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Hedera™ Hashgraph Proof-of-Action Microservice

What is the proof-of-action microservice?

The Hedera Proof of Action (HPoA) microservice aims to make it easy for organizations to build a capability to record and subsequently prove the existence of business events using the Hedera Consensus Service.

Examples of these types of recorded events are proof of deletion of personally sensitive data for regulatory compliance, proof of usage of data for a particular purpose for record keeping, or proof of redeeming a coupon for business process automation.

How does the proof-of-action microservice work?

First, an application logs important business events (serialized business objects) into the HPoA microservice at the time they occur. The business logic specifies whether the business event should be stored in open, encrypted, or in the hashed form. The HPoA microservice stores these events in a specific HCS topic, configured for this purpose. Creation of this topic is done as part of initialization.

When the business or third party needs to prove the existence of an event – say for creating a report, for an audit, or in a court of law — it simply invokes another API with either the business object or an identifier to that object, and the HPoA microservice provides a mathematically provable record of that business object being stored on to the public ledger along with the timestamp.

Microservice architecture diagram

First, a business application creates a business object that needs to be recorded for the purposes of compliance, auditability, public verifiability, automation, or other regulatory reasons. The business logic simply calls a /record_action API with a serialized representation of that business object. The following options are available to the business logic:

Storage in the public ledger:

  • Store the object in unencrypted form
  • Store the object in an encrypted form
  • Store just the hash of the object

Storage in a database within the microservice:

  • Option to store the business object in a database within the microservice

When the business application invokes this API, the appropriate data (original object, encrypted object, or a hash) is sent to Hedera Consensus Service using the SDK. If required, the SDK handles fragmentation of messages. The microservice returns the Transaction-ID that the business logic stores for future references.

When the business application wants to prove that a particular event was memorialized on the public DLT, it invokes the prove_action API – either with the original business object, or with the Transction-ID. The HPoA microservice queries a mirror node (mirror nodes are run by Hedera as well as several third parties), and obtains the record of the transaction. It also creates an equivalent representation of the original object (encryption or hashed), and compares it with the representation obtained from the mirror node record. If the two match, it returns a successful response with the business object that was memorialized and appropriate details of the proof from the Hedera’s public ledger. In future, this proof will also contain the state proof obtained from Hedera.

Image of HPoA microservice architecture diagram

Requirements

  • Java 14
  • Docker
  • Docker-compose

Install

setup environment variables

$ cd hedera-proof-of-action-microservice
$ cp .env.sample .env
$ nano .env

Edit the following environment variables

  • HEDERA_OPERATOR_ID – The Account ID on Hedera™ that will pay for the transactions.

  • HEDERA_OPERATOR_KEY – The matching private key for the HEDERA_OPERATOR_ID.

  • HEDERA_NETWORK - The Hedera Network to use: testnet, mainnet or previewnet

  • HEDERA_TOPIC_ID – The topic ID to use for consensus. A new one will be created if not provided.

  • SECRET_KEY – The secret key to use to optionally encrypt messages to Hedera. A new one will be generated if not provided.

  • Note: You may leave secret key blank to have one generated by the system and output in the console *

$ docker-compose up

Usage

Submit an action

An action can be submitted to HCS as a hash, encrypted, or direct ( direct is the default).

An optional, client-generated, non-unique clientId can be submitted and later used to lookup actions.

POST /v1/action/
content-type: application/json

{
    "payload": "anything goes here",
    "submit": "hash"
}
202 Accepted
content-length: 49
content-type: application/json

{
    "transactionId": "0.0.1035@1587742118.141000000"
}

INVALID_TRANSACTION_START errors

In some instances, the clock inside the docker proof of action container drifts, resulting in an error similar to failed pre-check with the status INVALID_TRANSACTION_START

running the command below will re-synchronise the clock in the container (no need to restart it)

docker run --rm --privileged hedera-proof-of-action-microservice_poa hwclock -s

Prove an action

An action can be proven by requesting by the original payload, the returned transaction ID, or a client-generated ID.

GET /v1/action/?payload=anything%20goes%20here
GET /v1/action/?transactionId=0.0.1035@1587742118.141000000
200 OK
content-length: 235
content-type: application/json

[
    {
        "consensusTimestamp": "2020-04-24T15:28:48.595593Z",
        "runningHash": "2dc9abcfea672d0d6047504dada83e4540f3a28601af7b6e9eaaf071e570b3624d5f22d7d0caa7944e00ee6fb11f9392",
        "sequenceNumber": 19,
        "transactionId": "0.0.1035@1587742118.141000000"
    }
]

Contributing to this Project

We welcome participation from all developers! For instructions on how to contribute to this repo, please review the Contributing Guide.

License Information

Licensed under Apache License, Version 2.0 – see LICENSE in this repo or apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.

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