Security Encyclopedia

Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm

The Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) is a Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) which uses keys derived from elliptic curve cryptography (ECC). It is a particularly efficient equation based on public key cryptography (PKC).

ECDSA is used across many security systems, is popular for use in secure messaging apps, and it is the basis of Bitcoin security (with Bitcoin “addresses” serving as public keys).

ECDSA is also used for Transport Layer Security (TLS), the successor to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), by encrypting connections between web browsers and a web application. The encrypted connection of an HTTPS website, illustrated by an image of a physical padlock shown in the browser, is made through signed certificates using ECDSA.

A main feature of ECDSA versus another popular algorithm, RSA, is that ECDSA provides a higher degree of security with shorter key lengths. This increases its ROI further as ECDSA uses less computer power than RSAm a less secure competing equation.


“ECDSA provide robust, efficient encryption. That’s why many messaging apps and other platforms that transmit data over the wire use it. Did you know that Bitcoin uses ECDSA for its underlying PKC?”