Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Photo-timestamp arrives!

Photo-timestamp arrives. The vendor is Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) using technology from Image Fortress.
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, the world's leading independent coin certification and grading service, has selected Image Fortress Corporation's DigitalFortress digital archiving service as the platform for NGC's online coin catalog, the first online photographic catalog of certified and graded collectible coins. DigitalFortress service was selected by NGC because of DigitalFortress' unique ability to provide trustworthy archiving of all digital files, which insures files archived within DigitalFortress are unalterable and tamper-proof.

One of the significant innovations introduced by NGC in their online catalog is the application of the DigitalFortress feature that digitally seals and time stamps every archived file, in this case the photographs of all coins being graded by NGC.
The press release goes on to say that over one million coin photos have already been made tamper-proof by DigitalFortress. NGC will let normal users start slabbing ancients on January 1st. I don't know the price; NGC is charging $16 for US non-gold coins worth under $300 and $125 for US coins valued below $100,000.

I still believe the cheap (<10 cents per coin) photo-only service that I proposed in my Celator editorial, without grading or slabbing, is economically viable.

More vendors are entering the timestamp market outside numismatics. A recent editorial by Jonathan Baily, “Is Copyright Non-Repudiation Worthwhile”, says several new non-repudiation vendors recently opened web sites.

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