This document describes the Notary (NRY) specification, which provides an irrefutable history of a specific “contract” (e.g. an invoice and it’s status lifecycle), pegged to a blockchain distributed ledger. This service supports dispute resolution and provides the foundation platform for financial services such as debtor financing. Notarisation also makes it possible for the business system to audit the reliability of any TAP Gateway that it uses.


Facilitate features in the TAP protocol that:

  • Prevent post-hoc “Fraud of Commission” (retrospective creation of false document history).
  • Prevent post-hoc “Fraud of Omission” (surreptitious destruction of legitimate document history).

Balance information security with utility:

  • Sufficient public data for transaction stakeholders to independently verify integrity of shared-secret documents.
  • Information from private documents is not leaked into the public domain, even in a future where tools exist to overcome contemporary cryptographic methods.
  • Ensure notarised object sources are identified (to a known and meaningful level of identity assurance), but do not leak information about subjects that could be used to analyse communication or transaction traffic.
  • Publically auditable (transparent), to enable notary reputation to be based on independent performance evaluation using transparent, non-repudiable and objective data. In addition to the relevant data being open, the cost of monitoring and verifying the activities of a notary must not be prohibitive.

Sustainable and secure infrastructure:

  • Socially responsible, blockchain-efficient public storage of existence proofs. This means low externalised community cost (impact on the shared ledger) even if a very large number of objects are notarised in a given time frame.
  • Leverage the strongest consensus product available (maximise resistance to Sybl attacks).
  • Leverage the most efficient proof market available (minimise cost of proof at the given consensus-strength).
  • Avoid single point of failure in the network that stores and distributes existence proof.

These are achieved by:

  • Notarising all objects (in a timeframe) into a proscribed Merkle-DAG data structure that is pegged to the Blockchain with a single record, which references a minimal signed proof document that can be verified before accessing a significant data volumes.
  • Distributing the pegged Merkle-DAG proof structure with a decentralised, content-addressable memory system (modelled on and compatible with the Inter Planetary File System, IPFS).
  • Avoid proprietary blockchains. Adopt the largest public blockchain with the highest market capitalisation (BitCoin), thereby sourcing work-proof from an open market of commodity mining services and multiple open source softwares implementations.


This spec is an early draft for consultation.

This specification aims to support the Australian Digital Business Council eInvoicing initiative, and is under active development at

Comments and feedback are encouraged and welcome. Pull requests with improvements are welcome too.


Phrase Definition
ausdigital-nry/1 This specification.
ausdigital-dcl/1 Version 1 of the AusDigital Digital Capability Lookup (DCL) specification
ausdigital-dcp/1 Version 1 of the AusDigital Digital Capability Provider (DCP) specification
ausdigital-idp/1 Version 1 of the AusDigital Identity Provider (IDP) specification.
ausdigital-tap/1 Version 1 of the AusDigital Transaction Access Point(TAP) specification.

This service depends on ausdigital-dcl/1, ausdigital-dcp/1 and ausdigital-idp/1.

The ausdigital-tap specification depends on this document. Note, while this specification describes a generic notary interface, the TAP specification provides further restriction on the use of the notary.

TODO: add all used terms here

  • content-address - some address/individual identification token, which depends only on item (file) content and uniquely identifies this item
  • Merkle-DAG - tree-like data structure, where top node refers its children by their content-address
  • IPFS - InterPlanetary File System - infrastucture to store item with their SHA-256 hashes as top-level content address. If item is a directory then it may contain subdirectories and files with their readable names, but referencing is being performing by content-address anyway.
  • QmHash, Ipfs Hash - 46-characters value starting with Qm, representing the SHA-256 sum of the given item (where item is a file, directory structure or block). Source SHA-256 value encoded by (TODO: what does it called, hash to QmStuff?)
  • Notary Archive, HOC Archive - directory-like structure with proof.json and proof.sig files
  • HOC Header - file/json structure, referenced from proof.json file in HOC Archive by its content-address
  • HOC Detail - file/json structure, referenced either from the HOC Header or another HOC Detail (in case of nested HOC Details).


