Home » Archives for Shamsh Hadi

By Shamsh Hadi, CEO & Co-Founder of ZorroSign, Inc.

As CEO of ZorroSign, Inc. I am committed to advancing technology while advancing sustainability. With regard to technology, I am always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve—especially in cybersecurity.

But lately, there’s an emerging technology that keeps me up at night: Quantum computing.

While quantum computing promises potential breakthroughs in AI, chemistry and medicine, physics and materials science, it also presents a significant threat to cybersecurity.

Think of it like this: The locks guarding our digital data are built on complex mathematical problems (cryptography). Today’s computers struggle to crack these problems, taking years with longer encryption keys, keeping our information safe. But quantum computers, capable of massively parallel processing, could potentially shatter these locks and access encrypted data with ease.

This isn’t just science fiction anymore—experts believe quantum computers capable of breaking current encryption could be a reality within the next decade.


A sufficiently powerful quantum computer could break the public-private key encryption that secures digital communications, data, and transactions today, explains ScienceNews. “’All of those public-key algorithms are vulnerable to an attack that can only be carried out by a quantum computer,’ says mathematician Angela Robinson of NIST, ‘Our whole digital world is relying on quantum-vulnerable algorithms.’”

That’s why I’m urging businesses to start exploring post-quantum cryptography (PQC).

PQC is the next generation of encryption—designed to withstand the challenges of quantum computing by providing greater cybersecurity resilience. While the market is still evolving, PQC initiatives are rolling out and it is crucial to start assessing PQC solutions to future-proof your data security:

  • Protecting sensitive information — from financial records to customer data, a data breach can be catastrophic but strong PQC safeguards your most valuable digital data assets.
  • Maintaining customer trust — consumers expect their data to be safe, and implementing PQC demonstrates your commitment to robust, future-proof data security.
  • Staying competitive — businesses that embrace PQC early will be recognized as leaders in cybersecurity, gaining a potential edge in competitive markets.

The future of quantum computing is uncertain, but one thing is clear: Business leaders cannot afford to be unprepared.

By proactively adopting PQC, you can ensure your business data and your customer data remains secure—no matter what the future holds. I invite you to start exploring PQC solutions today and safeguard your business for the quantum tomorrow. Please connect with me on LinkedIn or email me to start a conversation . . .

By Shamsh Hadi, CEO & Co-Founder of ZorroSign, Inc.

Organizations with large information technology (IT) requirements and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies—like ZorroSign—have much to gain by considering green data centers for hosting their solutions in 2024. 

I have spent my career committed to improving sustainability while advancing technology, and I am eager to promote the benefits of green data center hosting for other SaaS providers.

Why? Because “although data infrastructure such as data centers and cloud solutions are essential for storing and processing data, they are highly energy intensive and consume refrigerants and often large amounts of water for cooling,” notes the World Bank in their recent publication Green data centers: towards a sustainable digital transformation. A practioner’s guide, composed in collaboration with the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). “As such, they leave a large environmental footprint and contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

From the World Bank’s and United Nation’s guidance on climate-resilient data centers, there are several key characteristics and practices that set green data centers apart from traditional data centers, including:

  • Prioritizing renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydro power to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and carbon footprint
  • Pursuing climate-resiliency with certifications like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to ensure the data center is built with sustainable materials and practices; and employing Energy Star certified servers, cooling systems, and other equipment that is used to meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the EPA’s Energy Star program
  • Lowering Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), created by members of the Green Grid to measure the total energy used by the facility divided by the energy used by the IT equipment—a lower PUE value indicates better efficiency and a PUE below 2.0 is considered a green data center benchmark
  • Virtualization and consolidation, such as optimizing server utilization by virtualizing workloads and consolidating physical servers, serve to reduce the overall number of machines needed and their energy consumption
  • Conserving water and implementing water-efficient landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and greywater reuse systems
  • E-waste recycling to properly dispose of or recycle IT equipment at the end of its life cycle

With such clear benefits, choosing a green data center for your organization or SaaS hosting is a win-win proposition in 2024!

Not only does such hosting benefit our shared environment, but it can enhance your brand, potentially save your company money, and provides a path to future proofing your business.  

Specifically, your business can reap environmental and operating advantages such as:

  • Reducing your carbon footprint — where traditional “data centers are responsible for 2% of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions,” choosing a green data center powered by renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydro can significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint and align you with sustainability goals
  • Cost savings — green data centers use energy-efficient technologies and cooling systems which ultimately lead to lower operational costs and potentially cheaper hosting fees:  “Green data centers can achieve up to 30% energy savings compared to traditional centers, resulting in substantial cost reductions” (plus many locales offer tax incentives and rebates for companies using green data centers!)
  • Enhancing your brand image — in today’s climate-conscious market, consumers increasingly value brands that prioritize environmental responsibility, so choosing a green data center can be a way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and elevate your brand with investors and consumers
  • Better community engagement — partnering with a local green data center can create new opportunities for community engagement and collaboration, fostering positive relationships with local stakeholders and enhancing your company’s social impact
  • Attracting talent — similarly, sustainability and green initiatives can be a major draw for environmentally-conscious employees, so hosting with a green data center could enhance your brand and help attract top talent
  • Futureproofing your business — finally, as concerns about climate change and natural resource depletion grow, regulations targeting energy-intensive industries like data centers are likely to become stricter . . . hosting with a green data center in 2024 puts your business ahead of the curve and may protect you from future regulatory risks

With such benefits within reach, I hope you will consider hosting your SaaS solution with a green data center. 

Remember, the green data center landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to research and compare different options before making a hosting decision. Other International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and World Bank Group resources available for assessing data centers include:

I am eager to start a conversation about hosting with green data centers in 2024—let’s connect on LinkedIn!

By Shamsh Hadi, CEO & Co-Founder of ZorroSign, Inc.

I am excited to share a bit of my experience at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly known as COP28 in Dubai, this past November and December. Hundreds of global leaders attended the event, many important commitments were made, and several pending action items fulfilled from early conferences. It was a truly huge moment for environmental conservation and climate change discussions.

As CEO and co-founder of ZorroSign, a global technology company committed to sustainability, I feel deeply the vital role I can play in fulfilling the promises of COP28—both as an entrepreneur and world citizen. I want to summarize some key takeaways from the event, and share how ZorroSign will actively be supporting COP28 resolutions in the year ahead.

COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum

An exciting addition to the Climate Change Conference was the creation of the Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum.

“The inaugural COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum was convened to provide global business and philanthropy stakeholders with a dedicated platform for exchanging ideas, fostering collaboration, and generating action in support of the world’s climate and nature goals,” noted Badr Jafar, COP28 Special Representative and Chair for the Forum. “This Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum has the potential to become an historic turning point in our collective efforts to address climate change and nature loss, formalizing this crucial community’s role in the COP process going forward.”

The Forum’s driving effort was to convert the good intentions of the conference into action. For example, collective actions agreed upon included:

  • Energy transition away from coal-fired power plants; new commitments to renewable energy; reducing emissions from energy, transport and heavy-emitting industries; combatting super pollutants such as methane; and a Net Zero movement of leading healthcare organizations
  • Climate finance efforts with multiple financial vehicles for climate-related projects, funding new moonshot innovation projects, carbon credits and decarbonization solutions, and more
  • People and nature efforts around the development of sustainability-rich food systems, transforming food supply chains, and water resilience efforts
  • Inclusion commitments such as the COP28 & SME Climate Hub for MENA, the International Indigenous Peoples Forum, ONE Amazon, Skills for a Greener Future, and calls accelerate climate adaptation and mitigation efforts that address the specific demands, needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls

Open Discussions About the Future

It was thrilling to hear the open dialog at the conference. The United Arab Emirates was criticized at times as a petrostate championing clean energy, but the small protests were respectful and focused, and the hosts were tolerant and engaged—earnestly expanding discussions that acknowledge current global economic realities, while sincerely exploring future possibilities to improve climate change impacts. It was hugely exciting to be in the midst of such a dynamic debate!

Moreover, the discussion was multi-generational and future generations were often cited as the benefactors of improvements we might make today. The participants acknowledge how much work must be done in combatting climate change, but commitments to sustainability—behaviorally, financially, politically, and technologically—are key for improving the environment for our children, their children, and their children’s children.

Not Just the Air, but the Oceans, Too

Another eye-opening experience for me was to hear so much talk about ocean conservation. Many COP28 participants and programs not only talked about climate change in the air, but doubled down on ocean conservation and reducing the negative human impact on the seas. At one point “the central dome of the venue, Expo City in Dubai, was turned into a teeming coral reef,” writes The Economist. “Turtles swam cozily with similar-sized humpback whales. A change in soundtrack saw them suddenly turned into dancing, blood-red squid.”  Such emphasis on climate change’s impact on the oceans was enlightening and an important addition to the discussion.

ZorroSign’s Takeaways for Improved Sustainability

As I lead ZorroSign into 2024, I am inspired to act upon COP28’s commitments in several ways.

ZorroSign has long championed sustainability and our commitment to helping individuals, companies, governments, and organizations achieve a “Paperless Life” will continue—as will our Save a Tree, Plant a Tree program, our partnership with One Tree Planted, and our contributions to Plant for the Planet’s Trillion Tree Campaign.

As a family and a company, we will continue actively participating in the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s “National Carbon Sequestration Project” with a goal of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030 across the country.

Pushing into new sustainability operations, we will partner with “green data centers” in 2024—hosting our data security platform built on blockchain with UN-approved carbon-neutral network sites.

And we will continue to educate our customers, partners, and stakeholders on the more sustainable operations possible with our unique technology platform—digitizing signature ceremonies, facilitating the workflow of digital documents, and leveraging blockchain technologies to increase data democratization while saving trees, saving water, and reducing carbon emissions.

I would love to hear your thoughts on COP28, improving sustainability, and conserving natural resources for future generations!  Please connect with me on LinkedIn or email me to start a conversation . . .

by Siddesh Mayenkar for Mergermarket

ZorroSign, a data security platform built on blockchain, is in talks to acquire US-based firms in data record and storage and learning-management systems, said co-founder and CEO Shamsh Hadi.

The Phoenix-based company would also like exposure to verticals including finance and healthcare, the executive told this news service. Targets are expected to give them access to new customers and technology.

Established in 2015, ZorroSign uses digital signature technology to create a unified platform delivering data privacy and security on blockchain, according to its website. It has 69 employees in its offices in the US, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, and India. Around half of its headcount is involved in software development and research and development in Sri Lanka, he explained.

Its biggest market is the US, but the company has witnessed recent traction in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, he noted. Hadi, along with a UAE-based family, are the majority owners of the company, followed by employees.

In the past few years, the company received takeover approaches. In 2018, he said a NYSE-listed healthcare and insurance company approached ZorroSign for a potential takeover. Hadi declined as it was an all-stock offer and the bidder asked to drop all its customers and focus on them, he said.

In January 2020, a US-based consultancy firm approached ZorroSign for a takeover, but the offer was declined, the CEO said, without giving a reason.

