They will use blockchain technology to protect the historical memory of Uruguay


The use of technology  blockchain  to protect the historical evidence of thousands of documents related to the  resistance  to the uruguayan dictatorship (1973-1985) has become the latest step in a project that seeks to release information and challenge denialist voices.


Although  blockchain  is closely linked to the world of  cryptocurrencies , its ability to offer secure and decentralized storage of data has led to its use in a wide range of processes. This time the technology  blockchain  has proven useful even for the field of history.


Protecting historical memory through technology  blockchain

In  Uruguay, where it has already been used  blockchain  in the traceability of cannabis production,  the idea arose to apply this technology to preserve the memory of the darkest period of its recent history.


The initiative called  Memory Sites Uruguay  It was launched in 2019. Its objective was to collect information on the places where the victims of the dictatorship were detained. However, over time, the project expanded and uncovered a set of documents that had been produced clandestinely and had not been published.


Rodrigo Barbano, project coordinator, explains that many of these documents have been lost due to destruction. In addition, the difficult conditions in which they were filed have had an influence. In order to preserve these documents, which include press clippings, bulletins, flyers and posters generated by the popular movement during the resistance to the regime, a digitization process has been carried out on the Internet.


So far, around 3,000 documents have been uploaded to the project website, which through  blockchain  they seek to bring historical authenticity to this tragic period. But there's still a lot to do.


The main difficulty facing the project is the dispersion of documents. As well as the impossibility of accessing a part of them that is still in military archives.


"We have a lot of material pending digitization because we are an organization of militants, we did not receive funding (...) We were managing to put together a small physical file with the pending materials, which are several thousand more."


Aware that digitizing documents is not enough to guarantee their integrity, the communication and innovation agency Innvented and the Futuria innovation laboratory proposed using the technology  blockchain  to protect them.


Leveraging the immutability of the blockchain

The idea is to distribute the information of the documents in a decentralized network using the  blockchain . This technology has more than 260,000 nodes on the network, which makes it virtually impossible to break. Thanks to this feature of  blockchain  Not only is historical evidence protected, but its authenticity is guaranteed.


“To breach this network you would have to attack half plus one of those nodes that make it up (…), which makes it virtually impossible. Today (the blockchain) is the largest   digital security that a file can be given and we thought it was ideal for this type of document.”


Maximiliano Arbes, creative director of Innvented,  stressed  that the choice of the Interplanetary File System ( IPFS ) network as the platform to protect the documents is ideal, and he proposes to upload the documents to the network at least once a year.


Although the process of backing up the documents in the  blockchain  is expensive and requires many hours of work. The truth is that it is done voluntarily due to the importance of the cause. For Rodrigo Barbano, the ultimate goal is to make the documents available on the Internet to anyone.


Having access to these historical documents makes it possible to verify the facts and challenge subjective interpretations of history. Barbano also criticizes the denialist and justifying visions of State terrorism. He affirms that it is necessary to dispute these visions in the present and in the digital realm.


The Uruguay Sites of Memory initiative has found technology  blockchain  a way to protect and preserve the thousands of documents. Which are related to the resistance to the Uruguayan dictatorship. Through the digitization of these documents and their storage in the  blockchain , it seeks to guarantee its integrity and availability to the general public.

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