Copyright (c) 2016 the Editor and Contributors. All rights reserved.

This Specification is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This Specification is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, see

Change Process

This document is governed by the 2/COSS (COSS).


The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Application Programming Interface

The notary MUST provide a REST API, which can be used for two purposes:

  • POST methods that task the notary with notarising a digital record (this may or may not involve storing the object in the notary’s archive).
  • GET methods that access notarised data from the notary’s archive (this may or may not require authentication, and may or may not be subject to content-based access control rules)

Current API format is described using for unification.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the notary API does not generally furnish any PUT, PATCH or DELETE methods. Notary records are immutable until disposal, which is scheduled at the time of notarisation.

Notary records are additive; the only way to change the parameters of notarisation is to make a subsequent notarisation request with different parameters (the notary will meet obligations of both requests).

The notary API is comprised of two REST/JSON resources, /public/ and /private/. These work in similar ways, but have different access control rules. Separate endpoints are used (rather than a parameter) to minimise risk of accidentally publishing private objects (“poka-yolk” principle).

Implementations MAY allow users to restrict client access to one or the other endpoint on a per-JWT Token basis.

Verb /public/* /private/*
GET no token required token + ACL
POST token + ACL token + ACL
PUT generally not available generally not available
PATCH generally not available generally not available
DELETE generally not available generally not available

The Notary API is a REST/JSON protocol, layered on HTTP. Implementations:

  • MUST use HTTPS (RFC2818).
  • MUST use Content-Type: multipart/form-data (RFC2388)
  • MUST NOT use Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencode (RFC1876 is NOT supported)
  • MAY explicitly declare Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
  • MUST NOT rely on notary semantic information in HTTP headers

POST object to Notary

The POST verb is used to request notarisation. The posted body encoded as multipart/form-data and contains two parts, object and parameters. Optionally object content-type and filename may be provided, which is helpful for downloading objects from notarizer.

Posting an object to the /public/ or /private/ notary resource causes the notary business to incur cost and obligation. The notary may refuse, or may agree under commercial terms. For this reason, POST requests always must be authenticated with a JWT header issued under the ausdigital-idp/1 specification.

Assuming the current working directory contains the object (as and parameters (as param.json), the following curl command will post the message to the notary endpoint:

curl -X POST \
 -H "Content-Type: multipart/form-data" \
 -H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
 -F "" \
 -F "parameters=@param.json" \

(Replace with HTTPS URL discovered from the Digital Capability Publisher of the business providing the Notary Service, and replace with the JWT issued by the `ausdigital-idp/1` Identity Provider).

The protocol places no physical restriction on the POSTed to the notary API, however there may be some practical limits from the underlying HTTP infrastructure. For example, there may be some limit to the maximum file size than can be reliably POSTed. Please consult implementation-specific limits of the target notarizer installation.

The param.json file:

  • MUST be a JSON file that is valid per nry_post_param.schema JSON schema.
  • MUST contain a durability attribute that is an ISO 8601 formatted datetime string with timezone
  • The durability date MUST be not less than one month in the future
  • MUST contain a network attribute that is a valid business identifier URN per ausdigital-dcp/1 specification.
  • MUST contain an ac_code attribute, that is a non-negative integer for the given specification.
  • If the network value is a business identifier of the notary itself, then the ac_code MUST be interpreted per ausdigital-nry/1.
  • If the network value is not a business identifier of the notary:
    • the ac_code MAY be interpreted as ac_code = 3.
    • the notary MAY silently fail to store the notarised object.
    • the Notary API resource must be /private/ (alternate networks MUST NOT be used with the /public/ resource).
  • For given ac_code object private or public namespace must be equal to described in ac_code table in “HOC Header” section.

