Netzwerk Digitale Nachweise

sproof joins the German „Netzwerk Digitale Nachweise“

The Netzwerk Digitale Nachweise was founded in 2019 as part of the “blockchain” coordination project of the German IT planning council. Main focus is the use of blockchain technology for issuing and verifying certificates digitally. Together, proposals for Germany-wide standards are being developed. sproof is the only Austrian company on board.

The network is coordinated by Helmut Nehrenheim, consultant in the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Guido Bacharach, Head of Strategy and Digitisation at the Foundation for University Admissions.

Clemens Brunner, CEO of sproof: “We are proud to be part of this exciting network and look forward to working together to shape the digitisation of certificates.”

Blockchain Bayern

sproof joins Blockchain Bayern e.V.

The sproof GmbH has recently become a member of Blockchain Bayern. The non-profit association, chaired by Prof. Dr. Florian Matthes, provides an umbrella for various activities regarding blockchain and related technologies. With sproof as a member, information and networking events are now also taking place in Salzburg.

Erich Höpoldseder from sproof is a member of the Blockchain Bayern working groups “digital identities” and “business models”. “We are very pleased to be able to play an active role in this association,” says Höpoldseder. A first event is already planned for January.

Working group meeting in Salzburg

Together with the Centre for Secure Energy Informatics, sproof is organising a meeting of the Blockchain Bayern e.V. working groups “digital identities” and “business models” on 23 January 2020 at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. As an introduction to the working groups, the basic principles and the functionality of blockchains will be presented and critically discussed together by playing a blockchain game. “In this game we build up an analog blockchain which helps us understand how blockchains work. Instead of using computers, the participants do the calculations (POW) themselves,” says Clemens Brunner, CEO of sproof.

About Blockchain Bayern e.V.

Blockchain Bayern is located at the Technical University of Munich (TU Munich) and offers research and exchange of experience on the technical basics and fields of application of the topics distributed ledger and blockchain. The non-profit association promotes the interdisciplinary networking of science, business, start-ups and politics and organises informative and networking events. Blockchain Bayern is also open to non-technology experts and thus promotes knowledge creation in small and medium-sized companies.

Invitation: EdTech Workshop for Universities on 16 January 2020

Learn more about sproof’s solution for digital certificates and diplomas at this educational technologies workshop!

We cordially invite you to the EdTech workshop hosted by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research aimed at all Austrian universities and third-level institutions:

EdTech initiatives and tools to support tertiary education
Presentation & networking of initiatives, start-ups / spin-offs as well as responsible actors in the university sector
Thursday, 16 January 2020, 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Wasagasse 2, 1010 Wien, room Wellenstein

The workshop language is German.

If you would like to participate, drop an e-mail to info[@]

We look forward to seeing you there!

Summit Industrie 4.0

Meet the sproof team at the Summit Industrie 4.0 on 12 Dec 2019 in Linz

Are you looking for a solution to manage your audit trails? Come meet us together with COPA-DATA at the Summit Industrie 4.0, the yearly conference of the platform industry 4.0 Austria, in Linz! 🏭 🗓️ We are happy to look into your use cases and curious about your feedback 🔍

Summit Industrie 4.0
12 December 2019, 10:30 – 18:30
OÖ Kulturquartier Linz
OK-Platz 1, 4020 Linz

You will find us in the exhibitor area.

Big thanks to ITG – Innovationsservice für Salzburg for supporting us at this event!

Table with 3 reasons why digital certificates require a public blockchain

Three reasons why digital certificates require a public blockchain

When building blockchain-based applications, discussion often comes to the point of whether a public or private blockchain should be used. sproof clearly takes the position for public blockchains for tamper-proof digital certificates and documents. Here is why.

sproof is a research-based company and our decisions are carefully evaluated and scientifically backed. These are the three reasons for using a public blockchain within the sproof network:

ReasonPublic BlockchainPrivate Blockchain
No trusted parties needed😍😢
Tamper-proof timestamping😍😢
Global and public registry😍😢

1. No trusted parties needed for maintaining the blockchain

A public blockchain serves as a decentralized data storage which is distributed over all participating blockchain nodes. These are referred to as “operators” or “miners”. Public blockchains are generally designed to be permission-less, i.e., anyone can act as a user and write data into a public blockchain. This can be done without the need for prior registration at some organization or authority. It is also not necessary to participate as an operator or miner. A so-called “consensus algorithm” allows all nodes to agree on a globally common state.

😎 sproof uses this feature in order to build a platform where anyone (e.g., universities, enterprises, etc.) can join without operating a blockchain themselves and without being dependent on a specific platform operator.

2. Tamper-proof timestamping

Since all nodes agree upon a common state at each point of time, their agreement corresponds to a global timestamping service. Thus, writing data to a public blockchain automatically assigns a timestamp to that data. Cryptographic tools (such as hash functions) and the designs of the blockchain and consensus mechanism, respectively, assure that, in practice, the data cannot be changed later on.

