Crypto Academy

What is an electronic signature?

What is an electronic signature?

7 min reading

In this article, we will tell you all about electronic signature and how safe it is.

What is the electronic signature

What is an electronic signature?

Whether you are a newbie or an expert in electronic signatures, an e-signature at first instance will cause someone to think of the security of his assets given that signatures grant access to very important documents of any human being or company. With the rapid evolution of the digital world, anything can be forged. This article will be talking about electronic signatures and their authenticity.

Gone are the days when you had to print out a document, sign it, scan it before sending it by email. With the introduction of the electronic signature, all the stress seems to have disappeared. An electronic signature, also known as an electronic signature, is a digital signature on a special digital platform. It is a cryptographic mechanism often used to implement electronic signatures. It is designed to provide the signer with a secure method of identification to ensure a transaction is not breached. This means that an electronic signature allows you to say goodbye to filing cabinets. By speeding up the time it takes to complete administrative tasks, electronic signatures save time on the things that matter in your business.

How are electronic signatures created?

It is however very easy to create an e-signature given that signature software is available online. You can either put your signature directly into a document with your mouse button, or you can enter your name, which will automatically be presented as an electronic signature. The first step will be to create your signature using a signature or stylus or if you are using a mobile device you could sign directly with your finger. Secondly, in case you used a piece of paper to create your signature, then take a picture of it using your phone or camera and upload it to the website you are using to create the e-signature and use the cursor to draw your signature. 

Benefits of electronic signatures

All documents are signed without a stamp, saving paper. Just as we mentioned earlier, before electronic signatures surfaced, every document which needed to be signed required that it be printed and signed by hand or a wet-signature even though electronic signatures saved one from printing papers here and there. Also, all documents are sent via email while saving postage. This means that you can sign a document without having to move or attend a meeting and can store these documents digitally, eliminating the need for paperwork. With digital encryption and audit trails associated with digital signatures, electronic signatures are sealed, stored, and protected from hackers and security breaches. 

Finally, before the advent of electronic signatures, forensic examination relied on establishing handwriting and the words of witnesses. Electronic signatures document the time, date, IP address, and unique user identification key used at the time of signing.

In terms of cryptography, we are talking more about digital signatures. Digital signatures are public-key primitives. A digital signature is a cryptographic value that is calculated from the data and a secret key is known only to the signer. How are you going to create a digital signature and how does it work?

First of all, anyone who accepts this key is a public-private owner. These keys are commonly used for encryption/decryption. Signing is done with a private key, also called a signing key, while the verification process is done with a public key. This private key then passes the data to a hash function and also generates a hash of the data. Once this is done, the signature key sends the information to the signature algorithm, which then creates a signature based on the specified hash.

For verification, the hash value and the result of the verification algorithm are compared. Because the digital signature is created with the signer’s private key, the signer cannot opt out of signing the data in the future. The importance of digital signatures relies on message authentication, data integrity, and reliability.

While many still use the traditional signature method, for most business proposals, electronic signatures are the preferred method for documenting signatures on the Internet. By adding public-key encryption to a digital signature scheme, you can create a cryptographic system that can provide four basic elements of security.

Digital signature

Many people often think that electronic signatures are the same as digital signatures. However, these concepts are quite different even in their modus operandi. It can be defined as a technique that binds a person or entity to digital data which could be independently verified by the receiver or any third party. Indeed, this scheme is based on public-key cryptography and anyone operating on this scheme will have to obtain a public and a private key. The private key is known as the signature key used for signing while the public key is used for verification and is known as the verification key.  Thus, these key pairs are used differently for encryption/decryption and signing/verifying. In other words, the private key which is the signature key is used for signing while the public key is used for verifying and is known as the verification key. However, note that many digital communications prefer using encrypted messages to plain texts just to enhance confidentiality. 