For ac_code == 0 (public document, public hoc_details):

  • restrict_list parameter MUST NOT be provided (because it’s pointless)

For ac_code != 0:

  • restrict_list parameter is required
  • restrict_list contains list of participant identifiers (which MAY be empty)
  • user MAY include himself to restrict_list to be able to access this document

For ac_code == 1 or 3 (private document):

  • ac_code != 0 rules applied
  • restrict_list MUST be provided
  • restrict_list participants can access this notarized document

For ac_code == 2 or 3 (private HocDetil):

  • ac_code != 0 rules applied
  • restrict_list MUST be provided
  • restrict_list contains list of participant identifiers which can access this HocDetail
  • HocDetail final restrict_list consists of all participant identifiers from all restrict_list from all documents and nested HocDetails.
  • if HocDetail is private and notarized document is public then document restrict_list used only to limit HocDetail access, notarized document is still public and can be accessed by anyone without any authentication.

Note: if object is private and restrict_list is empty (even document owner not included) then even initial document sender can’t access this document, which makes it useful for some circumstances. Implementations MAY issue warning in this case. Initial user MAY post document again with different restricted_list or make it available elsewhere.

When the notary receives a valid notarisation request, if it doesn’t refuse the request and doesn’t experience technical difficulties, then it MUST:

  • place notarised object in a system of record (unless the param.json network value is not a business identifier of the notary, in which case the notary MAY place the notarised object in a system of record)
  • reference API Spec (return HTTP 201 CREATED response code, headers, etc)
  • return HTTP body that is JSON document that is valid per nry_post_response.schema JSON schema.
  • The body must contain a doc_id attribute containing a verifiable content-address of the notarised object, using a hash and encoding scheme that is a valid IPFS address.

When the notary receives an invalid notarisation request, or if it receives a valid request that it choses to refuse, or if it experiences technical difficulties, then it:

  • MUST return an appropriate HTTP response code (4xx or 5xx, see swagger specification)
  • The body MUST NOT contain a doc_id attribute
  • The body MUST contain error response
  • extra error information may be provided in the response

The doc_id returned in the body of successful POSTs (HTTP code 201 responses) is a valid content identifier. This doc_id is subsequently used as notarised object identifier in blockchain Gazettal. It is also the doc_id used in GET /public/{doc_id}/ and GET /private/{doc_id}/ API calls. Specific doc_id attribute position on the response specified by protocol.

Search Notary Archives

There are two search interfaces:

  • GET /public/?{filter}
  • GET /private/?{filter}

Both return a list of doc_ids that match the {filter}.

  • The GET /private/?{filter} form MUST use an JWT Token issued by an ausdigital-idp/1 Identity Provider.
  • The GET /public/?{filter} form MAY use an JWT Token.

The filter may include the following parameters:

  • restrict_list=<STR>, where is a comma separated list of URN business identifiers per `ausdigital-dcp/1` If not supplied the business identifier claim in the JWT Token JWT is used (meaning "restrict to message I am authorised to see")
  • submitted_after=<STR>, where is an ISO 8601 datetime. Only objects after this datetime will be returned.
  • submitted_before=<STR>

restrict_list filter parameter is optional and:

  • applicable only to private objects
  • not applicable to public objects (ignored)
  • contains comma-separated list of 1 or more elements
  • applied to businesses in the restrict_list POST parameter of the objects
  • where multiple URNs are provided, they are combined with logical AND.

Access Notarised Objects

If the durability datetime of the notarise object is now or in the future:

  • Any doc_id listed in the response from a GET /public/?{filter} query MUST be available with GET /public/{doc_id}/
  • Any doc_id listed in the response from a GET /private/?{filter} query MUST be available with GET /private/{doc_id}/, if the same JWT Token is used for both queries.
  • The notarised object MAY also be available via IPFS using the ipfs standalone client or any http-ipfs gateway.