“If you see our competitive landscape there is no product that is out there,” he said, when asked why the company is attractive.

Hadi declined to provide revenue but claimed “exponential growth.”

It plans to roll out the platform’s mobile app by the end of the month. It is also in talks with a company for the licensing of its patents which it sees as a “potential growth opportunity” in the future, he explained.

Competitors include DocuSign, Microsoft, Adobe and Google, the co-founder said.

Originally published by Mergermarket on January 4, 2024

By Shamsh Hadi, ZorroSign CEO and Co-Founder

We enjoyed a tremendous year at ZorroSign and I wanted to close 2023 with a quick look back at some joyful highlights and accomplishments . . .

In February 2023, ZorroSign launched our completely redesigned iOS mobile app!  You can read the press release on the launch or visit Apple’s App Store to download for free.  Our user experience with the iOS was a Gold Winner with the Best Mobile App Awards this year as well!

In March 2023, I was honored to be recognized on the Middle East’s Top 10 Successful Tech CEOs list.

In April 2023, ZorroSign achieved PCI DSS Certification for our data security platform built on blockchain!

In March and April 2023, ZorroSign’s global teams met in both Colombo, Sri Lanka and Dubai, UAE for strategic planning and fellowship—it was a joyful week full of successful meetings and team bonding!

In August 2023, I joined the team in Phoenix, Arizona to participate on the Global Chamber’s Panel on Women in Global Leadership.  It was an uplifting event and I was grateful to be included in this important discussion!

In September 2023, I was thrilled to sign a growth partnership with Vision Tech Solutions—uniting ZorroSign’s data security platform and blockchain technologies with Vision Tech Solution’s IT infrastructure and services across the Gulf region.

In October, my family and I participated in the visionary program from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE), whose “National Carbon Sequestration Project” will plant 100 million mangroves by 2030 across the country.

Also in October 2023, we expanded our integration with Provenance Blockchain, now allowing ZorroSign users to store digital document information—including signers, signatures and transaction metadata—on the Provenance Blockchain.

In November 2023, I was interviewed as one of  10 Business Leaders Transforming Their Industries by CIOLook Magazine and made their cover.

Also in November 2023, we were proud to launch our new Android app and upgraded iOS app, both of which you can download for free from the respective app stores.

And we closed the year by participating in the United Nations’ COP28 conference in Dubai, supporting sustainability and environmental conservation, while advancing technology and data democratization.

I am immensely proud of our global team and all that we have achieved this year!

Looking ahead, I want to share just a few of our plans for 2024 as a preview of what we will be delivering in the new year . . .

  • We will be promoting our free mobile apps on Android and iOS to start the new year as we add more features—look for the next update expanding our capabilities in January!
  • We will continue to promote sustainability while advancing technology, invigorated by the achievements of COP28 in Dubai so tightly aligned with ZorroSign’s commitment to environmental conservation.  In a new effort, we will be engaging green data centers to maximize energy efficiency and minimize the environmental impact in hosting our platform.
  • The ZorroSign team will expand in 2024—potentially even with new offices as our staff outgrows our current spaces.
  • We will be continuously engineering our technology stack to maximize data privacy and security, as well as our ability to quickly scale across geographies and markets.
  • And as we continuously enhance our user experience across the platform and apps, we also anticipate an exciting rebranding of our technology the first half of 2024 . . . stay tuned for updates in Q1!

Wishing you all a very joyful and peaceful holiday!!

A recent Crowdstrike blog argues how “like so many legacy technologies, legacy data loss prevention (DLP) tools fail to deliver the protection today’s organizations need.”

Crowdstrike notes that with rising attacks, new attack vectors, and higher cost data breaches, organizations are desperate for a modern alternative to traditional cybersecurity solutions, where (as the blog summarizes):

  • Unstructured data on endpoints is at great risk of misuse or breach
  • More than a third of data loss prevention deployments fail
  • Your data is too complex for legacy data loss prevention tools
  • Legacy data loss prevention tools lack visibility into real-world data flows, and so lack context to stop breaches

While I agree with all of Crowdstrike’s arguments, I believe blockchain technology improves cybersecurity and propose that storing your data on blockchain is a necessary leap forward in security versus legacy technologies.

Why is it vital that your organization moves to blockchain-based data storage? Four key reasons:

  • Immutable Records
    One of the main benefits of blockchain technology is its ability to provide secure and tamper-proof record keeping, as the use of cryptography and peer-consensus mechanisms ensures that once data is recorded on the blockchain, it is extremely difficult to alter or delete. This immutability and transparency provide important chain-of-custody audit capabilities for courts and ensure peace of mind to users. Such security also makes blockchains ideal for use in financial transactions, real estate agreements and other high-value exchanges, where a record of every step is essential for ensuring the integrity of the process.

  • Secure Authentication
    One of the main issues in cybersecurity is the vulnerability of traditional authentication methods such as passwords. Passwords can be easily hacked or stolen, leaving sensitive information vulnerable to attack. This can be a threat to businesses, especially those who store their users’ personal information. Blockchain technology can provide secure authentication through the use of public-private key cryptography, eliminating passwords from the process.
  • Decentralization
    Unliked centralized databases which can be breached at unsecure endpoints (users and devices)—or even at MSPs hosting them—giving attackers complete control once they gain central access, blockchain technology distributes data across geographically separate nodes.

    The decentralized nature of blockchains ensures that there is no single point of failure, which also means that hackers cannot easily compromise the system. By decentralizing data storage, blockchain effectively prevents any one endpoint (even if compromised) from gaining control of the full data set.

    This distributed nature defeats those attacks seeking to breach a system and holistically encrypt the data files stored therein. For example, breaching a single endpoint node and attempting to hold data “for ransom” fails, as the larger data set cannot be controlled by any one endpoint (or central authority) and so attackers cannot capture the full data set for encryption, ransom, or shutting down the network.

    Further, with private, permissioned blockchains, each endpoint node (or user) has a unique encryption key to access and write to the distributed ledger. If any one of those endpoints is successfully attacked (presumedly compromising their access key), the private blockchain can simply remove distributed ledger access for that compromised key, issue the endpoint a new key, and allow that endpoint to quickly regain distributed ledger access (effectively as a new endpoint).

    This unique recovery process effectively maroons any ransomware on the endpoint it attacked—ending its access and threat—while allowing the endpoint to re-engage the larger data set: With a new key and without needing to pay any ransom to the attackers for restored access.
  • Identity Verification
    Identity verification is another area where blockchain can be used to enhance cybersecurity.  It ensures that the individual claiming a particular identity is actually who they say they are. With blockchain, users can have greater control over their personal information, allowing them to manage their digital identities more securely. This makes it more difficult for hackers to steal personal information or create fake identities.

ZorroSign’s Data Security Platform Built on Blockchain

As the world becomes more digitized and interconnected, the importance of cybersecurity will only continue to grow, and blockchain storage will play a crucial role in ensuring that our digital world remains safe and secure.

ZorroSign was built from the ground up on Hyperledger Fabric to deliver digital signatures with the superior privacy and security of blockchain. We recently announced our advanced integration with Provence Blockchain, adding their DLT to our architecture as well.

Our Z-Vault® enables ZorroSign users to store, structure, organize and search documents in folders and subfolders natively with the peace of mind that comes from blockchain-based data privacy and security—leaving legacy technologies behind for good.

ZorroSign’s platform can be accessed via PCs and mobile devices, allowing your staff to efficiently generate, negotiate, communicate, and sign agreements. And with Z-Vault, contracts reside on an immutable document management system where they can be saved, searched for, and easily managed from a single, intuitive user interface.

Z-Vault Benefits for Your Organization

  • Superior privacy and security to PKI-based solutions using a centralized database
  • The latest privacy and security technologies, delivering powerful encryption safeguards
  • Secure, yet intuitively navigable and easily accessible (for authorized users) platform
  • Ability to share and review Z-Sign and architectural drawings, adding your own comments

Save time with access to specific folders and documents in seconds, no loss of records

I believe blockchain-based data storage is critical to improving cybersecurity, and I invite you to learn more about Z-Vault to securely store contracts, data, and documents on blockchain instead of legacy technologies.

Learn more about Z-Vault or connect with me on LinkedIn to start a conversation today!

sustainability in technology
Advancing technology, advancing sustainability

I have spent much of 2023 talking about technology and the exciting progress we’ve seen in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain this year. But at ZorroSign, we are committed to advancing technology while advancing sustainability—and I want to focus on those sustainability efforts today.

I have been fortunate to travel the world, attending educational institutions from Boston to New York, Toronto to Vancouver, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. This global education not only made me feel like a citizen of the world, but it also opened my eyes to both the beauty of our planet and the damage humans can do it. No matter your individual politics on climate change, we can all agree that conserving natural resources will benefit our children and the human generations to follow. As such, we have a role in sustaining natural resources as effectively as we can during our time as stewards of our home planet.

I founded ZorroSign not just to improve data democratization, privacy, and security as we move to 21st century digital economies, but also to improve sustainability. 

Aspiring to a digital, paperless life allows all of us to potentially save trees, save water, and reduce our carbon footprints. Businesses, governments, educational institutions, organizations, and individuals who use ZorroSign go digital and so “go green”:  Creating, approving, sharing, executing, and storing digital agreements, documents, and transactions instead of printing, faxing, scanning, and shipping documents to collect signatures, then storing multiple hard copies forever in filing cabinets.

This environment savings is critically valuable—not only to the ZorroSign users who save costs and save resources, but to everyone else on Earth who benefit from those same savings!

To accelerate this value, I have committed ZorroSign to several international conservation efforts, hoping to additionally replenish those natural resources already consumed.  For example . . .

Save a Tree. Plant a Tree

Through our Save a Tree. Plant a Tree program, ZorroSign has pledged to plant a new tree on behalf of our customers every time they save 8,000 pages of copy paper.

One tree produces roughly 8,000 pages of copy paper. Studies show that by reducing the use of paper, we can realize significant environmental benefits such as conserving water, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and reducing deforestation. So by using ZorroSign in human resources, financial, legal, sales, and other departments, you can not only save trees (and watch your cost of doing business go down), but you are also helping replant trees to reforest the planet.

One Tree Planted

Since 2014, the non-profit organization One Tree Planted has more than doubled the number of trees planted each year. The NPO works with partners across more than 80 countries in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific to drive global reforestation. One Tree Planted makes it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees: Restoring forests, creating habitat for biodiversity, and making a positive social impact around the world.

ZorroSign has been an active partner since 2018, and we give to One Tree Planted in the hopes of inspiring other businesses to include such reforestation as part of their sustainability efforts. To learn more about this incredible program, visit OneTreePlanted.org

United Nations’ Plant for the Planet

In 2004, Wangari Maathai, a professor and member of Kenya’s Parliament, won the Nobel Peace Prize for her role as the founder of the Green Belt Movement. In 2006, Professor Maathai launched a billion-tree campaign, with the United Nations Environment Program called Plant for the Planet. That program achieved their goal and now runs the Trillion Tree Campaign!

