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How Blockchain Document Signing Works

What is Blockchain for Document Signing?

Blockchain is a new technology that has completely revolutionized the e-Signature industry. Blockchain data is intended to prevent any change and secure the information as it was sent. Despite the complexity of this highly secure and scalable technology, no one can deny its increasing acceptance or its pervasiveness.

In this young age of technology, the world still struggles with the certification to get out model that relies on a pen, a user, and a designated authority to validate written information. Multiple generations of agreements have been compromised by hacking this system. The simplest way this can be done is by imitating a contractual counterpart's signature or by signing your school report to avoid facing your dad.

Essentially, document preservation and communication between two or more parties are accomplished through the document-signing procedure. However, signing paperwork or contracts can occasionally be complex or laborious. Also, it is sometimes impossible to confirm the signatories' authorship.

Have all the parties signed the sales contract, which appears to be legitimate? Is it the most recent, reviewed version? Can it be demonstrated that the document was unaltered when you signed it? Is it feasible to verify that the document you received matches the one you previously viewed?

Even though many online document signing services offer safe electronic signatures, they are not the same as digital signatures. A handwritten signature can be scanned and used as an electronic signature, but a digital signature verifies its authenticity using mathematical techniques. To keep all the data in the blocks, secure against unauthorized access, and guarantee unaltered blockchain cryptography uses. Blockchain encrypts data using hashing algorithms like SHA-256, one of the most robust hashing algorithms. This cryptographic hash method produces an almost unique 256-bit signature for a document. Digital signatures are also used by blockchain to verify users.

Document signing platforms allow users to securely sign documents and offer cloud storage for the signed documents.

These services appeal more to businesses than regular users because you have to trust a third party to store your documents blindly without timestamping or storing signatures. Blockchain Document Signing eliminates the need to trust third parties blindly. By creating a blockchain document signing platform, it can be possible to replace the third party and stop people from going back and tracking records in the event of manipulation or disputes.

This article aims to help readers understand how blockchain technology has affected document signing. We shall now discuss the problems with the existing system and why the blockchain is necessary to be transformed on it.

Challenges With the Existing Online Document Signing System

Let's imagine we are creating a web-based information system that is accessible via the Internet. This system's users must be able to upload files to the server. These documents may be MS Word files or files in other formats. Adobe Acrobat, DOC files, Text files, JPEG and GIF images, MS Excel.XLS files, PDF files, etc. The system must enable users to digitally sign the files being transferred in order to verify the sender's identity and prevent documents from being changed after receiving them.

Richly formatted documents can be shared with businesses or individuals via PDFs. As security features are implemented to PDF files by Adobe and other companies in 2008, digital signing quickly became the industry standard.

Password protection, digital signatures, and encryption were some of the security features of the PDF. In order to confirm who actually authored and encrypted the PDF, digital signatures were added.

According to the Hashgraph algorithm used in the PDF files, it is simple to undermine the security. The document content and date/time stamp of a PDF document can be changed, according to Schellekens, a PDF expert at iText Software in Ghent, Belgium.

Schellekens claims that the PDF specification incorporates the idea of an ID-tuple that contains timestamps for when the file was updated and produced.

However, the protection didn’t cover individual parts of the document. It applies to the entire document. What if several people need to sign the same document? There is no guarantee of who edited the document, when, and in what order because not all certificate authorities save their private keys with the same vigilance.

Blockchain can revolutionize document signing by adding timestamps and supporting multiple signatures; it is difficult for other users without a specific digital signature to corrupt or edits an individual's data. Authorized parties can securely control documents by using private keys between the signer and recipient.

How Blockchain Technology Simplified Document Signing

Cryptographic keys, a peer-to-peer network, and a digital ledger are the three fundamental elements that makeup Blockchain. The two types of cryptographic keys are private keys and public keys. Both of these keys are held by each person or node and are used to generate digital signatures. The most significant feature of blockchain technology is this digital signature, which serves as a specific and secure reference for digital identity. The owner's digital signature validates each data transmission.

Participants in the blockchain document signing ecosystem include the following stakeholders:

  • Users: To use the platform to manage and sign contracts.
  • Administrator: To view analytics and user reports.

Step 1: Sign up for the platform

Users sign up for the platform if they wish to utilize it for document signing on the blockchain or to have several parties sign the same document.

When registering on the platform, they must provide a government-issued form of identification. A hash (SHA-256) corresponding to their identifying information is recorded on the blockchain to validate the document user’s signature.

After signing up, users don't need to involve outside parties to use the platform for document signing. Once they've registered, start using it immediately.

Step 2: uploading document to the platform

The document that needs to be signed by the signer can be uploaded by users to the platform. DOC and PDF files can be uploaded as documents.

In order to handle files and save records in the blockchain, you can also store signed documents.

Every document that a user submits to the platform would be hashed and preserved, guaranteeing who uploaded the document, when it was uploaded, and who signed it.

Step 3: adding the signatory(s) required for the document

Users can add all signatories (recipients) who will sign the documents. They are free to add as many signers as they would like.

Signers would receive a signature request in their emails, and to use the platform for document signing, they would need to input their email addresses and a verification number they had just received.

Users receive a notification once the document is signed, and the blockchain records the signing-related transaction. Signers can use their handwriting or the government-approved signature system when signing documents in the Blockchain network.

There are public and private keys for each user. The user is individually identified by their public key, and the private key serves as their access token to the entirety of their account. Everyone in the network has a copy of the ledger, and everybody on the web can access it from anywhere in the world. So, if someone tries to change data in one of the blocks, everyone in the network will be able to see the change.

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Step 4: creating the signature and signing the document

Users who need documents signed or signers who must sign them can either add a legally valid signature to the platform or design their own signature to make signature.

