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How can I prove the image is taken at this time, this place, and by this person?

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How can I prove the image is taken at this time, this place, and by this person?

Every day, we encounter numerous images, many of which contain false information or fake news, leading to skepticism and conspiracy theories. The spread of fake news has contributed to political polarization and made it harder to make informed decisions. Fact-checking can help, but has limitations, as AI makes creating fake content easier. The question is, how can we accurately preserve history in a world where seeing is no longer believing and fact-checking is limited? Can technology provide a solution through verifiable digital images?

The internet is full of images that serve the role of enriching our browsing experience. Images entertain and inform, however, the past decade has taught us that images can also mislead. Images used out of context are dangerous. It inhibits our ability to make informed decisions and creates suspicion and distrust. Fact checking has been necessary, however can be tainted by bias and other limitations. The emergence of generative AI poses additional challenges as creating fake images has become easier. With the current landscape of images on the web, how can we accurately preserve history when seeing is no longer believing? Is there anything being done to address these pressing issues?

Numbers Protocol has introduced Capture Cam, an ecosystem application that can produce traceable and verifiable images. Capture Cam compiles the learnings and standards from projects such as C2PA and Starling Labs as well as Numbers Protocol digital asset traceability framework to create a wholly unique Web3 camera app. The technology behind Capture Cam has been at the center of prominent digital trust use cases from industry leaders such as Reuters and Rolling Stones. The aim of the Capture Cam is to provide answers to questions about image verification in a world where seeing is no longer believing.

Capture Cam is supported by both Android and iOS and is free to download and use:

Generate Proof as You Shoot and Restore Truth to Image

Capture Cam is easy to use. When you take a picture or shoot a video, Capture will extract not only time, date, and location (with your permission) as well as any other data captured by your device's environmental sensors.. A unique “Nid” is generated for the image and registered on a blockchain. The Nid is a 59-character string that is cryptographically generated and serves to distinguish the vast ecosystem of digital assets within the network. The use of Nid ensures that all content files within the network can be easily identified, tracked and verified. 

In addition, analogous to how LinkedIn can generate a user’s CV file, Capture Cam will automatically generate a digital asset “CV” for the image, which contains all the information about the image. By opening this CV and checking the access, the user can quickly trace the origin of the image. With Capture Cam, images are able to represent themselves and stand alone to reveal the truth Everyday image creators as well as professionals benefit from Capture’s traceable and verifiable images as it provides creators a means of addressing out of context use and infringement in a meaningful and tangible way.  

Capture’s Functions

Basic functions for picture and video taking:

  • Shutter button: clicking the shutter button takes a picture; holding it shoots a video.
  • Camera functions: other camera functions are zooming, switching between front and rear camera, toggling blitz, and reducing image quality according to need (using the HD button).
  • Basic editing functions: the app supports only basic cropping and a black-and-white filter, as part of ensuring authenticity.

Information page and share functions:

  • Information page: After capturing an image, it is immediately registered on the blockchain and saved to the IPFS distributed storage. The information page can be viewed by clicking on the image and displays the location, date and time, Nid (IPFS ID), Hash, format, creator, and signature.
  • Share functions: The "Share" button at the top of the information page allows the user to view complete blockchain information, copy the IPFS address, or share a direct link to the asset file.
  • Other actions: By clicking the "More" menu at the top of the information page, the user can edit the image description, unpublished on the platform, remove the asset*, or click "Network Actions" to mint an NFT or create decentralized archive.*Note: "Remove asset" will remove the information page from the device and Numbers online database. However, the information on IPFS cannot be removed and can still be accessed with the Nid through IPFS link.

Numbers Asset Page

The Numbers Asset Page can be reached either by clicking the “inspect blockchain information” or by clicking the Nid on the information page. On the Asset Page, the user can view all information related to the image assets, such as its Nid, creator, and created time. If an NFT has been minted for the image, minting information is also recorded here, as is the license usage standard.

How to Verify the On-chain Proof for Time and Location

To verify the information recorded on-chain after capturing an image using the Capture Cam, you can check the Nid, generator, time, location, and other relevant information directly on the Asset Page. Additionally, you can click the "Transaction" in the Commits tab to verify all on-chain information via the Asset Page.

Click the link from "Transaction" to verify the "time" information on-chain

The cid(Nid) of the metadata can be found in the "data" section, which can be opened through IPFS to verify the original shooting location and device information

Images are stored on IPFS and can be accessed directly through Nid

If the Nid of a digital asset is obtained, in addition to accessing the decentralized image on IPFS, you can also directly use the Nid to query all the information on the chain through the Numbers Search Engine (

Restoring the Trust and Value of Digital Content

In the era of Web 2.0, centralized data storage creates a single point of failure. The crash at Facebook/Meta in October 2021 caused most of its services to go down for nearly 12 hours, highlighting people's dependence on technology and the vulnerability of centralized data storage. Web 3.0 and decentralized applications will address these issues. As a decentralized image network, Numbers Protocol users have ownership and control over their images, and they have the freedom to choose what content they want to see without the risk of their digital assets being lost due to a single point of failure. Capture Cam, with its user-friendly interface and functions for taking pictures and videos, acts as an entry point for the general public to experience Web3.

Numbers Protocol promotes the "purity" of digital content. By developing our protocol and distributing the Capture Cam and related APIs, we aim to restore the complete picture of information, recover its objective and truthful nature, and eliminate the barrier between people and authentic information. We believe that only with transparency and openness can we revive critical thinking and sustain democratic society, leading to the creation of an open and transparent online world as envisioned at Numbers.

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