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Authentication is the process of confirming an action. In a secured transaction, the process of authentication is done through signing or by executing a symbol.
The following is an example of a federal statute defining authenticate:
U.C.C. § 9-102 (7) authenticate means:
(A) to sign; or
(B) to execute or otherwise adopt a symbol, or encrypt or similarly process a record in whole or in part, with the present intent of the authenticating person to identify the person and adopt or accept a record.