The Current State of E-Signing platforms and the Future of EthSign
A Modern System of Agreement…
The past decades have been all about renovating business functions. B2C companies have invested trillions of dollars modernizing their System of Records(SofR) and System of Engagement(SofE). However, neither SoR or SoE handles the complexities and legalities of agreement processes easily. System of Agreement(SofA) can fill this gap. It is a crucial system that has yet to be reorganized and has been largely disregarded by these companies. System of Agreement is a collection of technologies and processes including four phases: prepare, sign, act and manage.
The current agreement signing process is cumbersome and fragmented: each agreement requires a collective effort of expertise from multiple departments to pull data, read, analyze, redline, and negotiate terms. Traditionally, an agreement must go through all four phases with manual document preparation and non-automatic contract storage. To improve the process, DocuSign provides a Modern System of Agreement that automates the lifecycle by providing a platform for existing systems to connect and collaborate.
“This solution must act as a hub to coordinate and connect with all the other systems and processes that feed, support, or consume agreements — including CRM, HCM, and ERP systems themselves.”
— DocuSign Agreement Cloud ebook
Now that we note the modern System of Agreement concept, we can better understand DocuSign’s products and services. For each stage, DocuSign underlines possible user pain points and provides specified products. The most important products are Contract Lifecycle Management(CLM) and e-Signature. CLM allows customers to streamline the contract lifecycle by automating manual tasks and orchestrating complex workflows. It provides document generation, negotiation, workflow, seamless integration with DocuSign eSignature, and a searchable repository for completed agreements. DocuSign eSignature, on the other hand, serves the main functions of digital signing. It allows users to send documents for signature, track progress, and get real-time updates from the web.
Seamless integration is one of DocuSign’s key features. DocuSign supports RESTful and SOAP APIs with multiple SDKs, enabling customers to build out their own tools. Every product that is part of DocuSign Agreement Clouds can be easily integrated with companies’ existing systems.
The Future of EthSign
DocuSign Agreement Clouds are indeed remarkable and crucial for today’s business processes. Led by DocuSign, there is an increasing number of traditional electronic signing platforms in the market such as HelloSign, PandaDoc, etc. However, these platforms are shifting their focus from the architecture design of the System of Agreement to minor User Experience polishing.
E-signing platforms should not think only about how the existing structure and functions can be ported over to the emerging technologies. Instead, they should focus more on new paradigms that have not yet envisioned. This is where EthSign comes in. Blockchain technology undoubtedly has its place in agreement signing, such as providing a transparent audit trail, no server breakdown issues, permanent records of documents and so on. EthSign will not only incorporate all features of a traditional electronic signing platform but a lot more.
In the short term, EthSign will be fully online by the end of May 2021. We are working on integrating EthSign to Moloch DAO investment workflow and other projects. Our initial users will be crypto ventures, DAOs, and developer communities. Using EthSign, crypto ventures are able to upload files, sign agreements, and complete transactions all on EthSign. In fact, as of today, Dorahacks Ventures is using EthSign to sign agreements instead of using DocuSign.
In the coming months, we plan to:
- Separate CLM and E-signature to abstract the smart contract’s functionality.
- Introduce on-chain contract execution automation, put the terms of the agreement related to transfers into the smart contract, and automatically trigger the execution by platforms such as kp3r.
- Introduce a layer between web2 and web3, bringing in nodes that allow web 2 users to use fiat to pay for signing.
- Add more functions like NFT stamp.