Despite the ongoing regulatory crackdown on the crypto industry and the collapse of some of its poster children, the underlying decentralized technology continues to drive internet incumbents into the
Web3, also known as the third wave of the internet, is characterized by a decentralized infrastructure that is built on blockchain technology.
Two of the world’s most popular messengers,
Line, with hundreds of millions of monthly users, have recently joined this
web3 space by integrating crypto features. This move towards
web3 is fueled by the integration of a startup called
EthSign into these apps.
EthSign is powered by all three divisions of
Sequoia Capital India, and
Sequoia Capital China (now called
HongShan). This Singapore-based startup aims to provide a
web3 equivalent of
DocuSign with the promise of an additional layer of transparency and trustworthiness. Its goal is to convince the masses that signing contracts on the blockchain is superior to the traditional method.
EthSign‘s co-founder and CEO
Xin Yan, who previously worked at the strategic investment arm of the centralized exchange
Huobi, one of the main advantages of using blockchain technology for e-signing is the ease of authenticating the identity of each signing party and tracking their interactions with the signed document.
EthSign addresses a key challenge faced by traditional e-signature service providers, which is the potential loss of user signatures if the provider shuts down. This is not an issue with distributed ledger technology, as the data is immutable once signed, making it one of the most promising features of blockchain.
EthSign is currently deployed on the blockchain networks of
Finschia, which run on
Line respectively. Users can connect their crypto wallets to these messengers and start signing documents through
EthSign in a similar way to how they would use
EthSign is available as a mini app on
Telegram, notifying users of any pending documents to approve. Once a contract is opened, users will be prompted to connect their crypto wallets and sign the document at the bottom.
EthSign will then request access to the users’ wallet addresses to generate tamper-proof signatures on the blockchain. (Watch a demo of the feature below.)
- Want to see how to sign contracts directly in Telegram? Here’s a quick demo of how EthSignBot works.
- It is also available on
2/ Want to see how to sign contracts directly in Telegram? Here’s a quick demo of how EthSignBot works.
In addition to
EthSign is also available as a web app on
Line and has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with
Finschia for further integration in the coming months.
The concept of enabling immutable signatures on messaging apps is not new. In 2018, a mini app called
Little Protocol was launched on the Chinese messaging giant
Ethereum. The app quickly gained popularity with over 100,000 visits overnight, but was taken down by
EthSign has been connected to over 250,000 unique wallet addresses. While it is currently free to use, the startup plans to become an attestation service platform in the future and charge for attestation, verification, and other user activities, instead of relying on the traditional SaaS model of subscription fees.
According to Yan, the value of attesting information on the blockchain lies in its ability to bring trust to the
on-chain world. This is especially important in preventing
vampire attacks, a web3 phenomenon in which users are lured into a forked version of an established crypto project that offers enhanced incentives.