Exploring Electronic Signatures
Electronic signatures have gained widespread adoption as a digital alternative to physical signatures.
With the advancement of technology and the digitization of legal work, e-signatures have become the preferred solution for various services.
While the requirements for electronic signatures may vary depending on jurisdiction and country, there are common criteria adopted universally.
E-signatures must effectively identify the signatory and ensure that the person signing possesses sole ownership of the private key for the signature.
Technological progress has led to the development of new forms of e-signatures, with one popular alternative being digital signatures.
Although “digital signatures” is often used interchangeably with “electronic signatures,” they differ.
While e-signatures represent digital marks resembling physical signatures, digital signatures utilize cryptography to ensure validity.
Digital signatures play a crucial role in cryptocurrency as they verify private key ownership without revealing any information about the key itself.
Adoption of Cryptographic Processes
Some e-signature services have started incorporating cryptographic processes to enhance security.
Common providers of electronic signatures include Adobe Sign and HelloSign, and as the demand for this technology has grown over the past decade, more providers have entered the market.
A Global Shift Accelerated by UNCITRAL
For quite some time, electronic signatures have been legally recognized as valid substitutes for physical signatures.
In 1996, the United Nations published the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, which included sections detailing the use of electronic signatures.
This influential document accelerated the global adoption and legalization of e-signatures.
As technology advances and more applications become available, new forms of electronic signatures are emerging.
With the rise of cryptographic and blockchain technology, electronic signatures are becoming more advanced, incorporating characteristics of digital signatures.
While implementing cryptographic features for simply signing a document might have been challenging several years ago, digital signatures are now widely used.