Timestamps for Transparent Commerce

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In this video, we explore why timestamping your terms and conditions on a blockchain is a best-practice, and what benefits come from timestamping your products, services, information and legal documents.

Buying a fridge, without timestamp in place

Imagine yourself buying a fridge online. That fridge has product information, a warranty period AND you agree to the terms and conditions that apply at the moment of buying. 

Now imagine the fridge breaks in the warranty period. More specifically: one of the four shelfs breaks. 

The terms and conditions of companies change all the time. But product terms can change too. You reach out to the online store and get the reply: “Sorry, this fridge doesn’t come with 4 shelves, it comes with 3 shelves, as you can see on the product page. So, we can’t send you a new shelf, sorry”. 

Even though the fault occured in the warranty period and the product page said four shelves instead of three at the moment of purchase, I can’t prove what terms I agreed with when I bought the fridge.

How would this work if timestamps were in place? 

You order a fridge. With the order comes a copy of the product information, a copy of the terms and conditions, and a link to the timestamps of that information in the blockchain. 

With this, the consumer can prove what the terms were at the moment of the purchase. Now, in disputes that have to do with integrity of information, the consumer has a strong case, without relying on the willingness of the seller. 

The opposite is true as well: consumers can’t commit fraud with order information anymore. In a matter of seconds, merchants can prove what the terms were at the moment of the purchase. 

Before, bringing integrity to product information and terms and conditions was too expensive. With timestamping it’s both easy and cheap. Offering this transparency is a great way to gain a competitive advantage while at the same time reducing disputes and making support easier. 

Of course these benefits do not only apply to e-commerce. If you focus on commerce, whether it be services or products, timestamping matters! Make sure to timestamp at least your terms and conditions!