Metatime: a timestamp token solution

Issue trusted tokens for documents and transactions

Demonstrate when transactions took place or documents were archived with a timestamp solution

Organizations moving to paperless exchanges — whether for internal communications or relationships with partners or customers — may be required to demonstrate that certain transactions or actions occurred before a given date and time.

Using a timestamp token associated with the document provides an element of proof of a digital transaction’s date and age. This includes a signed piece of data with the following elements:

  • A data and time (UTC time)
  • A hash value computed using a hash function (e.g. SHA 1 or SHA 256)
  • An identifier of the time-stamping unit (TSU) which produced the timestamp token

How does it work?

The client sends a timestamp request to the platform, which determines a signatory entity, takes a very precise reading of the date and time, signs and returns this information. The protocol used for these communications is commonly called a time stamping protocol (TSP), which is explained in the RFC 3161 standard.

The signature of the responses is done using cryptographic equipment, which must have an interface compliant with the PKCS#11 standard.
The administration of the service is carried out via a graphical interface, allowing authorized operators to manage the entities required to provide the TSP service.
Atos, a global leader in digital transformation and digital security, provides a solution called Metatime to securely generate timestamp tokens. Metatime is sold as-a-service or as a standalone product.

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IDnomic Metatime allows you the freedom to define the parameters of your timestamping policies.


From precisely dating electronic transactions to archiving, timestamp tokens may be used in various contexts.

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System requirements

Front-office and back-office servers

  • Linux Platform (e.g. RedHat or SuSE)
  • Open source international components delivered with Metatime: Apache, Open SSL, PostgreSQL and PHP


Time reference

  • Metatime provides a choice between GPS reference and/or DCF 77 reference
Norms and standards
  • IETF RFC 3161
  • ETSI TS 101 861 (a profile of RFC 3161)
  • X.509 v3 or RFC 5280 for TSU certificates
  • PKCS#11 for the interface with the HSM
  • HTTP or HTTPS for the delivery of timestamp tokens
  • HTTPS for administration

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Interested in Metatime, Atos's timestamping solution?