- Crypto / Web3
As the dawn of blockchain and Web 3.0 has brought on decentralization, immutability, and transparency at levels unseen before, people are no longer content with authentication from controlling central authorities. Thus, the EthSign team finds a lot of value in creating a protocol that unifies these benefits with electronic signature services. With a suite of Web3 solutions that only recently come to maturity, we are rebuilding the electronic signature application from the ground up and expanding the use cases of digital signatures beyond signing contracts. On the surface, EthSign offers exactly the same signing experience as its Web2 counterpart. Users log in to our platform, upload documents, invite others to sign, modify documents, and complete signing.
Tech Stack EthSign gives you the flexibility to choose what module to use every step of the way along your document signing workflow. We currently provide the following combinations: Decentralized Identity managers: Fortmatic MetaMask Smart contract blockchain test networks: Avalanche FUJI C-Chain Binance Smart Chain Fantom Network MATIC Mumbai Decentralized storage networks: Arweave (permanent) InterPlanetary File System (short-term) Free IPFS Fleek IPFS As our user, you are free to choose any combination of the above modules to fit your unique needs. Degrees of Decentralization A wise person once said, "with great convenience, comes great centralization". In the process of streamlining user experience, we identified several obstacles that made it difficult for Web 2.0 users to enjoy EthSign to the fullest extent, the major of which is authentication. For those of us who are immersed in Web 3.0, MetaMask is the backbone of any action we take, no matter how small. However, outside the Web 3.0 bubble, the mere concept of a public and private key pair are daunting. This is precisely why we partnered with Magic Labs to bring you Fortmatic that provides a Web 2.0 on-ramp to a Web 3.0 world. In short, Fortmatic enables you to easily and securely authenticate with your email or phone and utilizes a non-custodial Delegated Key Management architecture to manage your wallet, meaning they don't have access to your private keys or any sensitive information at all. Fortmatic also provides other convenience features such as a FIAT on-ramp and the ability to buy cryptocurrencies within the wallet. Being able to authenticate with an email or phone is certainly nice, but we sacrificed a certain degree of decentralization in the process. As one of the core tenets of Web 3.0 is to avoid centralization, we are happy to say that if you were initially onboarded with Fortmatic and have then gotten more comfortable with MetaMask, you can export and erase their private keys from Fortmatic at any time and import said key into MetaMask, thus fully owning your account. At EthSign, we value convenience and decentralization equally, which is why the choice is all yours to make. Sign without Paying Gas At EthSign, we believe document signing should be an incredibly easy process that takes no more than a few taps on your device. We definitely believe that as the signer, having to pay to sign a document is quite ridiculous and unheard of. However, the nature of Web 3.0 dictates every write action taken on the blockchain generates a transaction fee that must be paid somehow. Well, if the signers don't pay, then the entity that initiated the signature process does. Every single user has a balance on EthSign, though it is important to note that this balance is independent of the balance in the user's wallet. The user can fund their EthSign balance by depositing token into our smart contract. This balance is the source of all pre-paid transaction fees for all documents initiated by said user. When a user initiates a document signing procedure (e.g. creating a new document on EthSign) and invites signers, the signers would have to pay a transaction fee to sign since the digital signature and related information requires interactions with the blockchain network. Normally, the transaction fee is paid by the person that initiates the transaction. However, utilizing our balance system, the signer wouldn't need to pay a dime - all transaction fees are pre-paid by the initiator ahead of time in the form of their balance. If the balance is insufficient, the signer has the option to either pay the fees or notify the initiator to deposit more funds. Traceable and Transparent Audit Trails At EthSign, we fully leverage the unique properties of blockchain networks to provide our users with the most secure signatures and clearest audit trails in the industry. Every time the user signs a document, their digital signature (which is made from the hash of the document, their private key, and some cryptography witchcraft) and relevant metadata events such as the time of signature are forever engraved on the blockchain network. These provide powerful traceable paper trails that make auditing and settling disputes incredible straightforward. Since everything is on the public blockchain, the entire process is transparent and can be verified by any party. Ecosystem Fit In the decentralized signing realm there are not many similar products. Most other projects attempt to do several things at once while EthSign uniquely positions itself as a tool rather than a platform. By growing EthSign horizontally first rather than vertically allows us to discover the full potential of decentralized authorization, and provide the groundwork for future use cases. Thus, EthSign is positioned well to grow exponentially as the tool has unlimited potential.