Again, ZorroSign is a proud contributor to the Trillion Tree Campaign and invites you to learn more about this growing UN effort at Plant-for-the-Planet.org

Supply Chain Traceability and Transparency

Beyond these conservation programs, “blockchain has significant potential to support sustainability, and it may prove to be a valuable tool to help companies advance environmental goals,’ notes PwC

For example, blockchain technologies like ZorroSign help create more transparent and traceable supply chains. Such traceability can reduce waste and improve the sustainability of products and materials. A company might use blockchain to track the source and movement of raw materials, ensuring that they are being sourced sustainably and ethically. This enables consumers to make more informed choices about the products they buy, and encourages companies to adopt more sustainable practices.

“Blockchain will prove to be the ultimate answer to supply chain transparency,” explains Rhonda Dibachi for Forbes. “Requiring that suppliers accept APIs is one way of gaining visibility in a world where no digital architecture currently exists for it. To get beyond the self-contained bubble of the connected factory to the next step—a connected supply chain—you have to invite your suppliers in, and the blockchain offers a mechanism for the trust that will be required. That’s why blockchain will be the ultimate solution for all sorts of business that requires trust.”

“Blockchain’s role in helping the environment can go far beyond energy footprints and carbon credits as well,” adds CoinDesk in a recent article. “We expect to see an increasing number of sustainability-focused systems launching in 2023, where things like water usage or plastic creation could similarly be tracked and reported. Governments and regulators could create clear standards for what levels of environmental impact are acceptable across various industries and utilize these blockchain systems to monitor them. This would not only benefit the planet itself, but it would also streamline business processes via clear expectations for emissions. Even electrical grids can be managed via blockchains and smart contracts.”

COP28 in Dubai

Last but not least, I’d like to promote the 2023 Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — COP28.  This global event will be hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this November 30th through December 12th, and I am thrilled to attend! 

COP28 UAE promises to be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of progress on the Paris Agreement—a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted at COP21 in Paris, France, December 2015 and entered into force November 2016.

To learn more about this year’s event, including opportunities to participate, visit COP28.com

Finally, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn to discuss how your technology leadership can support sustainability and environmental conservation as well.

I was recently honored to join the Women in Global Leadership event in Phoenix.  Hosted by Doug Bruhnke and Connie Kadansky for Global Chamber – Phoenix, the event featured a panel of speakers, fashion show, and tour of the amazing Bespoke Manufacturing Company with CEO Kirby Best.

Diana White facilitated the panel, where I was invited to join Alexandria Van Haren, Rangina Hamidi, Martha Medina, and Tracey Latham to speak on opportunities and obstacles women face in global leadership.  My part was to include a male perspective in the panel’s discussion.

Diana asked questions about mentorship and the panelists’ experiences with structured and unstructured mentorship in their careers.  Some of them admitted they struggled to find women mentors and were grateful to the men who had offered guidance and support early in their careers.  They often found they themselves had to become mentors to other women, as structured opportunities for mentorship in their industries simply wasn’t common.

Diana next asked about examples of global leadership for women, and how the panelists perceived current leadership around the world.  All of us agreed greater integrity was needed of leaders, as well the courage to stand up for truth and righteousness—even when such opinions might be unpopular. 

I was able to contribute some sobering statistics on women’s leadership in the technology industry,  including:

  • Women make up just 27.6% of the tech industry workforce
  • Over 50% of women in tech report harassment and sexism
  • Only 11% of women in tech serve in management roles
  • 50% of women in tech leave their job before the age of 35 due to lack of job advancement
  • And 30% of women over age 35 are still in junior tech positions, compared to just 5% of men

Diana then asked the panelists how they had thrived in industries typically dominated by men:  Lexie in aviation, Rangina in Afghanistan government, Martha in biochemistry, and Tracey in electronics manufacturing.  All of the women found a strong belief in themselves, a resolve to overcome all obstacles, and to succeed in fields they loved despite the lack of women’s leadership in those fields. As such, they made themselves leaders and so hope their successes can inspire other women to believe in themselves as well.

Finally, Diana closed the panel asking how we might make progress faster in women’s leadership.  We readily shared the perspective that allies and mentors help speed progress, as well as continuing education and an ability to define leadership on your own terms—not necessarily the historical or patriarchal perspectives on what it means to lead.

I was thrilled to be included in this important discussion, and hope my contributions were encouraging to the women on the panel and the women in the audience, hearing these real-world stories of opportunities and obstacles, setbacks and success.  It was an uplifting event and I am so grateful to the Global Chamber—and my colleagues on the panel—for this chance to advance and support global leadership for women!


At ZorroSign we recently made a major change to our platform architecture!

We have always been built on blockchain—and have always delivered the most private, most secure digital signatures—but we wanted to scale our platform much more aggressively, and that vison required a big change in how we develop and deploy our technology. Specifically, we moved from a centralized, monolithic approach to using microservices and containers.

Let me explain why we choose this new engineering approach and how your company might benefit from a similar move.

What Are Microservices? What Are Containers?

“A microservices architecture splits your application into multiple services that perform fine-grained functions and are part of your application as a whole,” explains IBM. “Each of your microservices will have a different logical function for your application.”

Explained another way, “a microservices framework creates a massively scalable and distributed system, which avoids the bottlenecks of a central database,” says Avi Networks (now part of VMware). “Microservices break an application into independent, loosely-coupled, individually deployable services… allowing for each service to scale or update using the deployment of service proxies without disrupting other services in the application and enabling the rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large, complex applications.”

There are two types of microservices:  Stateless (which do not save data, so any data is lost when the microservice’s container restarts), and Stateful (which do save data and so write to a database).

And where do you put those microservices? In containers.

“Containers are packages of your software that include everything that it needs to run, including code, dependencies, libraries, binaries, and more,” continues IBM. “Docker and Kubernetes are the most popular frameworks to orchestrate multiple containers in enterprise environments”

“Containers are a lightweight alternative to VMs for providing isolated operating environments for your workloads,” says Edward Kisller for JFrog. “Containers avoid the infrastructure overhead of a full-blown OS and provide only those resources (i.e., installations, dependencies, and code) that your applications actually need.” In other words, containers do not use all the CPU or RAM but instead share the operating system kernel for faster boots and less memory consumption.

“A container is a useful resource allocation and sharing technology. It’s something dev-ops people get excited about,” writes Ev Kontsevoy for Teleport. “A microservice is a software design pattern. It’s something developers get excited about.”

Why Develop with Microservices? What Are the Benefits?

“Microservices architectures make applications easier to scale and faster to develop,” notes Amazon Web Services. “Enabling innovation and accelerating time-to-market for new features.”

Such were ZorroSign’s high-level goals:  To improve scalability, resilience, and productivity.

“Moving to microservices enabled a polyglot tech stack,” said Priyal Walpita, chief technology officer at ZorroSign. “Which means our engineers could contribute to our development efforts using the technology stacks that they know best, plus we boosted performance and facilitated a continuous delivery pipeline for easier and faster deployments.”

“Applications were traditionally built as monolithic pieces of software,” continues Avi Networks. “Monolithic applications have long life cycles, are updated infrequently and changes usually affect the entire application. Adding new features requires reconfiguring and updating the entire stack — from communications to security. This costly and cumbersome process delays time-to-market and updates in application development.”

In contrast to monolithic apps, microservices/container architectures bring benefits such as greater:

  • Agility — Microservices foster the organization of small, independent teams that take ownership of their services. “Best examples of microservices agility are sites like Amazon, eBay, Uber and Netflix, which are active 24×7,” notes AnAr Solutions. “The performance of these sites is a benchmark for other sites and applications. The response time, ability to handle multiple requests and process in minimum time is commendable.”
  • Productivity — “The microservice architecture tackles the speed issue of applications and its productivity by dividing it into small parts. In this way, these applications are developed and maintained at a very fast speed,” writes Terralogic. “Different teams work independently without waiting for the other team to finish their chunks of work. In this way, separate microservices are easier to locate and modify. Quality assurance of this microservice architecture is very fast as the programs which are developed early are tested instead of waiting for all the programs to be completed.”
  • Resilience — With microservices, an application will still function if part of it goes down because microservices allow for spinning up a replacement, granting the entire system higher resilience. “Three well-known microservices resiliency techniques improve fault tolerance and allow applications to smoothly handle failures,” explains Dr. Alan F. Castillo for Cloud Computing Technologies: Retry patterns, circuit breaker patterns, and timeout design patterns. “Employing these patterns is a very effective resiliency strategy for microservices applications. It doesn’t matter how you apply these patterns; what matters is that you have systems that can properly deal with failures.”
  • Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) — Microservice facilitate CI/CD for applications and modernize the technology stack. “There are some goals of a strong CI/CD progression to serve in the microservices design, for example, every team of coders independently develop and install their changes or edits owned by them individualistically so that it did not affect or disrupt the work of other teams,” reports DevOps Enabler. “CI/CD best practices include the goal of automating the building process, testing the products, and then releasing the software. Developers must be able to track the performance metrics of DevOps throughout the software delivery lifecycle and warn people so that they can quickly recover if something goes wrong during deployment or release cycle.”
  • Scalability — Meeting demand is easier when microservices only have to scale the necessary components, which requires fewer resources. “Since an application is composed of multiple micro services which share no external dependencies, scaling a particular micro service instance in the flow is greatly simplified,” writes Atul Saini for Fiorano Software. “If a particular microservice in a flow becomes a bottleneck due to slow execution, that microservice can be run on more powerful hardware for increased performance if required, or one can run multiple instances of the microservice on different machines to process data elements in parallel.”
  • Security — “Migrating to microservices creates an opportunity for a much better security model,” explains Kontsevo. “As every microservice is a specialized process, it is a good idea to only allow it to access resources it needs. This way a vulnerability in just one microservice will not expose the rest of your system to an attacker.”

Not everything is easier with microservices, of course. Three commonly acknowledged challenges of deploying microservices typically include: First, the “complexity from managing microservices written in different languages,” as we’ve done at ZorroSign. Second, the “cost implications of network resource usage from remote calls across multiple services” and third, “investigating root causes or auditing systems becomes challenging when dealing with log management across distributed services, as log aggregators would be required,” suggests BMC.

But complexity, costs, and support all increase when any application grows, so facing those challenges with a microservices architecture is little different than facing the complexity, costs, and support challenges of a larger monolithic app.

Why ZorroSign Choose Microservices—and Why You Should, Too

Our CTO and I have been assessing microservices for several years, and committed to an overhaul of our DevOps a year ago. We spent the first half of 2022 building the next iteration of ZorroSign’s blockchain platform with microservices and containers.

“Beyond the development advantages, microservices allow us to more easily manage complex ZorroSign back-end services and improve our entire system’s resiliency,” said Walpita. “It’s far easier finding and fixing bugs, allowing our development team to focus on single, isolated functionality, and then deploying asynchronously to other development efforts, whenever new functionality is tested and ready.”