If the durability datetime of the notarised object is in the past:

  • Any doc_id listed in the response from a GET /public/?{filter} query MAY be available with GET /public/{doc_id}/, or it MAY return an HTTP 404 response.
  • Any doc_id listed in the response from a GET /private/?{filter} query MAY be available with GET /private/{doc_id}/ (if the same JWT Token is used for both queries), or it MAY return an HTTP 404 response.
  • The notarised object MAY also be available via IPFS using the ipfs standalone client or any http-ipfs gateway.

Blockchain Gazettal

Periodically, the Notary:

  • Generates a Multi-Part Hosting Obligation Contract (Full HOC) describing archived records
  • Makes timely public commitment to store and publish archived objects under the terms of the HOC

The Full HOC is a four layer Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) comprised of JSON files, where each layer references the lower layer by cryptographic hash of its contents, making it a “Merkle-DAG” structure.

Each document in this Merkle-DAG has a specific purpose. Some parts of the structure are always public (first two layers, HOC Proof and HOC Header). Other parts may or may not be public depending on the application (HOC Detail and Notarised Object).

ERD of Merkle-DAG

The public parts of the HOC are published in a directory-like structure with a content-address in its path. Two parts have fixed names (proof.json and proof.sig), while all the other parts names are consistent with their content-addresses (meaning the file name is equivalent to the IPFS address of the file contents).

Content-addressing is consistent with the IPFS content-addresses format, for example QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2. Content addresses may refer to individual files or directory-like collections of files (and subdirectories, recursively).

The following examples assume that this address is the address of the directory-like structure that has been gazetted in the blockchain:

  • /ipfs/QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2

HOC Proof

The HOC Proof is used to validate the Full HOC prior to potentially intensive computation or network activity.

To ensure efficient auditability of notaries, an independent observer should be able to parse the blockchain and extract OP_RETURN transactions that look like IPFS addresses. For each IPFS address-like record found, the observer should be able to ignore invalid HOCs cheaply. The purpose of the HOC Proof is to provide a compact and verifiable reference to the hoc_head document (which may be less compact).

  • The Gazetted address MUST contain a HOC Proof, comprised of two files, proof.json and proof.sig.
  • proof.json MUST be valid per the proof.schema JSON schema specification.
  • proof.json MUST contain a PROTOCOL attribute, which identifies the protocol for processing the Merkle-DAG. The value of the PROTOCOL attribute MUST be ausdigital-nry/1.0.
  • proof.json MUST contain a SIG_DATE attribute containing an ISO 8601 formatted date and time string identifying when the notary notionally created the proof.sig
  • proof.json MUST contain a NOTARY attribute, which references the business identifier of the notary in URN format consistent with AusDigital DCL and DCP specifications.
  • proof.json MUST contain a pub_key attribute, which contains a public key (TODO: what format? how encoded? gpg2 armor format?)
  • The public key in the pub_key attribute of proof.json MUST be published in the DCP entry of the NOTARY business, as a valid (not revoked) key on SIG_DATE
  • proof.sig MUST be a valid signature of proof.json, using the public key identified in proof.json
  • proof.json MUST contain a durability attribute, the value of which is an ISO 8601 formatted date string.
  • The durability date MUST be later than SIG_DATE by no less than one month.
  • The NOTARY MUST commit their reputation to the availability of the HOC until the durability date.
  • proof.json MUST contain a hoc_head attribute with a value that is a valid content-address hash.

Validating HOC Proof

The first step in validating the Merkle-Dag is to check that the proof.json exists and is no larger than MAX_SIZE.

For example, assuming the blockchain contains /ipfs/QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2, the validation begins with:

  • test for the existence of /ipfs/QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2/proof.json
  • if the proof.json is larger than MAX_SIZE, it is not valid. There is no need to download more than MAX_SIZE + 1 byte in this step; technically it requires just several hundreds of bytes to get file size.
  • test for the existence of /ipfs/QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2/proof.sig
  • if the proof.sig is larger than MAX_SIZE, it is not valid. There is no need to download more than MAX_SIZE + 1 byte in this step.