Let’s provide a simple illustration of how it works. The signer feeds data to the hash function and generates a hash of data. The Hash value and signature key are then fed to the signature algorithm which produces the digital signature on the given hash. Signature is conjoined to the data and then both are sent to the verifier. The verifier on his end feeds the digital signature and verification key into the verification algorithm, the hash value and output algorithm are compared, and based on the comparison result, the verifier decides whether the digital signature is valid. Given that the digital signature is created by the private key of the signer and he alone is in the custody of this key, he, therefore, cannot disavow the data in the future. 

Despite the fact that electronic signatures may seem identical when they are mentioned, they, however, differ a lot. Here are some of the differences that exist between them. 

Firstly, they differ in the domain of purpose. While an electronic signature is used to verify a document, the source of the document and the author, the purpose of digital identity on the other hand is to secure a document so that it does not get tampered with by unauthorized people. This is done with the implementation of private and public keys. 

Secondly, electronic signatures are not regulated and for this reason, they are less favorable to a lot of people and states since their authenticity is questionable. However, digital signatures are regulated and are authorized by certification authorities who are third parties that have been entrusted with the duty of performing these tasks. In addition, digital signatures comprise features that are meant to secure the document. 

Finally, with the electronic signature, it may be difficult to identify the real owner of the signature since it is not certified, that is the authenticity as well as the integrity of the document whereas with digital signature since the signer cannot repudiate any information attached to the data, it is very easy to identify the owner and also it is very easy to notice if the document has been tampered with since every unauthorized modification will lead to a failure in the digital signature verification.

Over and above, electronic signatures are very vital for some activities given that they work in compliance with applicable laws and regulations as well as industry standards. It however has some lapses which have been enumerated in the differences but that does not annul its importance. For everyone needing to more secure with documents and information, digital signatures are of better use since it is legally binding and authentic by signature even though even traceability to the owner of the document




5 min reading

Discover what are nodes in terms of crypto-currency mining!

What are nodes

What are nodes?

The development and launching of cryptocurrency have increased the opportunities to make money for people.  You might have known about such ways to receive coins as mining or trading. But did you know what a node is in the crypto world? In the article, we explain the notion of the node, why and how it is used.

What is Node?

Let’s first determine the meaning of the node. Node is any computer or device connected to the blockchain network. In other words, any of the network participants can be a node and support the correct network functioning. The nodes of the decentralized network use peer-to-peer protocols in order to exchange recorded information about blocks and transactions without any centralized mediator. The amount of stored data depends on the type of node. Moreover, the network users distributed around the world provide secure and private transactions, being the main technology for transmitting the money and conducting transactions on the chain. Thus, if one node notices a violation of the rules of transactions within the system, then the whole transaction is rejected. It relates to the cases when all the communication nodes have validated their legitimacy.

Types of Nodes

Important to note, that in order to prevent monopoly in blockchain, a hard fork is necessary in the case of a 51% attack. In this way, the blockchain participants (nodes) have to follow new rules of consensus to maintain the network and handle the threat. There are several kinds of nodes according to the distribution of rights. We can define full nodes, light nodes, and miner nodes. Each of them has its functions and distinct features. 

    • Full nodes are communication nodes that work separately from other ones. Also, they store any data that was added to the blockchain network. The main feature of full nodes is that they operate separately and completely autonomously from each other. Besides, full nodes verify and validate all transactions by themselves.

    • Then, everyone can check or track the correctness of the information. Full nodes support the functioning of all cryptocurrencies, based on proof-of-work algorithms. Also, a bitcoin node is a full node that keeps the information about confirmed transactions. A full bitcoin node can be installed using the software. Bitcoin Core is the most commonly used. However, a network node is a key factor that creates, receives, and transmits messages. Node follows consensus in the network, collects and records transaction data, and stores confirmed transactions. Also, if a node tries to spread the wrong information, other nodes quickly recognize and disconnect them from the network. There are full, light, and miner nodes but they require a piece of special equipment to connect to the other nodes and synchronize with them.

    • Miner nodes use such hardware components as video cards, processors, or ASIC to solve a cryptographic problem. The first miner node to solve the problem transmits the results to the network for verification by the full nodes. Once the consensus is reached, the miner node can add a block to the blockchain. Miners are paid with some amount of coins for their work and network commissions. The user can also work in a pool of miners in order to increase the chance to get a reward by coins.