From my perspective, I was intrigued to learn how microservices improved our defense-in-depth capabilities, as security can be configured much more granularly and configured at each microservice level. With ZorroSign’s commitment to privacy and security, microservices were another important upgrade to keep our platform ahead of the competition.

“Our team develops in C#, Go, Java, and Python,” adds Walpita. “Being able to deploy all those program languages in a single application, united across AWS cloud tools, Docker, and Kubernetes, gives ZorroSign the flexibility our engineers desire and the scalability our customers demand.”

Finally, I asked Priyal what advice he might give other organizations thinking of deploying microservices. He said: “Make sure your product and development team are mature enough to adopt the complexity of a microservice architecture. At some point, a growing app’s need for scalability, higher resilience, and improved performance may make microservices the best path forward. But ensuring your DevOps are ready to integrate and manage all the pieces of a polyglot tech stack is the key to success.”

I encourage you to consider microservices for your apps, and welcome the chance to talk more about this exciting architecture for new technologies!

(Originally published on LinkedIn by Shamsh Hadi, CEO and Co-Founder of ZorroSign)

Blockchain advocates have long been excited about distributed ledger technology’s potential for cybersecurity, financial services (especially cross-border payments), the Internet of Things (IoT), real estate, and supply chain management. But as we look ahead to 2023, some other interesting markets are worth watching for the latest trends in blockchain use. Here are four industries I believe will accelerate blockchain adoption to their great advantage . . .

Cloud Services

The worldwide public cloud services market, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) generated $408.6 billion in 2021 revenues, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Big Tech players “Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft have together invested almost $120 billion in the past 12 months,” calculates as recent article in The Economist. “Most of it in data centres and the servers that power them.”

While the cloud services industry is still young, this tremendous growth (and high profit margins) drive innovation. Such innovation will include more blockchain technology in 2023.

For example, “cloud storage is another sector that blockchain can electrify and change. Traditionally, cloud storage companies allow users to purchase a certain amount of storage that is generally sold by the terabyte,” explains a recent Investment Bank article. “Blockchain technology provides users a means to store information on a peer-to-peer network. A cloud storage platform could be run by the nodes that help facilitate transactions. The nodes would be giving up storage on their computers to the consumer, but the node owners would be compensated by the consumers for storing their data.”

More broadly for cloud services, blockchain brings greater privacy and security capabilities. “When cloud computing is integrated with blockchain technology, the main problem, security and privacy, gets addressed,” writes Tanvir Zafar for Yahoo! Finance. “Data deletion from one computer does not erase data stored on other devices on a blockchain network. As a result, there is no danger of data loss or alteration. Data on a blockchain is irremovable. It allows for clear documentation of data usage, including where, when, and how it is being used and by whom. Blockchains are governed by codes, eliminating the need for third-party rules, making them a more secure alternative.”

Such elevated privacy, security, and automation can quickly advance cloud computing—not only delivering greater benefits to consumers, but potentially lowering costs and overhead for providers.

Beyond these improvements to today’s cloud services, blockchain can be added as a service offering itself. “In blockchain-based cloud computing, blockchain can be used for secure network management by hosting the blockchain network as Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) in a cloud environment,” suggests Kenny Kleinerman for Ridge. “BaaS supports IoT applications by offering different blockchain-enabled services, such as smart contract services, verification services on user transactions, and cloud blockchain storage.”

I foresee blockchain as a huge piece of cloud services—both infrastructure and offering—in the years ahead!


At ZorroSign, we have already seen many government agencies, departments, and ministries adopting blockchain for operations. “Governments are likely to begin implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) systems that will replace traditional paper-based systems,” writes Finnegan Pierson for Chetu. “The migration to digital data systems has been going on for quite some time, but DLT has greater advantages that provide greater trust, transparency and security via encryption and validation features.”

Government organizations can readily improve constituent communications and administration with the innovative adoption of blockchains.  For example, blockchain can improve:

  • Form processing and chain-of-custody tracking of government documents
  • Identification and elimination of errors in government documents, plus reduce tampering and detect forgery
  • Operational efficiency by eliminating paper-based records (and related equipment and supplies to print, copy, distribute, and store paper documents)
  • Cost controls by reducing the expense of manually processing applications, forms, and documentation of all kinds and instead implementing digital records stored on blockchain

In the UAE, for example, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Digital City Vision for Smart Dubai has been a guiding principle for ZorroSign and other blockchain innovators. For ZorroSign, we share his goal of a paperless life in the UAE by 2030, but Digital Dubai pursues many technologies, as the leaders have found “government effectiveness became increasingly imperative especially in Government to Consumer (G2C) and Government to Government (G2G) services.”

Specific to blockchain, “The Dubai Blockchain strategy will usher in economic opportunity for all sectors in the city, and cement Dubai’s reputation as a global technology leader,” notes the Digital Dubai initiative. “In line with Digital Dubai’s mandate to become a global leader in the smart economy, fueling entrepreneurship and global competitiveness.” Such vision for government is starting in Dubai, but readily seen as critical to future governance in other countries.

Perhaps most exciting, “blockchain technology can end voter fraud,” claims Shivam Arora in an article for Simplilearn. How? With blockchain “people can vote online easily without revealing their identities. Using blockchain, officials can count votes with absolute accuracy, knowing that each ID can be attributed to only one vote. Fraud cannot occur because it is next to impossible with blockchain technology. And, once a vote is added to a ledger, it cannot be changed or erased.” The opportunity to improve voting processes and ensure democratic results will surely keep blockchain in the government focus for years to come.


As blockchain transforms government, so it will transform the law and legal services.

There are many ways blockchain technology is already transforming legal services, writes Steve Glaveski for the NewLaw Academy: “Smart contracts, dispute resolution, IP rights… where The blockchain can support evidence of creation, first use, and rights management, and can track distribution. This ultimately prevents copyright infringement and enforces mitigation via time-stamped copies of work, aiding plaintiffs if appearing before a court. Land and property registries (that today) are notorious for being out of date, decentralized, and restricted. And public service records.”

Again, at ZorroSign we have seen law firms and legal departments start with digital signatures for digital transactions, then quickly expand their use of blockchain to store, track, and manage their contracts and agreements. Contract lifecycle management (or CLM) solutions help attorneys to manage the complex and evolving nature of contracts—making them more efficient at producing, executing, and upholding contractual agreements. Leveraging blockchain, ZorroSign manages contracts as we manage all digital documents, providing digital signatures to quickly execute legally binding contracts, a patented Z-Forensics token to ensure contract immutability, and a document management system built on blockchain for immutable storage.

Consensys, a software foundry providing decentralized software services and apps on Ethereum, believes blockchain can make the legal industry more accessible and more transparent. “Lawyers can leverage blockchain technology to streamline and simplify their transactional work, digitally sign and immutably store legal agreements,” claims a Consensys article. And “blockchain-based contracts have baked-in compliance, no surprises, and no room for misinterpretation.”

As transactions and records move to digital workflows, digital signing ceremonies, and digital storage, blockchain will be a boon to law firms and legal department in 2023 and beyond.


Finally, with the move to digital commerce and communications, our individual identity—as mapped to digital worlds—becomes increasingly important to control and authenticate.

“Identity systems are currently flawed in a number of ways. They are porous, operate in isolation and prone to error,” adds Finnegan Pierson again in Chetu. “Blockchain systems can solve these problems and provide a single source to verify identity and assets. Blockchain identity can also offer a type of ‘self-sovereignty’ that hasn’t existed before.”

This desire for control over one’s personal information—and digital data across platforms—lies at the heart of web3. While web3 starts with blockchain, its ambition and scope will spread far across the Internet, metaverses, and shared networks.

“Identification and credentials are easier for everyone to work with when they’re digital: vaccination cards, academic qualifications, occupational licenses, employee ID and more. But this highly personal information must remain private and secure,” says IBM. “Governments, businesses and educational institutions are turning to blockchain as a proven way to enable a secure and trusted infrastructure and improve services.”

“One of the most problematic results of the internet age has been identity security,” notes Nathan Reiff for Investopedia. “Blockchain technology has already demonstrated the potential for transforming the way that online identity management takes place. The applications for blockchain and identity management are wide-ranging.”

From cloud services, cybersecurity, and IT to financial services, government, healthcare, legal services, real estate, supply chains, and other industries, blockchain is changing how we do business, share information, and identify ourselves.

These trends are just the start, however, and the opportunities for blockchain to improve the privacy and security of our digital data will flourish in the years ahead.

Contact us to learn more . . . or start a free trial to put our blockchain software for digital signatures to the test!

Global ZorroSign
(Originally published on LinkedIn by Shamsh Hadi, CEO and Co-Founder of ZorroSign)

Last year, I shared how ZorroSign’s early roots in Dubai, UAE, helped us grow into an international company. I want to update that theme today and talk about ZorroSign’s role as a global company providing global solutions that improve data democratization, privacy, and security.

As CEO and co-founder of ZorroSign, I have dedicated my career to advancing technology while simultaneously advancing sustainability:  Ensuring the new technologies we bring to market elevate information privacy, data security, and data democratization while not coming at the expense of future generations.

At ZorroSign, we saw very early a market need to push past web2 solutions for digital signatures and digital transactions—escaping centralized information architectures that consolidate data with a provider (and expose that data to the risks of single-point-of-failure cyber-attacks) while simultaneously pulling data ownership away from users (to be housed and monetized by the web2 provider). Alternatively, ZorroSign empowers our users by deploying web3 solutions that decentralize data and ensure users will always own their documents and transaction metadata—even after their subscriptions with us end.

Dubai Start, Dubai Strong

As a long-time resident of Dubai, I was greatly inspired by the Digital City Vision—Smart Dubai of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. ZorroSign’s technology very purposefully supports Dubai’s paperless initiatives for Digital Dubai and helps to advance Dubai’s leadership in digital operations, specifically focused on:

  • Security—providing superior digital privacy and security by leveraging a private, permissioned blockchain technology
  • Digital Signatures—a platform that is easy-to-use and legally compliant to global standards
  • Chain of Custody—delivering immutable records of every step of every digital transaction: Authenticating users, securing data, and verifying documents for legal enforceability
  • Advancing UAE’s 10 Principles for the Next 50 Years—specifically helping Dubai to build the best and most dynamic economy in the world; defining new UAE development with digital, technical, and scientific excellence; and promoting a value system based on openness and tolerance

Initially, our company served government departments in UAE but soon grew into an international business—helping people to build, sign, store, and track mission-critical documents on the blockchain in Sri Lanka, India, and the United States.

Last year, ZorroSign was named Blockchain SaaS Innovator of the Year at the UAE Business Awards 2021, then at the turn of the year, Unlock News Desk showcased a story on UAE Based ZorroSign introducing six new features to our blockchain platform.

This spring, Tech Channel wrote a great article on ZorroSign making waves in digital signature space using blockchain technology, and TahawulTech.com interviewed me on how ZorroSign helps tackle identity theft on our now multi-chain blockchain platform.