If proof.json and proof.sig both exist and neither exceed MAX_SIZE, the next step is to ensure that proof.json validates agains the json schema. Assuming proof.json and proof.schema are both in the current working directory, the jsonschema program could be used like this:

jsonschema -i proof.json proof.schema

If the schema is valid, it will have a NOTARY element containing the business identifier of the party responsible for notarisation. The value of this attribute is a business identifier which can be resolved via the AusDigital Digital Capability Lookup, which will yield an AusDigital Digital Capability Provider where the public keys of that organisation can be discovered.


  • Multiple public keys may be associated with a business in the DCP register
  • The value of the pub_key attribute in proof.json MUST be listed in the DCP entry for the NOTARY
  • The DCP listing of the pub_key signature MUST NOT have a PUBLISHED date later than the SIG_DATE attribute in proof.json
  • If the pub_key is revoked in the DCP entry for the NOTARY, it MUST NOT be revoked before the value of SIG_DATE attribute in proof.json

If, using NOTARY identifier and the DCL/DCP mechanism, the pub_key can not be shown to be valid (non-revoked) public key of the notary on SIG_DATE, then proof.json is not valid.

If the public key is valid (and saved as notary_pub.key), you may import it to the GnuPG program like this:

gpg2 --import notary_pub.key

If the public key is valid, the next step is to confirm that proof.sig is in fact a digital signature of proof.json which was made with the private key corresponding to the pub_key attribute of proof.json.

Assuming you have imported the verified valid key into the GnuPG program, and have proof.json and proof.sig in your present working directory, you can confirm the signature like this:

gpg2 --verify proof.sig proof.json

After verifying proof.json with proof.sig, it is safe to process the HOC Header.

HOC Header

The HOC Header is processed after the HOC Proof has been validated. It is essentially an arbitrarily long list of references to HOC Detail records. It also contains metadata about access and availability of HOC Detail records.

  • The HOC Archive proof.json file MUST contain reference to (content-address of) single HOC Header
  • the HOC Header MUST be available by /private/{content_hash} or /public/{content_hash} endpoint
  • The contents of the hoc_head file MUST be json that is valid per hoc_head.schema JSON schema
  • hoc_head MUST contain a list of one or more elements.
  • Each element in hoc_head list MUST contain a hoc_detail attribute, which is a valid content-address of a json file.
  • Each element in hoc_head list MUST contain a durability attribute.
  • The value of durability attribute MUST be an ISO 8601 formatted string describing the date and time with timezone until which the HOC Detail is promised available.
  • Each element in hoc_head list MUST contain a network attribute.
  • The value of network attribute MUST be a valid business identifier URN per the DCP and DCL specifications.
  • Each element in hoc_head list MUST contain an ac_code attribute.
  • The HOC Header MUST be available directly with its content-address (e.g. /ipfs/Qmcov9Bx5SiAT281UmCQUCyGUKU2VFYYSK31XqXq8S8edu).
  • The HOC Header MAY be published with its content-address as its name within the directory-like collection that was gazetted to the blockchain (e.g. /ipfs/QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2/Qmcov9Bx5SiAT281UmCQUCyGUKU2VFYYSK31XqXq8S8edu).

IPFS note: if you follow last item (publish HOC Header indirectly, as a part of the HOC Archive) then previous one (direct accessibility) will be fulfilled automatically.

The ac_code partially defines the protocol for accessing the record referenced in the hoc_detail attribute. The meaning of the ac_code is dependent on the network. In other words, the ac_code is interpreted in the context of the network.

Because the network is a business identifier URN, the ac_code interpretation context can be determined by DCP query.

If the network is the URN of the notary, the DCP lookup of RECORD_ACCESS_PROTOCOL MUST return ausdigital-nry/1 or higher version. Otherwise they can be anything (including undefined).

