The word “inscribe” comes from the Latin to scribe or scratch into something in order to create a record of the resulting information. In our digital age information can seem impermanent, ephemeral or fleeting however permanent and unchangeable (immutable) inscriptions are still possible thanks to the use of one way cryptographic algorithms and the invention of decentralised append only databases. A good description of a one way hash function can be found here and a useful analysis of recent implementations of these cryptographic functions to create decentralised append only databases can be found here with citation information here.
Each bitknowledge inscription panel is intended to be a collaborative hub for the development, refinement and improvement of a specific record or set of records. Anyone can create an inscription panel for any subject they wish. The creator, and therefore owner, of the inscription panel can create as many new versions of the record as they wish, or delete links to older versions, however, given the records themselves are stored on distributed peer-to-peer storage this means that no one can alter a version of a record once it has been created and the record itself remains in existence until all IPFS nodes that contain a copy of the record have been purged.
Every version of a record has its own Content Identifier (CID), which can be used to:
- Cryptographically verify the content of the record.
- Access that specific version of the record from any synchronised IPFS node or participating IPFS gateway.
- Allow that specific version of the record to be copied onto any IPFS node by anyone with suitable hardware and a suitable connection to the internet.