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Blockchain and Electronic Signatures - A Technical Perspective from IgniSign

· 2 min read
Julien Jenoudet

Blockchain as a Potential Driver for Electronic Signatures

Blockchain technology, renowned for its immutable nature, presents a compelling case for processing electronic signatures. The immutability of blockchain ensures the integrity of the signed document, while its underlying asymmetric cryptography provides robust security. These features align well with industry standards for both integrity and authentication.

Practical Robustness of Major Blockchains

Major blockchain platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum have demonstrated considerable robustness, having remained unhacked to date. This track record underscores the potential of blockchain technology in maintaining the security and integrity of electronic signatures.

IgniSign's Choice: Hardware Secure Modules (HSM) in a Private Cloud

Despite the apparent advantages of blockchain, IgniSign has opted for a different approach, leveraging Hardware Secure Modules (HSM) within a private cloud environment. This decision is driven by two primary factors and an additional regulatory consideration:

Time Sensitivity of Electronic Signatures

Electronic signatures are inherently time-sensitive, often requiring processing within seconds. Blockchain platforms, which necessitate block validation for confirming transactions, cannot consistently guarantee this level of promptness. This delay in processing is a significant deterrent in the context of electronic signatures.


IgniSign adheres to the philosophy that electronic signatures, even those with high probative value, should be affordable. Blockchain platforms, however, suffer from relatively high and fluctuating transaction costs, which conflicts with our goal of providing cost-effective signature solutions.

Regulatory Compliance in the European Union

Specific to the European Union, the eIDAS regulation mandates the use of HSM for signatures with high probative value. This regulatory requirement further influences our decision to utilize HSM in a private cloud.

Embracing Decentralized Technologies

However, IgniSign remains committed to exploring decentralized / web3 technologies. We leverage IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) for long-term data storage. Moreover, we have patented a method to decentralize part of the electronic signature process using the secure enclave in mobile devices. This strategic approach allows us to balance the benefits of web3's security and integrity with the operational and regulatory demands of electronic signature processing. By integrating both decentralized and traditional technologies, IgniSign continues to innovate in the digital signature landscape, ensuring security, compliance, and cost-effectiveness.