If the DCP document type / process type of the hoc_header list item’s network is ausdigital-nry/1, then the allowable value of ac_code are:

Access Protocol ac_code HOC Detail Notarised Object Comment
ausdigital-nry/1 0 Public Public Transparently auditable open data (e.g. public HOC documents).
ausdigital-nry/1 1 Public Private Independently auditable secret data (e.g. business transaction records, such as eInvoices).
ausdigital-nry/1 2 Private Public Plausibly deniable open data (that can be subsequently rendered transparently auditable by publishing the HOC Detail).
ausdigital-nry/1 3 Private Private Privately auditable secret data (e.g. Corporate records).
[other] [any] [either] [either] If Access Protocol is not ausdital-nry/1 (or later), arbitrary (locally meaningful) ac_code may be used.

Validating HOC Header

note: this can be cached: when processing a HOC Header, the value of DCP lookups MAY be assumed not to change between hoc_header list items.

For each hoc_header list item:

  • If the network is not equal to the proof.json NOTARY, and if DCP lookup of RECORD_ACCESS_PROTOCOL for the network does not resolve to ausdigital-nry/1, then this specification does not describe how to validate that hoc_detail record. Refer to the appropriate protocol specification for interpretation of ac_code values in that context. Do not proceed with validating the listed HOC Header or any HOC Details it seems to refer to (even if the syntax seems identicaly compatabled with ausdigital-nry/1 protocol).

If the network is equal to the proof.json NOTARY, or if the DCL lookup of RECORD_ACCESS_PROTOCOL for the network resolves to ausdigital-nry/1, then apply the following validation rules:

If ac_code is 0 or 1:

  • If the hoc_header item durability is a future date, the content-address of the hoc_detail object MUST be directly available (for example /ipfs/Qmcov9Bx5SiAT281UmCQUCyGUKU2VFYYSK31XqXq8S8edu
  • If the hoc_header item durability is a future date, and the proof.json durability is also a future date, the content address MAY be available within the directory-like container of the Full HOC (for example /ipfs/QmS5EogHn2MtSBsQ4wXFEPeiA1zWPfaEbumWEJJNsUWuW2/Qmcov9Bx5SiAT281UmCQUCyGUKU2VFYYSK31XqXq8S8edu)

If ac_code is 2 or 3:

  • If the hoc_header item durability is a future date, and the JWT Token has valid identity claim, the content-address MAY be available via the notary API (GET /private/{content_address}).
  • If the hoc_header item durability is a future date, and the JWT Token has valid identity claim, and the JWT Token identity claim matches the proof.json NOTARY, the content-address MUST be available via the notary API (GET /private/{content_address}/). To the business identity of the network, the content-address MUST be available via the notary API (GET /private/{content_address}).

When notarised objects are submitted to the notary API with ac_code referring to private objects (see table) (e.g. ac_code > 0), the restrict_list parameter contains a list of business identifiers permitted to access the object. This restrict_list lists the business identifiers of all parties with rights to access the record.

restrict_list only applies to private objects (see ac_code table above, items where HocDetail or notarized document is private).

For any object:

  • item MUST be available as /public|private/{content_address} before durability date
  • item MAY be available as /public|private/{content_address} after durability date

If object is private:

  • item MUST be available only to client with valid JWT token with valid identity claim and this identity claim can be found in target object restrict_list
  • item MUST NOT be available for any other client (but other item with different restrictions but same doc_id may be available in its place)
  • item MUST NOT be available as /public/{content_address}/ for any other user
  • item MUST NOT be published to public IPFS or any other network by this notarizer (3rd party still can do it if it has access to it)

TODO: cross reference API spec (request notarisation on the API)

TODO: ensure API spec includes ac_code parameter (validate if /private/ ac_code in (2,3), if /public/ ac_code in (0,1), if ac_code==0 restrict_list empty (no restrictions), if ac_code!=0 restrict_list must not be empty).

Notary Reputation

Once a proof.json has been validated, the availability (or otherwise) of the HOC Header, within the timeframe of proof.json durability, this MAY be considered to impact the objective reputation of the Notary.

The availability or otherwise of HOC Headers may or may not be directly related to the objective global reputation of the Notary.