And most recently, ZorroSign was highlighted in a Zawya article for UAE businesses and a TECHx article on ZorroSign’s mission to provide businesses across the Middle East with seamless integration of document management and secure digital signature solutions.

I am incredibly proud of our continued success in my home town, and while ZorroSign expands our global presence, the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries will be a strategic market for us.

Success in South Asia

From the start, ZorroSign has had close ties with the south Asia countries of India and Sri Lanka. While operations started in Dubai, our development center of excellence has always been in Colombo!

Our blockchain architecture was conceived, coded, and cultivated entirely in Sri Lanka with a vision to provide global customers with the ability to securely transform paper-based workflows to digital operations. I could not be prouder of our Sri Lanka team, and though they are struggling through that beautiful country’s difficult political and economic crisis, they have proven again and again the resilience and tenacity of their engineering genius.

Recently, APAC Business Headlines recognized the ZorroSign team as the “Most Innovative Blockchain Company from Sri Lanka” for 2022! The award validates the hard work of our center of excellence team, and further proves blockchain’s prominence on the global stage.

This recognition followed our 2021 success where the International Business Awards® named ZorroSign a Gold Stevie® Award Winner for Blockchain Solutions. The Stevie’s are the world’s premier business awards program, where in 2021 more than 3,700 nominations from organizations across 63 nations and territories—of all sizes and in virtually every industry—were submitted for recognition. We were delighted to be awarded a gold Stevie for our blockchain solution and to be recognized as a Company of the Year, and Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year. Most flattering, the judges were quick to note that ZorroSign is “one of the few companies that are able to use blockchain technology to solve a real business problem” . . . a strong endorsement of our digital signature technology, built on blockchain, and paired with identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) and patented fraud detection, to authenticate users and verify documents across digital transactions.

Tackling North American Markets

As a U.S. citizen who has lived in Canada, China, and the UAE at various times over the past forty years, my goal was always to return home and bring ZorroSign’s blockchain solutions to North American users.

In August 2020, we opened our global operations hub in Phoenix, Arizona—ushering in a new phase of business growth. We quickly established local partnerships with Arizona State University, Grand Canyon State University, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, City of Phoenix, Global Chamber®, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and many other incredible organizations!

And we’ve engaged government agencies, financial services providers, IT businesses (and departments), legal services firms, real estate companies, and several other verticals to prove the value of a paperless life and the most private, secure, compliant digital transactions hosted on blockchain. Early adopters of our web3 solutions are excited to embrace ZorroSign’s robust platform to advance their digital operations and gain a competitive advantage in a market place still dominated by legacy, web2 technologies.

Global Privacy and Security Compliance

Our unique combination of blockchain architecture, web3 technologies, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and patented fraud prevention grants ZorroSign compliance across many international standards for privacy and security.

The list continues to grow as we expand our markets, but already includes:

  • Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • Canada’s Uniform Electronic Commerce Act (UECA)
  • The European Union’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for data privacy and security
  • EU’s electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) regulation
  • India’s Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act of India)
  • International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) No. 3402, Type II audited
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001 certified
  • PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures (PAdES) is a set of restrictions and extensions to PDF and ISO 32000-1
  • The UAE’s Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 regarding Electronic Transactions and E-Commerce granting electronic signatures legal force and effect
  • The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) SOC 2 Type I audit
  • USA’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • USA’s Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) encryption standards
  • USA’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • USA’s Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act)
  • USA’s FDA Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations; Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures
  • USA’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • USA’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)

I am proud of all ZorroSign has achieved for our international customers and incredibly excited about some big announcements later this summer! ZorroSign is truly a global company delivering global solutions, and we are not resting on our laurels—the best is yet to come.

Contact us to learn more . . . or start your free trial to put our digital signature software to the test!

Sustainable technology
Originally published by Shamsh Hadi on LinkedIn

In an earlier article, I briefly introduced sustainability in advancing technology—specifically urging innovators to be aware of the impact of their new technologies on the environment and human sustainability.

In advance of Earth Day 2022, I reiterate that while it is easy to laud the potential of new technologies, we must also be wary of their effects on the environment . . . specifically the depletion of natural resources which may disrupt ecological balance. This is not to say innovation must be stymied, but that the true price of innovation must be measured in more than purely economic terms.

Defining Sustainability for Business

My quick definition of sustainability—from the Brundtland Report, drafted by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987—is simply “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Bigger picture, the idea of sustainability is “often broken down into three pillars: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.” For me, new technologies tend to span all three: Driven by economic goals, but often extracting environmental and social costs.

For example, it has been a long-running criticism of bitcoin that the proof-of-work data mining required to produce coins consumes an astonishing amount of electricity. With many public blockchains used for cryptocurrencies, mining coins requires complicated mathematical processing on high-end graphic processing units (GPUs), consuming energy both for calculation processing and cooling those GPUs down under heavy load.

“Scientists from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School recently built an interactive analysis tool to calculate the real energy cost of bitcoin cryptocurrency,” explains Caroline Delbert in Popular Mechanics. “Using their energy use model, the researchers found that bitcoin mining uses more energy each year (130.00 terawatt-hours [TWh]) than the entire country of Argentina (125.03 TWh).”

Another example might emphasize social sustainability. “Social sustainability is about identifying and managing business impacts, both positive and negative, on people,” notes UN Global Compact.

Recall how Facebook’s social network technologies were taken to task by The Social Dilemma—a documentary highlighting the dangerous impact of social networking, which represents a sustainability challenge to human societies.

The film shows that while social networks’ cost is not environmental per se, social media’s “design nurtures an addiction, manipulates people’s views, emotions, and behavior, and spreads conspiracy theories and disinformation . . . [plus an] effect on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates).” Such social costs put existing social media in direct conflict with sustainable practices.

Balancing Innovation and Sustainability

So how can innovators build and create without jeopardizing the “ability of future generations to meet their needs”?

Such effort requires vision beyond immediate solutions and an eye for real-world consequences . . . even those completely unintended or unexpected in the deployment and adoption of new technology.

“The Industrial Revolution brought forth extraordinary gains in financial prosperity. Between 1870 and 1910, per capita income in the United States rose almost 40 percent, and the value of manufacturing output increased sevenfold. Yet rapid industrialization left in its wake darkened noontime skies, noisy and unsafe machinery, and severely compromised living conditions,” write David Austin and Molly K. Macauley in a classic article from Brookings. “Technology is a double-edged sword—one capable both of doing and undoing damage to environmental quality.”

“Technology has the ability to significantly impact the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” says Jeff Fromm in a Forbes article on sustainability and innovation. “As well as improve work/life balance, enable commerce and so much more.”

Here, environmental technologies have a chance to remedy the historical efforts of Industrial Revolution technologies that brought pollution and ecological disruption, as well as massively depleting natural resources.

“We are currently living in a period of rapid change, where technological developments are revolutionizing the way we live, at the same time as leading us further into the depths of catastrophe in the form of climate change and resource scarcity,” adds a great piece by Edinburgh Sensors. “While the impact of technology on the environment has been highly negative, the concept of environmental technology could save our planet from the harm that has been done.”

Even those technologies that simply avert environmental damage, without perhaps directly rebuilding or restoring natural resources, can have a tremendously positive effect on sustainability.

ZorroSign’s Example

Circling back to my company, ZorroSign’s platform was originally built on private, permissioned Hyperledger Fabric.

Starting with this economic pillar, we constructed a blockchain platform unlike bitcoin and the proof-of-work cryptocurrency models, instead leveraging Hyperledger Fabric as a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture with lower electricity costs and a smaller carbon footprint. Hyperledger Fabric is a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture “with even lower electricity costs and attendant carbon footprints,” writes Michael Barnard in a CleanTechnica report.

Hyperledger Fabric’s architecture is so completely different from the mining and broadly distributed model of bitcoin, that the enterprise blockchain can operate faster with far, far lower energy consumption rates. This combination of speed and energy-efficiency made Hyperledger Fabric the sustainable choice to launch ZorroSign’s digital platform.

For the environmental pillar, ZorroSign’s vision includes a commitment to saving trees and having a positive impact on the environment through sustainable practices. With our Save-a-Tree, Plant-a-Tree program, ZorroSign plants a tree on behalf of our customers every time they save 8,000 pages of copy paper! As one tree produces roughly 8,000 pages of copy paper, this amounts to a double incentive:  Reducing the destruction of trees via reduced paper use and increasing the number of trees as reward for reducing paper use. Again, our efforts aspire to realize significant environmental benefits such as conserving water, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and reducing deforestation.

At ZorroSign, we use blockchain to help individuals, businesses, and governments to achieve a paperless life. Here we embrace the social pillar: Understanding that switching to digital records is not only a smart business decision, but it is also good for the environment and society.

Every time someone uses ZorroSign to digitally sign agreements, contracts, and other documents—instead of printing, faxing, scanning, and couriering documents to collect signatures—we all save trees, save water, and reduce carbon emissions. By moving social costs from paper consumption, logistics, and storage to digital signatures, digital archiving, and digital chains-of-custody, we advance a technology that similarly advances sustainability.

I am eager to engage technology innovators in advancing their solutions while also advancing sustainability goals!  Connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shamsh-hadi/

Law firms of all sizes need legally-binding digital signatures, authenticated digital signers, the ability to track digital documents across multiple approvers and signers, and immutable audit trails to ensure digital agreements can withstand court scrutiny.


The rise of blockchain technology unites all of these capabilities for law firms and allows forward-thinking firms to gain competitive advantages in efficiency, client service, and operational cost-savings by leveraging blockchain solutions.


Blockchain for Law

Blockchains are distributed ledger technology (DLT) leveraging cryptography—user authentication, data encryption and verification—to secure information records (blocks) distributed across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.  DLTs replicate, share, and synchronize digital data geographically spread across multiple sites (nodes), with no central data storage or administrator.  They can be run publicly (open) or privately (permissioned).

Public blockchains can readily be used as cryptocurrencies—creating and using a coin that serves as digital money.  For example, Ether is the coin of Ethereum, Lumen is the coin of Stellar, and bitcoin is the coin of Bitcoin.


Private blockchains are commonly used as business apps.  Here, an organization (or consortium of organizations) controls access to the blockchain—limiting its distribution but also elevating its security.  While cryptocurrencies are often in the news for major purchases, market fluctuations, and hacks, blockchain business apps are often in the news showcasing how blockchain can shape business, government, healthcare, and many other industries including legal services.


Perhaps most importantly, blockchains can support smart contracts—where terms, conditions, and permissions written into the digital code that require an exact sequence of events to take place to trigger the agreement of the terms mentioned in the blockchain contract.  This hard wiring, so to speak, of contract details greatly increases speed (via automation), trust (where accuracy and backup are built into the transaction), and autonomy (as no third parties are required to mediate or control the exchange) of transactions.


As such, blockchains have immense potential to transform business contracts, real estate deals, digital rights, supply chain security and provenance, estate planning, and many other legal transactions.


