A decentralized, versioned electronic agreement signing Dapp built with Web3 technologies
Electronic signature services found in many business scenarios often make users uncomfortable due to centralization:
- Documents containing confidential information are uploaded and stored in tech company-controlled cloud storage platforms, whose Terms of Service users do not control.
- To retrieve a document or verify a signature, a user must obtain permission from the E-signature service provider
- Once the E-signature service providers shut down, data on their servers is inevitably deleted.
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.
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.
Behind the curtain, however, we use decentralized wallets (Metamask, Fortmatic), decentralized ID solutions (Magic Link, ENS), decentralized storage (Arweave, IPFS, Sia), and smart contract networks (Ethereum, Polygon) to reinvent this entire experience, so that at no point users need to trust EthSign with their information.
Detailed Product Overview
Modules, Mixed and Matched
EthSign gives you the flexibility to choose what solution providers to use for each module of your document signing workflow. We currently provide the following combinations:
Decentralized identity managers:
Smart contract blockchain testnets:
- 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. For example, you can use Metamask to log into EthSign, Arweave to store the documents you upload, and Matic to register all the signature records.
Unlike other Web2 electronic signature solutions, EthSign does not charge subscription fees for using its services. Instead, users are responsible for cost incurred from interacting with the various networks within the EthSign tech stack, such as gas fees for smart contract blockchains or storage fees for some decentralized storage networks.
Every user has a balance on EthSign and the user can fund their EthSign balance by depositing tokens into our smart contract. This balance is the source of all pre-paid transaction fees for all documents initiated by said user.
Normally, all signers, including the document initiators, need to pay transaction fees for recording their signing activities on a blockchain network. However, EthSign allows document initiators to pre-pay all transaction fees. If an initiator’s balance is insufficient, signers have the option to either pay the fees or notify the initiator to deposit more funds.
Traceable and Transparent Audit Trails
Every action user take on EthSign, from uploading documents, inviting co-signers, commenting, to signing, along with these actions’ timestamp, are recorded on chain. This is an important feature to ensure that signatures on EthSign are legally binding. A fully auditable, tamper resistant contract signing record makes settling disputes straightforward. Since everything is on public blockchains, the entire process is also transparent and can be verified by any party.
We have reached a milestone by successfully building a EthSign MVP and revamping UX in EthSign 2.0. Our next iteration, Ethsign 3.0, has been fundamentally redesigned to bring it one step closer to production-ready.
As next steps, we plan to add document templates for standardized token investment documents such as SAFT. The SAFT template not only allows investors and projects to streamline their contract signing process, but also ensures that investors are using the same address to sign the contract and receive tokens. We are also looking to streamline the NFT issuance process by outlining an NFT’s specs as agreements signed between NFT issuers and issuance platforms.
On the road to EthSign 3.0, we will prioritize vertical integration over horizontal expansion. In other words, we will finish our core signature workflow before expanding on additional use cases. We are in progress of being integrated into moloch DAO.
- Jack Xu - Tech Lead // linkedIn: Jack Xu, Github:boyuanx, Youtube: Head CP
Ethereum developer with extensive experience with Solidity. Previously worked as a software engineer at numerous firms such as General Motors and Fidelity Investments. Proficient in solidity, iOS, python and java. Teaching assistant for USC’s blockchain course. Also was TA for USC’s iOS and Java courses . Was head teaching assistant for USC’s software development course (java).
- Xin Yan - Project Lead //linkedIn: Xin Yan
Former Investment manager and blockchain engineer at Fundamental Labs for two and a half years. Also former senior investment manager for Huobi Global. Xin has tremendous experience with the underlying infrastructure of Web3 and the Web3 tech stack.
- Potter Li - BD & Operations Lead // linkedIn: Potter (Houyao) Li
Former investment analyst at Fundamental Labs, a venture capital specialized in the Blockchain sector. President of Blockchain@USC, University of Southern California’s premier student-run blockchain organization focusing on education, community initiatives, and career development.
Claire Ma - Interaction Design lead // github:clairemaa // linkedIn: Xinda Ma
Former research assistant at NYU’s dynamic system lab and FuDan University in Shanghai. Extensive experience working as UI/UX design at Ebay and Mccann World-group Shanghai. Specializes in graphic design and branding. Very experienced with Sketch, Figma, InVision, Unity3D etc.
Nicole Respecia - Frontend Development lead //github:foreverrbum // linkedIn:foreverrbum
Grant Request $10,000 DAI & your help
EthSign has taken zero funding so far, and has all been bootstrapped by the original founding team. The requested funds will serve as a mechanism to effectively launch EthSign officially early this summer. EthSign is currently in talks with NGC, imToken, Dorahacks and Tim Draper for seed funding to help expedite the official rollout effectively. None of this grant will be retained by the core team members. MetaCartel will be included in the whitelist in the contributors.
The requested funds will be used to support product development amongst other things:
- Integration with moloch DAO
- Offer compensation to experienced developers that can contribute to the project.
- A smart contract audit to identify any potential bugs or vulnerabilities before the complete product of EthSign is opened to the public.
We’d like MetaCartel to try our product when it is officially launched in early May, help us spread the words among the Web3 community, and join our discord/twitter to provide feedback.