LibreOffice and blockchain: What cool things are possible?

Update 18 November: Based on the majority of feedback, we will not continue the discussion or explore this topic any further, as it is rather clear that the LibreOffice community is not interested. Thanks to everyone who let us know what they think.

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As you’re no doubt aware, LibreOffice is free and open source software, which means that anyone can delve into the code behind it, study how it works, and adapt it for their needs. And we’ve seen many examples of this, with LibreOffice’s core engine being adapted by the ecosystem to work on mobile devices and in web browsers, for instance.

Meanwhile, blockchain is technology that provides a distributed ledger, made up of growing list of records (blocks), that are securely linked together using cryptography. The most famous (or sometimes infamous!) example of blockchain technology is cryptocurrencies (eg Bitcoin), but it can also be used in many other ways such as in smart contracts, authentication and games.

Blockchain addresses are most commonly thought of as financial accounts, but they can also function as permissionless credentials. Zero knowledge proofs (ZKPs), which provide cryptographic proof that something is true (such as that an account has a certain property or that a user is authorizsd to perform a certain action) without revealing anything else, open up many interesting possibilities like private and decentralised groups, anonymous contributions, and more.

Recently, we had a chat with the Ethereum Foundation about possible ways for people to combine LibreOffice with blockchain technologies. (We’re not talking about putting blockchain into LibreOffice!) We’ve discussed some ideas – but we’d like to hear from you, LibreOffice users! In what ways could people find a combination of LibreOffice Technology and blockchain be useful? Think of document authentication, collaboration and so forth.


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