ZorroSign Uses Hyperledger Fabric for Privacy & Security

ZorroSign is built entirely on a blockchain architecture that protects identities and data—uniquely authenticating users, encrypting communications, and securing digital data immutably through its lifetime.  Specifically, ZorroSign’s platform was built from the ground-up on private, permissioned Hyperledger Fabric:  the framework for the IBM Blockchain Platform, Honeywell Aerospace’s marketplace for used aircraft parts, Walmart’s food traceability system, and many other corporate deployments.


For law firms that desire to securely transform paper-based workflows, ZorroSign’s digital signature and document management platform can decrease operating costs, reduce transcription errors, and increase attorney productivity. As a private blockchain, ZorroSign can ensure privacy is always maintained as only approved nodes (endpoint users) can write to ZorroSign’s blockchain. As a result, ZorroSign’s architecture has even tighter privacy and security measures than other blockchains.


ZorroSign for Law
While the legal industry has traditionally been very conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies, law firms today must serve a diverse, mobile, and technically savvy clientele.




Rex L. Patterson
Attorney & Owner at Patterson Law


ZorroSign supports such firms and their clients by delivering:

  • Non-repudiation audit trails and full progress tracking, including when documents are completed, rejected, expired or canceled
  • Cost-savings from reduced printing, faxing, scanning, and overnighting documents
  • Total control and visibility of documents-in-progress
  • An easily deployed document retention policy


Law firms use ZorroSign and our blockchain-based digital business platform (DBP) for incorporation documents; retainer, fee and non-disclosure agreements; purchase agreements (assets, products, and services); complying with Sarbanes-Oxley Act (board minutes, transparency, audit trail); power of attorney and proxy agreements; engagement letters; partner agreements; shareholder agreements; licensing agreements; and so much more.


We believe our digital signatures and document management solutions to be the most private, most secure available and look forward to proving it to law firms around the world! Contact us today to learn more.


Earlier this month, on December 5, 2018, the 21st Century IDEA (Act) passed in the US House of Representative and December 12, 2018 it passed the Senate. On the 20th of December 2018, the President of the United States signed the “21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act” or the “21st Century IDEA” bill into law. We discussed this in a blog article speculating what it means and its impact on business. The passage of this bill is a tremendous milestone particularly for the Digital signature and digital transaction management industry and represents rather progressive “forward” thinking of our country’s leaders. The law addresses issues with regard to:


  • Website Modernization
  • Digitization of Government Services and Forms
  • Plan to Increase use of Digital Signatures within Federal Agencies
  • Improving Customer Experience and Digital Services Delivery


With this new legislation, the ability to conduct all of your government business via digital technology is closer than ever before. 21st Century IDEA, will position the US Government to be a fully digital public sector operation, potentially in the next few years.


The goal of the 21st Century IDEA legislation is to enhance the digital services within the federal government. Accelerating the federal government’s ability to improve digital service delivery and customer experience. The 21st Century IDEA will:


  • Enhance federal agency websites, making them mobile friendly, and establishing minimum standards.
  • Transition from paper-based forms to electronic transactions.
  • Decrease federal costs, saving taxpayers money.
  • Increase efficiency and productivity of federal employees.
  • Promote the use of Digital signatures standards established via the eSign Act.
  • Reinforce the validity of Digital signatures.
  • Decrease use of paper, and potentially decrease human error by digitizing processes.


We think there are two areas of significant impact that beg to be called out here.


Workflow Automation and Business Process Optimization


With the passage of this bill, there will be even greater emphasis on enhancing business process optimization and using workflow automation. The digitization will create opportunity to revisit how we run our operations, how we handle approvals, how we manage storage and tracking of information, how we handle inquiries and how we provide service to the constituents in the front office and how we handle everything else in the back office. Digital signature is just one part of the complete Digital Transaction Management system which will be a core enabling technology. An added benefit of going digital is the business savings of time, cost and efficiency. Check out our blog article of complete business impact of going digital.


Environmental Benefits of 21st Century IDEA


Imagine what the approximately 800,000 federal employees do every day. Add millions of State and local government employees to this list and then add all the millions of private companies that interact and do business with all the government agencies and programs. Now imagine how much paper is used every day, printers, ink, and storing of those files and documents. On average about 3 Gallons of water is required to produce one page of copy paper, 1.5 Gallons if recycled water is used. The magnitude of positive impact on the environment is tremendous. Water, trees, and Carbon footprint. Checkout ZorroSign’s Environmental Savings Calculator (a part of its Paperless Life initiative) to estimate the environmental impact this law will have.


Checkout our complete review of the environmental impact of going digital in this blog article.


ZorroSign is excited for the 21st Century IDEA to be implemented so we can start to see the digital transformation within the government. This marks a fundamental shift in Government to consumer customer experience. ZorroSign would like to thank and recognize all of the cosponsors of this legislation for a bipartisan job well done: Rep. Ratcliffe, John [R-TX-4], Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2], Rep. Russell, Steve [R-OK-5], Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11], Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5], Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8], Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-8], Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8], Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6], Rep. Watson Coleman, Bonnie [D-NJ-12], Rep. Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA-50], Rep. Lawrence, Brenda L. [D-MI-14], Rep. Comstock, Barbara [R-VA-10], Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18], Rep. Curtis, John R. [R-UT-3], Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15], Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21], Rep. Walker, Mark [R-NC-6], Rep. Ross, Dennis A. [R-FL-15], Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19]. Read the entire bill here.


ZorroSign is the pioneer of the Digital signature technology which was instrumental in passage of the eSign Act in June of 2000. President Clinton also signed the bill into law using the technology invented by one of ZorroSign’s co-founders. That is a matter of pride for our team. ZorroSign not only uses the real true electronic code to sign documents it is also an enterprise-grade Digital Transaction Management platform built from the ground up using Blockchain with security and privacy at the core of its philosophy and design. With ZorroSign There is the added benefit of its proprietary document tampering and signature forgery detection system. With ZorroSign, documents are not only signed with real Digital signature, use of biometrics, and full automation, the Government can also ensure, verify and validate the sanctity of electronically signed digital documents for the life of the document.


ZorroSign is idiosyncratically poised to aid executive agency leaders to convey their proposal to the OMB and Congress and federal agencies in order to meet their 180-day requirement to demonstrate how their agency will increase the use of Digital signatures.


ZorroSign looks forward to using our industry and subject matter experts to help executive agencies identify their plans to meet the June 2019 deadline to submit their plan on accelerating the use of Digital signatures within their agencies. For consultative discussion, federal agencies can email [email protected] for immediate assistance.


Read more on how ZorroSign Supports the 21st Century IDEA for government agencies here.

For most real estate brokers and agents, long gone are the days where more time was spent paper chasing than with customers. Over the last decade, the real estate market has seen many improvements in the buyer experience, thanks to the use of technology. The industry is now using everything from virtual reality, 3D mapping, aerial drone photography, as well as eSignature and digital transaction management solutions to digitize contracts and the real estate sales and lease process. Whether you are a buyer/seller, broker, real estate agent, home inspector or real estate appraiser, these technologies are probably already impacting how you conduct business.

For those professionals in the real estate space who are already using eSignature/ digital signature software along with a digital transaction management (DTM) solution, you may feel that you are set and you do not need to adopt other technologies. For those who are not currently using an eSignature solution along with a DTM solution, you may be researching the best solution for your business, along with the benefits of a DTM solution. Others just use the eSignature solution provided by their business.

Now, what if you found out that your current solution may not have you covered long term? Specifically, in order to authenticate a signature that has been placed on a document, eSignature solutions often use something called a third party certificate. The third party certificate does not validate the person, his / her signature or if it was done with / without their permission, it only validates the ‘act’ of placing an unverified signature on the document. Digital certificates have a two year validity and eSignature providers using these third party certificates build in the cost of renewing the digital certificates for each of your documents that you have signed in your annual license cost. Essentially, this means that without your knowledge, eSignature solutions are binding you to use only their solutions, otherwise the digital certificates on your documents will expire within two years (or less) after you cease using their service. If for any reason you would need to take that document to court or need to validate it at a government agency, you would have to ensure the digital certificate thus meaning that you would have to go back to the solution you signed the document with and pay the arrears from the time when you stopped using the solution to when you needed your document certified. Needless to say, 10 years into a 30 year mortgage if something were to occur and documents needed to be certified for a pending legal action or civil dispute this would present a very expensive problem. However, ZorroSign solves this problem by issuing our own security certificates with our proprietary patented technology, whereby these certificates remain accessible for life, which we call our ‘lifetime escrow,’ even if you are no longer a customer.

As a digital disruptor, ZorroSign wants to highlight to users where there can be major gaps, specifically in security and service within their current eSignature and DTM solutions. Electronic signature solutions are here to stay and the acceptability and use will only increase over time, however, using the right solution which can validate the signature, authenticate the user and confirm the signature was placed with the knowledge of the authenticated user is what will really matter in the future. As a result, understanding digital security certificates is important, and having an eSign solution with a lifetime document certificate that is included as part of the service is imperative for long term piece of mind and future cost abatement.

Your company may already offer you an eSign solution for free, but with ZorroSign you can feel confident in knowing you are using the real esignature patented technology built into an advanced DTM along with a lifetime digital certificate. This will allow you to close residential and commercial real estate deals faster and more securely. If you are not convinced, sign up here for a free trial and try it yourself.

Electronic signature is an “intention to sign or intent to agree to a record” this can be in any form and most people chose an image representation of their signature. The passage of the E-sign Act in 2000 made eSignatures legally enforceable. On a digital document a simple image of a signature in and of itself does not hold water. It requires verification, authentication, and other means before it can be legally binding and provide assurance to parties involved that they are protected. One popular method to provide some peace of mind is to apply a 3rd party digital security certificate, which, expires every so often. That is a solution and a problem in itself. More on that later. To be legally binding, when a business transaction or business document is called to question, one must provide proof, authentication and verification of the signatories, documents, attachments.


On the other hand, digital signature refers to digital bits including voice, audio, video, crypto and involves complex mathematical functions and algorithms. Digital signatures through PKI are not commonly used in the United States therefore in this article we will talk about Electronic Signatures.


We have written a full article on the difference between electronic signature and digital signature and it provides an in-depth review of the two. Click here to read.


So how do you know that your electronic signature solution is legally binding without needing costly third party intervention, expensive insurance, other cumbersome methods, and other manual fees? We provide you with a simple checklist of questions to ask before selecting your eSignature solution. Here are 10 ways to check if your electronic signature solution is 100% legally binding:


  1. Is the electronic signature real or just an image of your signature super-imposed on top of a document?
  2. Does it require 3rd party digital security certificate? If so, how often does it expire? How much does it cost?
  3. Do you have to keep paying for the digital security certificate year after year even though you have no real use for that document once it has been signed? If your business does require a 3rd party security certificates for other reason, does your eSignature solution work with that certificate?
  4. What type of metadata is captured along with your signature?
  5. Does your solution provide an audit trail and with what level of details?
  6. What happens if you want to present a document that was signed 10 years ago in court as evidence or if the document is called to question in the court of law?
  7. How do you know that a PDF or printed copy of the document has not been tampered with or signature forged?
  8. How do you know that the person who appears to have signed the document did in fact sign it?
  9. If called to question, how can you be confident that you and your documents are protected? That you or a 3rd party (like a judge) can very easily and quickly verify, authenticate, and confirm the documents and signatures.
  10. What would you do if one of the plaintiff claims that they never signed the document in question?


