EUNOMIA’s blockchain engine acts as a trust machine

April 14th, 2021 by

Data integrity is a term that refers to the reliability and assurance (validity) of data. One of the main challenges of social media is how to create assurances of data validity, at the same time safeguarding that the data have not been tampered.

In EUNOMIA, all posts are annotated with a “magic” icon (see the image below). When this special icon appears on a post, it means that its blockchain technology guarantees that the integrity of the data e.g., number of trusts, the number of followers and other information related to the post have not been tampered by any administrator or cyber attacker. However, it does not validate whether the post is trustworthy or not. This is for you to decide!

But why is data integrity so important? In cyberspace, online data are likely to be exposed to data manipulations by malicious actors that could use this to their advantage. Especially in social media such actors are distributing compromised pieces of data to their advantage, either to make others act on such data by spreading misinformation (e.g., propagate rumors) or by leveraging on the credibility of other people to claim authorship on certain pieces of digital work (either in plain text or in some visual form).

From the other hand, the actual content creators of such digital artifacts would like to guarantee data integrity towards their online communities (i.e., consumers) of such data. Lastly, and most importantly, they would like to be ensured that there are safeguards in place preventing such manipulation events from happening by other online users.

But how can one certify and prove that the data being presented are free from any data manipulation? EUNOMIA is using a trust engine which builds on a blockchain backbone to provide integrity assurance of the information stored. In addition, the blockchain layer of EUNOMIA creates audit trails of the information to log all the state changes or revisions made to the data.

But isn’t this the same as logging data in some database? Audit trails stored in the same way as the application data are equally vulnerable to tampering and manipulation attacks. There is no mechanism to make hard assertions about data integrity or validate the integrity of such data. In EUNOMIA, we are using a blockchain backbone to make such assertions that can validate the integrity of arbitrary data, and provide for traceability.

But how is this ensured? Blockchain technology builds on a peer-to-peer network where clients (aka nodes) maintain replicas of a distributed data structure (i.e., the blockchain). This data structure organizes pieces of information in the so-called blocks that are linked together with the use of a cryptographic hash function. In brief, the cryptographic hash function is used to create hashes of the information from each block that are linked with each other; since the hash of a block encapsulates the hash of the previous block as a pointer, thus forming a reversed linked list (aka the chain).

This unique characteristic of this data structure is critical for ensuring data integrity. If an attacker attempts to change any piece of information within a past block then the hash of the block changes, resulting in an unresolved pointer breaking the chain. This unreferenced block will not be accepted by the rest of the network.

In addition to cryptographic hashes that build a unique data structure, a blockchain network employs a safeguard mechanism (so-called consensus) that allows independent nodes to, coordinate, approve, and agree on which data should be appended on the data structure. Since the consensus algorithm operates under a distributed environment this ensures that there is no single point of failure, and no central control of the information that could be compromised.

EUNOMIA’s blockchain backbone leverages on the unique characteristics of: blockchain-based hash validation, and consensus offered by the technology to safeguard data attestations and guarantee the integrity of the data.

Klitos Christodoulou EUNOMIA’s partner from UNIC in an interview with Blasting News

January 30th, 2021 by

Klitos Christodoulou, assistant professor at the University of Nicosia, in his interview with Blasting Talks illustrates how EUNOMIA plans to repurpose the idea of a social media platform. Klitos presents the differences between the mainstream social media, like Facebook or Twitter, and blockchain-based social media to explain EUNOMIA’s potential in changing the culture of social networks.

Read the full article here

EUNOMIA and the University of Nicosia Decentralized Chapters Community

September 8th, 2020 by

The University of Nicosia Decentralized Chapters is a global community consisting of like-minded individuals that share a common passion in the space of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The main objective of the community is the dissemination of blockchain technology awareness and knowledge in several regions around the world. The aim is to address the lack of knowledge in general of the potential benefits of blockchain in terms of growth and innovation, as well as the lack of skills in the area through various activities for a holistic perspective of the technology.

Decentralized Chapter activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Education/Training
  • Speaker series/free lectures
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Support for Startups
  • Volunteer Activities

In order to provide the Decentralized community hands-on real decentralized applications, its members were invited to join and test the Decentralized Community Social network platform built as part of the H2020 project EUNOMIA for online discussion on Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies.  Whether to ask questions and learn, or post news, even rumours for which they want the community’s opinion, this is the right place. The intuitive Twitter-like interface of the federated social network Mastodon and the additional EUNOMIA’s toolkit features such as the trust /don’t trust buttons assists members of the Decentralized community to discuss and express their trust/mistrust of the latest information on Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. EUNOMIA’s features and updates such as information provenance supports their evaluation of online information aiming at sustaining the quality of community’s interactions.

Members that have already joined the Decentralized Social Network Platform, have access to:

  • The latest news on Decentralized Chapter’s activities
  • Early access to Decentralized Chapters’ videos and the chance to discuss with presenters
  • Videos and Links related to Blockchain and decentralized technology developments shared and posted by community members
  • Ask technical questions on Blockchain and decentralized ledger technologies and get answers from community experts
  • Access to information on upcoming events, conferences, webinars, learning and educational material in a single place
  • A growing community space for Decentralized professionals and enthusiasts to share and learn about Blockchain technology
  • And last but not least – interaction with the technology itself!

Join the Decentralized community or lead your own Chapter at https://www.decentralized.com/chapters/

Join the EUNOMIA Decentralised community instance on Mastodon at https://decentralized.eunomia.social/

For further information contact dchapters@unic.ac.cy