    • Light nodes are less independent and rely on the full nodes. They support only headers of the block transactions without the full information. Light nodes use the blockchain network, but do not function as full nodes. Moreover, light nodes do not provide the security of the network because they don’t have a copy of the blockchain and do not verify or confirm transactions. The users just can check the changes in the block of transactions but do not download the full information blockchain.




6 min reading

Discover more about the technology that all cryptos are based on!


What’s cryptography?

With the growth and development of the cryptocurrency industry, more and more people are interested in the crypto market. In order to become an advanced crypto trader, special knowledge is needed. First of all, it is important to know how cryptocurrency is created and the main principles of its functioning. When it comes to privacy, Internet security, and data encryption, the term “cryptography” is often used. As any of the cryptocurrencies are based on cryptographic technologies, you need to know what it is. In the article, we explain what is cryptographic science and how it applies to the cryptocurrency market.  

What is cryptography?

Begin with the meaning of cryptography. Cryptography is the science of mathematical methods of providing confidentiality and authenticity of the information. The subject of cryptography is information, methods of encryption, and secure transmission of messages. Moreover, cryptography develops and studies the algorithms used to encrypt and decrypt messages in an insecure digital environment. The science also examines the identification, authentication (verification), and integrity of data. It also studies the use of cryptographic methods in the context of a cryptosystem. Cryptographic science has developed as there was a need to transmit important information in the most reliable way. Then, the written form of the document was modified so only the initiated person could understand the content. Thus, cryptography provides the security of the content by encryption. It is done by special cryptographic algorithms used by the sender and recipient.

According to the scientists, important messages and military orders were encrypted using cryptography both in the Roman Empire and in the Middle Ages. Julius Caesar used a very simple form of cryptography for his messages, known as the shift code. Each letter in his text was replaced by the third following in the alphabet. Thus, instead of A, they wrote D. The recipient had to know the cipher code to read the words. During World War II, special devices were used to encrypt messages. Cryptography has become much more complex, so it took the military several years to figure the keys out and read messages from other countries.

Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC)

Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) is widely used in the crypto eco-systems. It employs the mathematical properties of elliptic curves to generate public-key cryptographic systems. ECC is based on mathematical functions that are simple to compute in one direction, but very difficult to reverse like all public-key cryptography. In the case of ECC, this difficulty resides in the infeasibility of computing the discrete logarithm of a random elliptic curve element concerning a publicly known base point, or the “elliptic curve discrete logarithm problem” (ECDLP). Furthermore, the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) is a widely-used signing algorithm for public-key cryptography, employing ECC. However, the benefit of ECC is characterized by the fact that the speed of elliptic algorithms is much higher than that of classical algorithms. 

Hashing and Digital signatures

Moreover, the traditional principles of cryptography have a wide range of functions. The most important cryptography features are hashing and digital signatures. Hashing is a crypto method of converting large amounts of data into short pieces.

It is a key component of blockchain technology concerning the protection and integrity of data in the system and is used to:

    • verify and confirm users’ balances;
    • code wallet addresses;
    • code transactions between wallets;
    • mine blocks.

A digital signature confirms your identity on the network. Digital signatures represent mathematical functions that map to a specific wallet. By attaching a digital signature to the transaction, you prove to all network users that the transaction is yours. Digital signatures are used to get a wallet address and are secretly linked to the wallet’s public and private keys. Your public key is the equivalent of your bank account, while the private key is your PIN. It doesn’t matter who knows your bank account number. Having known your bank account number, users can deposit money into your account. But do not let anyone know your PIN. Since the digital age has led to an increase in the complexity of encryption, computers triggered a dramatic increase in computing power. Due to the increasing computing power of computers, cryptography has become much more complex.

However, cryptography can provide a better level of information security today. Wherever confidentiality is concerned, cryptography is important. If you log in to the site with your password, it is usually encrypted. Moreover, encryption is also used by various messengers. To prevent you from being overheard during a phone call, the phone may also be encrypted. Cryptography is also used in blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market.