The preservation of digital signatures on the blockchain


  • Stephen Thompson SLAIS, University of British Columbia



digital signatures, blockchain, keys, encryption, authenticity, trust


The blockchain is a distributed network that records digital transactions on a publicly-accessible ledger. This paper explores whether blockchain technology is a suitable platform for the preservation of digital signatures and key pairs (public and private keys). Conventional infrastructures use digital certificates, issued by certification authorities, to declare the authentication of key pairs and digital signatures. However, this paper suggests that the blockchain’s hash functions can replace those certificates on the grounds of better privacy, that the nature of the network removes the problem of a single point of failure and that hashing is a form of authentication that does not require trust in a third-party authority. This article was an appendix to the research paper, Blockchain Technology for Recordkeeping which is available in the Reports section at

Author Biography

Stephen Thompson, SLAIS, University of British Columbia

I have 12 years of experience in academic publishing and have come to Vancouver to train as a librarian. In Vancouver, I have written academic research, assisted the building of a citation database and some blogging.


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