Digital signature technology (PKI) was invented in the 1970s as a solution to the centuries-old problem of sending secure, uncrackble messages. Use of PKI to replace written signatures didn't start until more then a decade later.
Electronic signature, or eSignature, covers the full range of technologies and solutions used to create signatures in electronic form, from digital signature (PKI) technology to simple images of a signature attached to an electronic document.
Docusign was the first company to offer the ease-of-use, security and cost savings of cloud-based electronic signatures as a general business solution in 2003.
Documents have been DocuSigned in more than 180 countries worldwide.
Electronic signature, when combined with an audit trail, tamper-sealing, strong authentication and bank-grade security is more enforceable than wet signature because of the court-admissible evidence it contains.
Over half of wet-signature celebrity-autographed memorabilia is thought to be forged. Only an estimated six percent of autographed Beatles memorabilia are authentically signed.
One of the earliest legal recognitions of electronic signature was the landmark 1996 UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, adopted by over 60 countries today.
In 2012, a written signature cost American football player Elvis Dumervil milions of dollars and cost his agent his job, when he was unable to fax his contract agreement before the required deadline. The players Association switched to DocuSign soon afterwards.