😎 sproof makes use of tamper-proof timestamping for assigning an unforgeable and verifiable timestamp to documents and data without the need for relying on a single, possibly forged, source for timestamping.

3. Global and public registry

The globally agreed-upon common state of data within the blockchain is replicated among all participating nodes. Thus, the data is publicly available and accessible by everyone.

😎 sproof publicly stores references to data, which are needed to verify the authenticity and integrity of documents or data and their issuers in this public registry. The document itself is not published publicly. Verification can then be done by anyone in possession of the original digital document. This verification neither involves sproof nor the issuer and the process is completely decentralized.

Please refer to the peer-reviewed sproof paper for technical details [1].

[1] C. Brunner, F. Knirsch, and D. Engel, “SPROOF: A platform for issuing and verifying documents in a public blockchain,” in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy (ICISSP), Prague, Czech Republic, 2019, pp. 15-25. Read the full paper

Developers: Why it will take you less than 60 minutes to integrate sproof’s digital document signatures in your software application

Integrating a new feature into your existing application in only 60 minutes sounds like wishful thinking to you? Here’s how sproof makes your wish come true:

1. Easy to use API
To issue secure digital documents in your institution or enterprise, all you need to do is as easy as an API call. Integrate sproof into your application easily by using our freely available Docker Container.

“This step took us about 40 minutes”, reports Christoph Winkler, software engineer at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, who recently integrated sproof into the university’s study support system.

2. One single line of code
No blockchain proficiency or cryptographic knowledge is demanded from you!
Apart from the API call, simply paste one single line of code into your website in order to host an iframe for verification. Time required: about 5 minutes. With that iframe, you can verify secure digital documents on your own website. Want to know what that looks like?

3. Detailed open source documentation
Did we make you curious how that all works exactly? Then we have some more good news. Not only IS there a complete documentation of how to integrate sproof into an existing application, but it is also really GOOD and even OPEN SOURCE.  The documentation guides you through the few necessary steps for a quick and easy integration and can be read in 10-15 minutes. So if you are a fast reader, there’ll even be 5 minutes left for a cup of coffee before the hour is over.

That sounds like well-invested 60 minutes to you?
Then let’s get started! 

Dr. Dominik Engel joins the management board of sproof

Dominik Engel: New Chief Research Officer at sproof GmbH

Dr. Dominik Engel, head of the Center for Secure Energy Informatics at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, joins the management board of sproof.

With the renowned IT-security and privacy expert Dominik Engel, sproof gets prominent support from its roots – the academic world. “As a spin-off from the Center for Secure Energy Informatics, we transfer state-of-the-art technology research to the economy. We are thrilled that with Dominik Engel a renowned research leader with experience across academia and industry is joining our management board and fostering our academic ties,” says Clemens Brunner, CEO of sproof.

“sproof is a great example that shows how applied the research at the Center for Secure Energy Informatics is. I am very happy to bring in my expertise into this successful start-up and see our institution benefit from it as one of the first,” Engel says. Since fall 2019 the FH Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, as one of the first universities in Europe, signs and issues documents to students digitally via sproof.

Dominik Engel holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salzburg and a venia docendi in Applied Informatics at the same university. Since 2010, the author of numerous publications is lecturer and researcher at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, where he also heads the Center for Secure Energy Informatics. He was a researcher at the Universities of Bremen and Salzburg and product manager at Sony DADC. His current research interests include methods for enhancing privacy, security and end-user trust.

About sproof

sproof is an Austrian-based startup company co-founded by Clemens Brunner, Fabian Knirsch and Erich Höpoldseder. sproof is supported by the FH Salzburg University of Applied Sciences Startup Center. sproof creates a revolutionary and new kind of digital signature that allows you to issue your certificates digitally and secure.

Erich Höpoldseder, Clemens Brunner and Fabian Knirsch, the founding team of sproof

Starting in fall 2019: FH Salzburg University of Applied Sciences is issuing secure digital certificates via sproof

Starting in fall 2019, documents issued to students during their studies and after graduation are signed digitally by FH Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. These documents are absolutely forgery-proof due to the implementation of sproof.

Thanks to the innovative and decentralized digital signature developed by sproof, graduates can prove at any time that the documents they possess are original and were issued by the FH Salzburg.

By using the verification tool integrated into the website of the FH Salzburg, it is now easy to verify that documents have been issued by this institution. A potential employer can simply drag-and-drop the certificate into the FH website for checking the authenticity.

This story also appeared in other media:

sproof in the News

A recent newspaper article about sproof highlights the demand for a decentralized secure digital document management. The newspaper published by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce further shows the importance of intensive cooperation between the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and starup companies, where sproof is a proud member of the FH Salzburg Startup Center.

Read the full article here (in German)