Archive: July 19th, 2015

What Is A Signature — Really?

Signing an agreement often means to write your name with ink on paper. At least in the Western world. A quick search on the Internet reveals that stamps have been used for similar purposes in many cultures since ancient times. Personal stamps are still in common use, for instance, in Korea and Japan. Thousands of years ago, an agreement could be made in two copies. One was permanently enclosed in a clay jar. The only way to access the sealed copy was to break the jar.

What is the purpose of these various customs? How do they compare to modern-day digital signatures?

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