ZorroSign uses proprietary Electronic Signature technology which played an instrumental role in the passage of the eSign Act of USA by President Bill Clinton in June 2000. In fact, ZorroSign adheres to the gold standard of eSign law, like the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act of 2000), as well data privacy laws like HIPAA and GDPR. In addition, the technology is compliant world wide and when challenged or investigated it can be used as evidence without repudiation in a court of law.


For more information visit our eSignature product page and Document 4n6 (Forensics) Token page.

As part of their digital transformation, companies are quickly adopting eSignatures and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) to replace their pen-paper-scan-attach-email process. Most organizations stop at eSignature and a handful of them, (more security cautious and risk averse) have gone beyond eSignature and have adopted a Digital Signature into their process. The market in general uses these terms interchangeably but the reality is that they are not the same. These rather complimentary technologies have significant technical differences between them which include how they impact security and process of authentication of your eSign’ed documents and their legal acceptance in courts in case of disputes.


In this article we will explain the difference between the two and share a neat infographics for a quick glance.

E-signature: Under legal parlance, an electronic signature refers to “any electronic indication of intent to agree to a record”. The presence of eSignature has dominantly increased with the passing of E-sign Act in 2000 which makes it legally enforceable.  eSignature has its own unique feature and that is its ease of use. Customers get the advantage of signing a document using a verbal signature, like giving consent over the phone, with a simple click on the box, a visual representation of their signature, and any electronically signed authorization. A real electronic signature has four main components:

  1. Method of signing
  2. Data Authentication
  3. User Authentication
  4. Captured Intent to eSign

eSignatures are not fully regulated compared to digital signatures. Because most electronic signature providers simply use an image of your signature super-imposed on a document, the authenticity and integrity of the document is often questioned as it is difficult to identify the real owner of the document as it is not certified.  Just an image of your signature placed on a document cannot be verified especially if someone tampers  with the document after it is signed. With ZorroSign, however, the eSignature is real and not just an image and customers are protected against post execution forgery and tampering using our proprietary document 4n6 (Forensics) technology.


Digital Signature:  Uses a cryptographic technique. The digital signature encryption helps in securing the data that is associated with the signed document. The formula of a digital signature is that of a validation, like notaries in the past. The notaries were invented when paper-based documents were forged. Even today, notaries play a key role in ensuring and verifying transaction between parties. The same problem exists with eSignatures and digital signature helps in solving this problem and is the online equivalent of the notary.


In the world of digital transactions, the most popular authentication method, Public Key Infrastructures (PKI), is necessary to help ascertain the identity of  people signing documents, devices used to sign documents, and services used. PKI goes way beyond the use of user IDs and passwords. It employs cryptographic technologies such as digital signatures and digital certificates to create unique credentials (using combination of public and private keys) that can be validated beyond reasonable doubt and on a mass scale.


The process of applying the digital signature will be explained in the following steps:

  1. The software creates a unique digital fingerprint (called a hash) of the document content using a mathematical algorithm.
  2. The hash is encrypted using the signer’s private key.
  3. The encrypted hash and the signer’s public key will be combined to make a digital signature.
  4. This digital signature will be attached to the document.
  5. The digitally signed document is now fully secured and ready to use.

The evolution of online signature is quite significant as it has moved from simply imposing an image of a signature to a multi-layered encryption process. The benefit of an online signature cannot be deciphered in words.The integration of eSignature into the electronic document workflow has always been a top priority for respected eSignature providers like ZorroSign. It is safe to conclude that it has a strong legal presence to that of a wet ink signature as long as it sticks to the terms and conditions of the contracts drawn by (E-sign Act), 2000. ZorroSign adheres to the gold standard of these eSign laws and ensures quality delivery of their product/services to their customers.

Best Practice for Preparing Documents for Digital Processing


As organizations go from using paper documents with wet ink for signatures to digital and electronic signatures, many simply re-purpose their old forms and contracts for digital use. This is perfectly fine. However, as some of our customers discovered, versions of documents used for manual or paper processing don’t always transfer well into the digital world. Most common issues include spacing between lines and not enough space to write information in or enter your signature, to name a few.  Naturally, it becomes problematic for parties to read and execute contracts clearly and cleanly.


After helping so many customers, ZorroSign has compiled following 11 best practices for preparing documents for digital processing. These tips can be used to convert an existing document or start a new one from scratch.  If you feel we have missed a tip, please let us know in the comment section.


  1. Use a Word Processor like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. You can use other software programs just as long as they provide you tools to better control the spacing, margins, placement of fields to enter data, and letterhead. We do highly recommend that you use your letterhead as your base document.
  2. Margins: Minimum 1″ margin all around is highly recommended.
  3. Document header: Put the title of the document or form (if you want it repeated on every page), your logo, form number, version number and other static information.  On a multi-page document some prefer not to repeat the title on every page to save space, which is perfectly okay.
  4. Document Footer: Put divider bar on top of the footer space, page number, place for initials, contact information that is again static. We learned that our customers prefer their parties to initial on every page especially on legal documents and therefore putting initials in footer is the best solution.
  5. Leave at least one row worth of white space between the header and start of text and end of text and the footer. Also anticipate maximum length of data that can be entered in every field and give sufficient space for that. For example, for address anticipate the longest street and city name.
  6. Set line spacing to 1.5 between lines where you want users to enter data. The rest of the document can have the standard 1″ line spacing. Make sure your document is legible and readable. This is especially important as we become a paperless society, we will be reading documents on screens of laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
  7. Be generous with pages of your document. As we go digital we will print less and less pages so it does not matter how long your document is. Of course, we can always print back to back if we really must print.
  8. Create a signature section or page and use tables with rows and columns for users to enter their name, company name, title, signature, and date as appropriate for your document. It is very important that there is sufficient space for people to put their signature especially if they prefer to use their finger on a touch screen.
  9. Leave some space on the last page for corporate seals, security tokens like the ZorroSign 4n6 (Forensics) Security Token.
  10. Lastly, remember that your document will be used in a digital transaction (workflow and automation) think how people will be handling the document when it comes to creating a template out of the old paper document, for signing digitally, entering data, and version controlling.
  11. Before you upload a document into ZorroSign, see the document in Print Preview to make sure the page brakes, spacing, alignment is correct. We found Page Break to be the biggest culprit when converting Word Documents into PDF files.


We have taken the liberty of creating a sample document using all the tips mentioned in this article. Click here to download the Microsoft Word document in a .zip file.


Last Updated: Jan 24, 2019

Last month, when ZorroSign launched its Green initiative called Paperless Life, I wrote an article about the environmental impact of using office paper. The impact on the environment is significant in terms of conservation of water, energy, and trees as well as reduction of Carbon footprint. For the organizations adopting #PaperlessLife strategy, there are tangible and intangible benefits for the company and its employees. In this article I will analyze the business impact of using office paper for business transactions, specifically the financial impact.


Challenges and Cost Factors

Almost every business process that involves document signatures is either fully manual or partially digital. The use case in this context is a combination of: Print-Sign-Scan-Email or FedEx. (Choose your favorite courier service). If it’s a document for a loan of any kind with co-signers, repeat the use case above for every signatory.


Because no two businesses are the same, it is better to provide a framework for cost calculation. We will consider each component of this use case for our framework for cost analysis.


Cost Analysis Framework


Copy paper
$5 / pack of 500 sheets

B/W: $8,000
Color: $4,500

Printer Ink (per printer)

B/W: $250 50k pages
Color: $360 20k pages


Included w/Printer/WorkCenter


$99.06 /Month/printer

Steel file cabinets

$600 average / Cabinet

Folders & stationery

$300 / Year/Employee
$1000/Year/Employee (Law Firm)

Courier services

$33,000 to $65,000/Year

Man hours, Time

260 hours/ Employee/Year

Off-site paper storage

$0.72 /Box/Month
$864/100 Boxes/Yr.

Office space (file cabinets)

15 Sq.Ft (standard 4-drawer file cabinet)
Avg. $50 /Sq.Ft = $9000/Year

Insurance (Data Breach Policy)

$12k to $120k /Year
size of company, includes cyber attack coverage.


Applying the Cost Analysis Framework

Costs of using paper may vary from one company to another. However, it is very clear that the cost is significant relative to the size of the company. The overall business impact of using office paper is tremendous. We highly recommend to apply the above framework to your business situation and calculate cost as accurately as you can. Then compare that cost to purchasing and using an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management system. Click here to check out ZorroSign Plans & Pricing.



People have been toying around with the idea of a Smart City.  Some Asian countries have good success with Smart City. As we hear more about Smart Cities, digital. transformation, security, and privacy of data I can’t help but think that Smart Cities are a great way to completely change the way we live our lives at some level. Smart Cities and #PaperlessLife. There is no place for paper in a smart city.

Imagine a world without printers, toner, scanners, ink pen, and paper. Stretch your imagination a little and imagine a world without paper books, book shelves, news papers, magazines, file cabinets, manila folders, staplers, 3-hole punch, business cards, paper clips (Microsoft’s Clippy will be out of a job).

Your office is located in a smart city. Now imagine your office without a printer. No its not hiding in a closet, it just does not exist. Your company never bought it because they are not available for purchase if you live in a smart city.

In the smart city, every business transaction is conducted electronically. You sign rental agreements, medical forms, consent forms, employment letters, and taxes. Everything.

However, the barrier to entry is trust. How do you trust that the document you are signing will not be tampered with or your signature will not be forged post-execution. Furthermore, when you receive an officially signed document, how do you make sure the document is legit and has not been tampered with. The answer is ZorroSign 4n6 Token. Document DNA based document forensics information that’s built on a private Blockchain that detects forgery and fraud in documents.

It is possible to have a smart city that is completely paperless and where document transactions are protected.



A document is sent out as an email attachment asking the recipient to “sign it and send it back.” A new hire packet is sent out for acknowledgement and signature with 52 pages in it. A sales contract is sent out for approvals to multiple people before it goes to the customer. A real estate transaction requires multiple people sign a huge stack of papers. Non-disclosure agreements, invoices, service agreements, and consent forms; they all are sent out for signatures and approvals. All of these “business transactions” involve 2 or more individuals to sign. Most of these cases result in Print-Sign-Scan or Ship then Print-or-Copy-and-store away. A number of businesses have started using some form of eSignature solution but still insist on printing a copy for backup. With average document retention policy being 7 years, office floors are lined with huge steel file cabinets. On average one office worker uses roughly 9000 sheets of copy paper in a single year.


