Wordproof, a Dutch startup using blockchain to fight how fake news spreads on the internet, just secured an investment from the founders of Yoast SEO, a popular WordPress plugin, to develop critical timestamping abilities. Timestamps allow search engines to index websites appropriately, verifying the original source of information, which Yoast founder Joost de Valk explains is key: “From a publishing perspective, the ability to prove authorship, to unequivocally prove that you were first with a specific piece of content, is game-changing.” Wordproof’s blockchain technology and ‘timestamp ecosystem’, which is also a WordPress plugin, could bring “unprecedented integrity” to content publishing and ecommerce in an open-source manner, he added. Investing alongside him is CEO Marieke van de Rakt. Thanks to the deal, some of Yoast’s search engine optimisation expertise will be incorporated into the product as well. Earlier this year, the Amsterdam startup won first place in the European Commission’s 'Blockchains for social good' competition, beating out 175 other companies and earning the team €1 million. Shortly before that, Wordproof received an incentive grant from Block.one and a loan from Innovation Fund Noord-Holland.
Photo by Bob Bronshoff: Sebastiaan van der Lans, Wordproof founder and CEO