  • If the is a URN of the same business as the proof.json NOTARY, and if the RECORD_ACCESS_PROTOCOL of that business (DCP lookup) is not ausdigital-nry/1 (or later version), then the notary has absconded their responsibility. This MAY have a strongly negative impact on the reputation of the notary.
  • If the is a URN of a different business as the proof.json NOTARY, the availability or otherwise of hoc_detail (and notarised objects) MUST NOT be interpreted as impacting the reputation of either business.
  • The durability date/time represents the limit of promised availability of the notarised object.
  • If the hoc_detail network is the same business as NOTARY, that means the Notary is taking responsibility for the promise of availability. Failure to meet terms of ac_code and durability will detrimentally impact the reputation of the Notary.

If the identifies a business other than the proof.json NOTARY, the durability and ac_code represent claims (by the notary) about promises made by another business. The reason these MUST NOT be interpreted as impacting the objective reputation of either party is that it is impossible to distinguish false claims from true claims and broken promises.

In addition to global objective notary reputation (which can be based on transparently auditable open data), organisations with privileged access to the notary API (through RESTRICTION_LIST privileges to ac_code “1”, “2” and “3” notarised objects and ac_code “2” and “3” hoc_detail records) may produce private objective reputation scores.

HOC Detail

The HOC Detail is a JSON document of arbitrary size, referenced by its content-address in the HOC Header list or from another HOC Detail.

  • The HOC Detail MUST inherit ac_code and network attributes from the reference to this HOC Detail
  • The HOC Detail MUST contain a list of one or more elements.
  • The HOC Detail MUST be validated against the hoc_detail.schema JSON schema.

The elements in any given HOC Detail inherit an ac_code and network from this HOC Detail, and HOC Detail receives these values from reference to it (from HOC Header for top-level HOC Detail or from parent HOC Detail for nested). Every element in the HOC Detail list MUST reference either individual notarized document OR nested HOC Detail.

In any case, HOC Detail row:

  • MUST contain a durability attribute, which contains an ISO 8601 formatted date string.
  • The durability date MUST NOT be less than one month ahead of the proof.json SIG_DATE attribute.
  • The durability date MUST NOT be more than the corresponding hoc_header durability date.

If reference to a notarized object, HOC Detail row: * MUST contain an object attribute, which contains a content-address of some notarised object. * MUST assume that given object inherits network and ac_code from this HOC Detail

If reference to a nested HOC Detail, referencing HOC Detail row:

  • MUST contain hoc_detail attribute with valid content-hash of referenced HOC Detail
  • MUST assume that referenced HOC Detail receives the same ac_code and network as this referencing HOC Detail
  • MAY ommit ac_code and network parameters (because they are equal to top-level).
  • client MAY recursive follow referenced HOC Detail if client interested in data in it (and have access)

HOC Detail restrict_list:

  • MUST not affect it’s availability if HOC Detail is public
  • MUST limit access if HOC Detail is private
  • MUST contain any item from any referenced element (either netsted HOC Detail or notarized object)

Example of HOC Detail, which references objects and nested Hoc Details:

      "object": "QmNotarizedObject001ContentAddress",
      "durability": "2018-03-10T00:00:00+00:00"
      "object": "QmAnotherNotarizedObjectContentAddress",
      "durability": "2018-03-10T00:00:00+00:00"
    "hoc_detail": "QmNestedHocHeaderContentAddress",
    "durability": "2019-03-10T00:00:00+00:00"

If given HOC Detail example is referenced with ac_code = X and network = "urn:XXXX" then any item here (QmNotarizedObject001ContentAddress, QmAnotherNotarizedObjectContentAddress, QmNestedHocHeaderContentAddress) inherit it. See real-world examples from for more information.

If the ac_code says that notarized object public then notarized object MUST be available as /public/{content_address} If the ac_code says that notarized object private then notarized object MUST be available as /private/{content_address} to capable users (see “Validating HOC Header” section for details about private/public objects). Same is applicable for HocDetail object.

# Related Material