In this article I will focus on environmental impact of using physical paper for all such business transactions. In the next installment, I will cover the analysis of hard cost associated with using paper.


Trees or Wood

It is estimated that one tree produces roughly between 8000 and 8333 (average 8166) regular copy paper. Considering that most of the world uses A4 size paper, the number would be close to 8000 or less. This number assumes a certain size of tree. It does not take into consideration many other types of trees with varied shapes and sizes. Assuming 8166 pages per tree, an office of 100 employees would use about 113 trees worth of paper each year which amounts to roughly 1.25 MM lbs (569.5 kg) of wood each year. As you can see how quickly these numbers add up.



It is estimated that a paper manufacturing plant would use about 3 gallons of non-recycled water to produce one sheet of copy paper or 1.5 gallons of recycled water. Using the example of wood usage above, a typical office of 100 employees would be responsible for using roughly 2.77 MM gallons of water per year to use all that office paper.


Carbon Emission

Calculating Carbon footprint for a life of a copy paper (from a tree getting chopped off, going through the manufacturing process, to distribution) is a very difficult task due to the complex nature of all the processes involved. The fact that every paper manufacturer produces a wide variety of paper products adds to this complexity. However, one factor that makes it easy to estimate Carbon emission is the fuel consumption during transportation of documents for signature. This means trucks, cars, and airplanes used by the courier services like FedEx. Based on the above example, this single office would be responsible for roughly 629 tons of Carbon emission per year.


How Can You Help?

Consider living a Paperless Life! Step 1 is to know how much you could be saving based on your current use of paper. ZorroSign has developed an Environmental Savings Calculator which lets users estimate how many trees, how much water consumption can be saved, and how much carbon emissions can be avoided in less miles driven by going paperless. In the calculator, simply enter the number of documents your company sends out for signature and number of documents your company signs every week – and the calculator will show you estimated savings per year in terms of trees, water, Carbon emission, time, and cost.


According to SBE Council, there are over 5.8 million employer firms in the United States and firms with fewer than 500 workers account for 99 percent of all businesses. If all those businesses convert even 25% of their paper document transactions to all-digital it could mean tremendous reduction in number of trees saved, reduction in water consumption, and a significant reduction in the Carbon footprint.


This week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his close ally, Finance Minister Taro Aso accepted blame for an unraveling scandal in which official records were tampered with.  Total of 14 documents related to a dubious sale of state land at one-seventh of the appraised value to nationalistic school operator Moritomo Gakuen had been altered. The papers were scrubbed of all mention of Mr Abe and his wife, as well as lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).  Later, it was discovered that another set of documents, which show a record of price negotiations with Moritomo before the sale, were missing from what was submitted to the Parliament. (News source)


When documents signed with wet ink are tampered with or signature forged, document forensics experts can very easily detect the wrong doing.  Multiple copies may provide protection as long as those copies are not destroyed. The list of ways document fraud can be conducted is extensive.  Document transactions conducted using digital paper and electronic signature give you the false sense of security. The truth is that digital documents that were either electronically signed or signed in wet-ink and then scanned can, very easily, be tampered with and signatures on them forged after the effect. This can be accomplished with the use of software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Preview on Mac which are available for free.  Complete digital transformation is inevitable. Its just the matter of time. This problem will not go away.


So, how can individuals and businesses protect themselves again such malicious act? How can the Japanese public protect itself in the future from what Shinzo Abe, Taro Aso , and Moritomo Gakuen did? This was just one transaction by them that got caught. How many other transactions they must have conducted with forged signatures and tampered documents?


Imagine you’re a healthcare service provider, a doctors office, a financial services institution conducted millions of transactions a month domestically and internationally, a real estate deal, or a half a million dollar sales contract. The liability of having documents tampered with or signature forged for any one of the transactions in the above mentioned industries, is significant. Even companies that strictly use wet-ink on paper signature are scanning-and-storing documents electronically – not to mention rows of steel file cabinets lining up in offices around the world resulting in increased risk and insurance premiums. At the end of the day whenever these digital documents are to be shared with anyone there will always be this one question, is the document that I am looking at, original and authentic?


Only if there was a way to lock all the documents of a transaction with an encrypted token, secure them by a super advanced hash, and seal them with biometrics? What if, in addition, a distributed ledger could track the audit trail of actions and chain of custody?


As it turns out that there is.


With ZorroSign’s real eSignature and patent-pending unique Document 4n6 (Forensics) Token technology, individuals and organizations can be 100% confident that their business is protected against document fraud whether you’re sending documents out for signature, signing documents yourself, or wanting to verify and authenticate documents shared with you. As long as they were signed by ZorroSign, you know you can have the peace of mind that you and your business are protected against document fraud.


Managing documents is work. When documents are a part of a business transaction, the work involves collecting signatures and its work with direct money on the line. Whether you’re dealing with physical paper documents, fully digital, or somewhere in between, document-based transactions involve a process or workflow. It’s time consuming and error prone and it could cost an entire deal if not done correctly the first time.


For ease of use and to save money organizations are moving to digital documents instead of paper-print-sign-scan-fax-manila folder system. Therefore, more and more people are adopting eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) systems to help with all that. Not all eSignature solution providers offer a robust DTM system that can handle creating or configuring workflows that your business requires.


Using a DTM system, when you create a workflow you are defining a set of actions that each person involved in the workflow has to take in a particular sequence with dependencies. Imagine two people co-signing a loan and then the bank signs the documents at the end indicating their approval. That’s a workflow. If you are using a DTM system or are looking to purchase one, here are 9 things you should be doing with your DTM system.


Define document and user-specific workflows.


There are essentially two types of basic workflows. The first one is where a document gets executed over and over again and each time with different people, companies, and dates. For example, everytime a Non-Disclosure Agreement or a standard sales contract is sent out for signatures, the recipient, date, value are different each time but the rest of the document stays unchanged.


The second type of workflow is when a business process requires the same people to sign any set of documents every time. Suppose you have a company policy that invoices (from any vendor) over $5000 that must be approved by the CFO and the CEO before they are paid out. With DTM you should be able to create an automated workflow that can handle this process regardless of who the vendor is, what the document might look like, the number of pages, and how many places people have to sign.


Define your document signing process.


What does your document signing process look like? Well-designed document workflows will help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your work. Create your signature easily, upload your documents and then execute the signing process. This could be as simple as numbering the sequence of signers inside the document and specifying what actions they have to take (Check a box, sign, date). You should be able to simply sequence the signatures and dates and that makes the document signing process to easy as 1-2-3.


Define templates for multi-use.


In your business you have business transactions that require special or custom handling or one-off documents like a sales contract that is so different from deal to deal that you don’t recognize it as “the” contract. Then you have business transactions that can be completed with the same set of documents with little variations such as who signs it, date, and the value of the deal. You probably already have a template that you use every time you have to execute one of those transactions.


With a DTM system like the ZorroSign, you can convert your document templates into digital templates with full features such as wizard-like interface for you to complete a transaction. You can also define expiration dates and how many days you want to give people to sign each document. Let’s take a very simple example of again a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Every time you must execute this document its the same document with only the name of the people involved, company, and date. NDA is an ideal document to convert into a template. Other examples we have seen people convert into templates using ZorroSign are rental agreements, consent forms, and new hire packets.


In the attempt to never go back to paper again, we refer to Abby Lawson who writes ‘The Ultimate Guide to Going Paperless’.


Build and Organize a template library.


Now that you know how to build a template out of your frequently used documents, you can build an entire library of those for everyone at the company to use. A good DTM system will allow you to organize your templates library into departments and divisions and assign individuals to a department and assign permissions based on roles and responsibilities.


The Balance outlines the workflow using templates and following through.


Documents should be protected


With pen-and-paper documents you can easily detect forgery of signature or tampering of documents. It is natural to expect the same level of protection from your digital documents when you go paperless.


ZorroSign’s Document DNA-based 4n6 (Forensics) Token provides the same level of detection of fraud and forgery. When building your workflow or your templates make sure to place this token at the end of every workflow and you can have the peace of mind that your documents are protected even when you have share them with a third party by printing them or sending them as PDF.


Full automation saves time, money and avoids errors.


Computer software can improve workflows by automating document routing and processing. It can also connect one or more systems by providing interfaces between different applications by integrating the workflows using ZorroSign API. Automate your workflow with one touch, assign the right people and you’re done. With automation comes savings of time and money. By specifying conditions and rules you can avoid costly errors that people make when executing documents. The Director of Product Strategy, Sam Thorpe writes of how important it is to digitize your life.


Create folders and subfolders.


As the number of documents grow so does the time it takes to manage them and search for them. You can organize your documents into folders and subfolders. Ever have a document that belonged in multiple folders? With the smart tagging system now a single file can be placed into multiple folders without making a copy of the document.


Clear rules help identify bottlenecks and rejected documents.


As you build your workflows and templates and as those documents and templates get executed you will need to make sure people are signing and taking actions on those documents on time. A DTM system will at any time tell you where the bottlenecks are in your workflow and how fast the document is moving, when its pending, when it’s done, rejected or expired. With automated notifications, status and bottleneck indicators you can automate-and-forget.


Create a team environment.


Get workflow participants involved in the improvement campaign. Observe their interactions with the system. Get their ideas for possible improvements. Develop a flowchart that they agree with, and test the new workflows. Take it from the CMO of ZorroSign, Akbar Jaffer – read all about the trials and tribulations of running an efficient business.

The answer is definitely yes.


Similar to the financial services industry, the legal industry has been very difficult to innovate for when it comes to the latest technology tools and trends. Financial Services providers are responsible for protecting the assets of their customers – “protection” in its most strictest of definitions.  Similarly the lawyers are responsible to make sure their clients are protected against any bad actors and bad actions or behaviors by bad actors. Therefore it is natural to be very careful when it comes to adopting new technology especially if it has a potential of exploitation, cyber attack, but most importantly fraud and tampering of evidence which includes documents.


Legal transactions that are of high value are still, to this day, being transacted (signed) on physical paper using a wet pen, mailed back and forth and copied for safekeeping. Some even make a PDF copy but the originals are still kept around forever. As a society, it will take time for us to go totally digital.  However, there are some in the legal community who live on the bleeding edge of technology and have made some significant strides in terms of adopting new technology or at least considering it. The question is, lead by these daredevils, is the legal industry headed in the right direction when it comes to eSignature and Digital Transaction Management technology?


High Performance Counsel is an information destination for the leaders in the legal community who prefer to live their lives at the bleeding edge of technology.  Recently Akbar Jaffer, the CMO of ZorroSign sat down with David Kinnear, CEO of High Performance Counsel to discuss the state of technology in legal industry.  Read the full interview here.


ZorroSign recently learned that law firms that are serious about technology have established a “technology lab” where they research, test, and contemplate adoption of tech tools in their practice. ZorroSign is an ideal solution for such legal “tech labs.”


If you are a law firm interested in exploring eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) technology, here are some use cases that other law firms have automated.