OneSpan Inc., a cybersecurity platform for digital agreements and e-signatures, said Thursday that it agreed to acquire ProvenDB, an Australia-based startup that provides secure storage for documents using blockchain technology.
OneSpan specializes in digital identity and anti-fraud solutions to give businesses mechanisms for transaction signing, authentication and e-signature workflows. This includes a platform for tracking and tracing the integrity of artifacts associated with digital agreements and transactions for regulated industries such as banking, financial services, healthcare and professional services.
ProvenDB uses blockchain technology, which adds a layer of security to transactions by mirroring them across multiple copies of ledgers that are all protected by cryptographic hashes and designed to be immutable after data is added. Once information is added to ProvenDB, digital signatures are generated and registered and its secure storage provides proof of document integrity, ownership and creation time.
OpenSpan intends to use ProvenDB’s blockchain solution in its Transaction Cloud Platform in order to provide end-to-end assurance that documents have not been tampered with once they have been created and stored.
“In this world of evidence tampering and deep fakes, it is critical that we have non-repudiation and copies of the original artifact with an immutable chain of custody throughout the entire customer journey,” said Matthew Moynahan, president and chief executive of OneSpan.
That includes a cryptographically secure history of document changes. Every time an agreement is changed and signed by the parties involved, it changes the cryptographic hash that represents the document and this includes the signatories that verified the changes, all of which are secured, once again, in the blockchain. All of this becomes part of an immutable and auditable transaction history of the document’s lifecycle.
“Securing business processes end-to-end leveraging blockchain technology will play an increasingly critical role in preserving the integrity of digital transactions and agreements to fuel this modern digital era,” added Moynahan.
Most importantly, immutability and auditability of the transaction history and tamper-resistance are important for industries that require compliance with regulations requiring the retention of tax records, anti-money laundering documents, financial records and more.
Document authentication using blockchain technology has been explored by a few other platforms over the years. JustChain, a startup based in the United Arab Emirates, built a platform for a blockchain-based legal notary in early 2021. BitFury Group partnered with the electronic document company BestSign to power an electronic document signing platform using blockchain technology in 2017 and the blockchain company Factom Inc. has dLoc, a physical document verification and authentication solution.
The two companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2023.