Picture the following (the example is very similar to the real scenario):
- I have a physical item in possession in which I want to lock myself (don't ask ) from accessing it until a
nnumber of hours have passed.
- I put the item in a box with a combination lock .
- I change the combination, and somehow temporarily save it without looking at the new one (in my case I took a picture with my cellphone and didn't look at it).
- However, I want to completely lose access to the new combination (i.e.: the picture) until a certain number of hours have passed.
- In this particular case, I solved it using a third-party website that sends e-mails on a future date, so I attached the picture of my cellphone (w/o looking) and configured it to send it to me after
So far there's no cryptography involved above. See below an simpler example which may make more sense:
- I have a file in which its contents I want to lock myself from accessing them until
nhours have passed.
- I encrypt the file with a random unknown password, so that I cannot access its contents anymore.
- However, after
nhours I am somehow able to figure out the password and decrypt the file, thus accessing its contents.
I searched around (before resorting to asking a question), and in fact cryptographic algorithms are not time aware, so there's no way to get the "self-time-capsule" behavior I need without relying on a third party.
However, it came to me that the Bitcoin blockchain (or any other blockchain) is basically a decentralized third party. So, would there exist any way to get the behavior I need by using the Bitcoin protocol, for example?
Feel free to suggest other solutions, it's quite possible I'm going all over the top here.
Oh, just for giggles: the timed e-mail service I used didn't work at all, I got no e-mail back. Well, that's the problem with trusting a third-party. Guess I'll begin picking the lock anyways...
 You can think of it as money, say 100 bucks I really can't/shound't spend it before
nhours have passed.
 Assume the lock is not pickable or the time it would take to pick it or brute-force is way higher than
n, so not worth it.