In this process, the data is passed through a cryptographic function to get a hash. That hash value is compared with the hash output obtained, bypassing the digital signature and public key through a verification function.

As mentioned, SHA-256 is used to encrypt and safeguard the data in each block of a blockchain. There are four fields on each block:

  • Previous hash: this field maintains the hash of the previous block in the blockchain.
  • The nonce value: the only random value in this field, serves as a variate for the hash value.
  • Transaction details: information about various transactions is contained in this section.
  • Hash Address- carries the block's unique identity. It is a hex value of 64 letters and digits produced by applying the SHA-256 algorithm.

It is possible to guarantee that the records stored are immutable and traceable by using the blockchain as a backend component. To ensure the integrity of the signature, the transaction is saved on the blockchain each time a user produces or alters the signature.

In order to settle disagreements or conflicts, the signing records can be reviewed at any moment.

Step 5: Authenticity and Validation of Documents

A hash is generated on the blockchain once all parties have signed the document. Any user with a signed document can utilize the platform to verify its legitimacy.

On the blockchain platform for document signing, users can upload the signed document. A signed document will be considered valid if the hash created at the time of signing and the hash obtained after uploading the document match.

The transaction is added to a block, which is subsequently included in the main blockchain when the admin has authenticated the transaction and confirmed all the parameters.

Why Blockchain Should be Used to Sign Documents

The document signing sector has a ton of opportunities because of the trust and traceability of the blockchain network. By using a blockchain document signing tool to sign a document, you can eliminate any chance that the document will be altered, preventing customers from double-checking any entry.

Blockchain-based document signing reduces the signing process of documents. It brings a simple exchange of verified papers with third-party requesters. Decentralized verification allows customers to execute the most recent documents and verify their legitimacy. It enables swift processing of various document sections and fast-paced multi-party verification.

The User Experience Aspect of Blockchain Signing

Different user expectations will arise depending on the user's interface. Blockchain development services are at the forefront of building the digital infrastructure as digitalization becomes the foundation of the future. Peer-to-peer and decentralized features have increased the demand that these platforms be user-centered.

The critical issue is still how to create a platform that provides people with the knowledge they require to meet their needs.

At this point, blockchain requires user trust, more accessibility, and a push for broader adoption. One is bound to feel intimidated and overpowered by the constant chatter about blockchain and its relevant keywords. Since one is threatened by the idea of not being a part of the know-how, end users are less likely to embrace it and are more likely to be dissatisfied.

Since blockchain is still a comparatively new concept, there are obstacles to plenty of inexperienced, cautious users. Users with various technical and blockchain expertise levels will dive into this market as interest grows.

The Safe and Secure Signing Platform for Blockchain Documents

Legal documents can already be signed using several digital systems, including Docusign and Echosign.

BlockSign

Blocksign is a blockchain-based platform that lets you formally sign any kind of paper, agreement, or contract. It enables users to upload any document, add their signature, and sign it. A distinct 32-digit string is saved in the blockchain for each signature when the authenticity of the signatures on the document is confirmed.

OpenSig

you can digitally sign any document and confirm its validity and integrity using the open digital signature protocol. The blockchain, a publicly owned decentralized ledger, publishes the digital signature together with a time-stamped record. Blockchain document signing is presently supported by OpenSig v1.0 using the Bitcoin Blockchain.

The document signing sector has a lot of prospects thanks to blockchain's trust and traceability capabilities. No single entity has control over the blockchain's proof of signature.

Instead, blockchain document signing platform users serve as witnesses or public notaries to certify the signature. Users of a blockchain-based signing platform also have access to the document and may easily verify a signature's authenticity.

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Integrating Blockchain Document Signing in Business or Statutory Processes

Many people believe the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), of which the Blockchain protocol is a subset, to be "disruptive" since it has the ability to fundamentally alter ecosystems, services, processes, transactions, and ways of interpersonal interaction. But let's examine why.

Thanks to mathematical functions, sophisticated cryptographic algorithms, and some applications related to game theory, it is an innovative technology based on the idea of distributed consensus in validating the exchange and negotiation of transactions and on an unchangeable register of these transactions.

The social and economic environment is utilizing distributed register technology, which enables financial system disintermediation to move toward more creative and egalitarian company structures naively.

In contrast to a traditional transaction, where validation is managed by a centralized third-party entity or system that is regarded as trustworthy, blockchain document signing can have an impact on all businesses involving assets, information, and documents by completely overhauling the concepts of trust and ownership.

Hire Blockchain Developers and Work With our Blockchain Development Firm

Hire our top blockchain developers to assist your company's ecosystem in becoming more secure and transparent. Our blockchain development company has several qualified and full blockchain experts who have passed our various quality vetting processes and are prepared to work in your time zone.

Our blockchain development services help you examine your company's business setup and look for opportunities and problems that blockchain technology can solve. To increase your operational effectiveness and productivity, our blockchain expert will construct a proof-of-concept (PoC) for your company use case. For efficient and secure real-time document exchange and agreements we can build a blockchain-based document signing platform for you.

In order to automate the execution process on multiple blockchain platforms, such as Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Fabric, EOS, Tezos, and Stellar, we have a team of committed blockchain experts.

Final Thoughts

It is reassuring to know that blockchain pursues excellent user-centered experiences and has it all under control as a component of the expanding decentralized economy. The user experience will always come first in the blockchain environment, regardless of whether you are looking at it from the perspective of cryptocurrencies or using it as a business or systems strategy.

Moreover, blockchain technology will revolutionize the document signing industry. These platforms benefit all parties involved by facilitating the laborious document signing procedure.

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