It is not now possible to obtain any benefits from the falsification of documents in various Galician administrations such as the Provincial Governments of Pontevedra and Ourense or the City Councils of Vigo, Pontevedra, or Santiago. All of them have installed the solution created by the spin-out Bit Oceans (oceans of bytes), that detects fraud related to falsification of printed documents.


of the University of Vigo worked to find a formula that would put an end to the falsification of national identity documents, certificates of official residence, a contract, a work history, or a University transcript. The solution named ‘Fividoc’ is a computer application that associates each document with a printed code on it which is unique and unrepeatable. When the copy of a document is verified by means of a scanner, the ‘Fividoc’ system is able detect any variations to the copy of the document with respect to the original.

The system is so precise that is able to indicate the place on the page where an error or a difference with relation to the original exists, making the distortions obvious that are detected by the scanner. “There are other public and private international entities that have tried to solve the problem, but we were the first to achieve it,” the Technical Director and one of the promoting partners, Alberto Malvido, explained. This discovery was made possible by the earlier work of the Department of Signal and Communications Theory of the School of Telecommunications Engineering of Vigo.

“We are the only ones that have been able to create a technology that validates printed documents automatically and that does not depend on the format of the document, nor the printer, scanner, or paper,” Malvido highlighted. This factor was key in the decision of the Ministry of the Presidency to install this system after having detected in an increase in document fraud related to the Foreign Office.

Bit Oceans was established in 2008 and is composed of six partners and a work team of ten persons, principally Telecommunications engineers. After having determined the market niche of public administration as their target, the arrival of the economic crisis caused the company to open up to new markets of potential buyer of a document verification system. The company hopes that, with time, the procedure that they created will convert into a standard for other entities as well such as banks, universities, and professional colleges.

Innovation is crucial for our company; it is the origin of the creation of our business and the root of its growth. Without it, it is impossible to differentiate oneself without which one is condemned to disappear. We live in a globalised world and in a situation in which it is crucial to differentiate oneself, in order to be competitive". Alberto Malvido.


The company is looking for new investment partners in order to be able to move to an international level and sell their product in markets such as Mexico and Brazil where business opportunities have been identified. The company billing reached 250,000 Euros in 2010, a sum that it hopes to surpass in the next business cycles thanks to new sales. Bit Oceans recently launched the first platform for universities via Universia, the largest Spanish-American network of universities in which more than 1,200 academic entities in almost thirty countries are involved.

The project includes the participation of the Conference of Presidents of Spanish Universities (CRUE) which is especially interested in avoiding fraud regarding the degrees and academic certificates issued by their institutions. Malvido explains to the client how academic records have been falsified in order to graphically demonstrate the manner in which these documents have been altered without anyone being able to detect the alteration, except by using this tool.

This product created by Bit Oceans is dedicated to permanent improvement as requested by clients and to continuous research. In the Provincial Government of Ourense, they not only “secure” the documents but they also effect the electronic duly-compared authentic copy using a procedure that, as Malvido explained, permits a direct saving of time of up to 75% for this transaction in accordance with the legal requirements concerning electronic administration.

The company is moving ahead with its future projects in order to reach a greater percentage of the market in new niches. To that end, they are developing a technological innovation project that allows for the validation of documents via the mobile telephone. The system is especially designed for entities of inspectors and security that performs verifications on the street such as licenses, for example. Moreover, they are working on a new development applied to the printed digital signature for which they have collaborated with the Galician Regional Government and with leaders of the European project ‘Signed’ and work jointly with the Technological Centre of Telecommunications of Galicia (Gradiant), businesses, and Italian and British Universities in order to design new hashing techniques (algorithms designed to detect the information in the fastest way possible) applicable in the field of printed documents. These projects have a global budget of close to one million Euros.

The company’s Department of Innovation dedicates all of its efforts to working on the algorithm in order to find new business routes and to improve ‘Fividoc’ in order to adapt it to new environments into which it has not yet entered. “The future for Bit Oceans is centred on guaranteeing the security of the printed documents of the entire world,” Alberto Malvido said as he explained that, for now, the billing of the company is integrally dedicated to innovation.

The Unirisco society of risk capital have participated in the company almost from its inception with 25% of the investment. Now Bit Oceans are immersed in a second cycle of financing in order to move into the exterior market and to develop its commercial and marketing plans while it awaits the international validation of its patent, now approved in Spain. According to these business persons who began with the valuing of knowledge generated in the University, document falsification will become a thing of the past with ‘Fividoc.’

The company had a billing total of 250.000 euros in 2010 with an expectation for significant increase during the next business cycles.