to help each other to achieve both material and spiritual happiness, the first and largest Q&A website in Japan, OKWAVE (http://okwave.jp/) was created on January 2000, with the objective of contributing to the development of the world. The 35 million Q&A database are made use of through the customer enrolling type support community “OKBIZ. for Community Support” as well as approximately 60 companies that join through“QA Partner”. Also, the company holds the first place of shares in the Q&A tool market with “OKBIZ. for FAQ/HelpdeskSupport”, a trademarked FAQ system developed with the OKWAVE operation know-how and implemented in 360 websites, including large companies and government offices. The company entered the stock exchange market on June 2006 (Securities code: 3808).
It created a capital and operation agreement with Rakuten Co., Ltd. and the Microsoft Corporation in October 2007 and March 2008 respectively.
Afterwards, continuing the spread of gratitude through its Q&A ring, OKWAVE created “OKWAVE
Professional” (http://okwave.jp/professional) in which experts provide answers in their respective fields and “OKWAVEPremium” (http://premium.okwave.jp/) in which celebrities from around the world can be asked questions.
*The product names and brands included in this document are protected by their respective copyright holders.
【Enquiries regarding this press release】
OKWAVE 5F Unosawa Tokyu Bldg, 1-19-15, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
TEL：03-5793-1195 （direct line） FAX：03-5793-1192
Miyagi, in charge of Public Relations and IR firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of publication: October 11, 2016