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Digital Signature

Jun 3, 2023 | Updated Jun 3, 2023
A digital signature is an encrypted, electronic imprint that authenticates digital information, software or messages. Like a handwritten signature, it verifies the identity and origin of data.

What is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature is an electronic seal that confirms the sender of a message, digital document, or data. They use mathematical encryption to provide integrity and security for digital transactions. The purpose of digital signatures is to prevent impersonation and the compromise of electronic communication.

In blockchain technology, it proves that a transaction is being initiated by the owner of the asset. For example, say you want to send Bitcoin to another address. You will add the recipient address to your wallet and enter your password to complete the transaction. This password acts as your digital signature and proves to the nodes on the network that you are the authentic owner of the account. Once authenticated, the transaction will then be validated. 

How Do Digital Signatures Work? 

When you initiate a crypto transaction, you need to prove to the network that the cryptocurrency belongs to you. You do this by signing in with your private key so the network can authenticate the transaction.

A private key and a public key are vital components of cryptocurrencies and together they control access to your assets. Your public key is your address, and anyone can send you cryptocurrency with this address. The private key is the password to your wallet; you need the private key for identification, access, and to create a digital signature.
Public Key Cryptography (PKC) uses a ‘trapdoor’ concept to generate digital signatures that are virtually impossible to forge. This means that your digital signature is unique to you alone.

The nodes on a blockchain network will verify the source and content of the transaction once the digital signature has been detected before executing the transaction.  

Public Address

A public address is what allows individuals to request or receive cryptocurrency payments into their digital wallets.

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Consensus Mechanism

The term “consensus mechanism” refers to a self-regulatory stack of protocols, algorithms, incentives, and concepts that help ensure a blockchain’s integrity. It is used in maintaining the underlying blockchain’s security and verifying transactions.

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Proof of History

Proof of history is an algorithm blockchain networks use to verify the passage of time of each block to ensure historical data accuracy.

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