Digital Signature in Blockchain
In this hyper-connected world, technological innovations such as electronic signatures or digital signatures, in particular, are increasingly replacing the traditional methods of signing and authenticating documents. Over the years, digital signatures have become more secure with the adoption of different types of cryptography and the implementation of advanced electronic signatures. For over a decade, federal law has recognized the legality of electronic signatures. Digital signatures have been the method by which systems have provided integrity, non-repudiation, and authentication to access the contents of a data set electronically across networks. These signatures are created using a mathematical algorithm that creates a ‘hash’ (signature) using information from both the contents of the message and information stored in the key.
Though Digital signatures are commonly used in emails and other systems, many organizations are also using it as a key control in their security strategy, relying on the use of certificates and complex mathematical algorithms to provide authenticity of the data and protection against forgery. As electronic signatures are where the future is headed, it definitely raises some security issues. That’s where blockchain technology comes to the rescue.
Blockchain enters the blend by adding on the business ledger aspect, allowing multiple signatures, creation of fingerprints and timestamps, and distributing information across multiple systems in a network verse, the centralized server. It believes in the concept of ‘proof-of-work.’ The transactions made once, cannot be edited or deleted, which helps to secure the transactions and signature technologies. Blockchain makes the whole process very secure and stable.
How Does It Work?
Blockchain creates ‘hashes’. Hashes are nothing but number codes that can be used to identify the pieces of data. They can be cross-checked with the hashes present in another document. If the two hashes match, it means that the document is the same and the transaction can be secure.
Due to its open and visible nature, blockchain can protect itself from tampering, adding another layer of security to digital signatures. It is also helpful in securing when there are multiple copies of a document. Apart from just using blockchain to check the validity of the documents by comparing the hashes, it can also be used to check the sequence by looking into the metadata of the documents and checking the timestamps.
Digital signatures provide key advantages of storing and transferring information in the blockchain. It guarantees integrity. Technically, the data sent can be altered without even being seen by the hacker. However, if this does happen in the case of data that is accompanied by the digital signature, the signature would become invalid by default. Therefore, the digitally signed data, which is encrypted, is not only safe from being seen but it will also reveal in case the data is tampered cementing its corruptibility.
Currently, digital signatures are being employed all over the internet. Representing the future of technology, blockchain relies on Digital Signature techniques too. Seeing the big picture, blockchain cannot exist without hashing and digital signatures. On one hand, hashing provides a way for everyone on the blockchain to agree on the current world state, on the other hand, digital signatures provide a way to ensure that every transaction is made by the rightful owners.