[Resource Topic] 2018/319: HydRand: Practical Continuous Distributed Randomness

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HydRand: Practical Continuous Distributed Randomness

Authors: Philipp Schindler, Aljosha Judmayer, Nicholas Stifter, Edgar Weippl


A reliable source of randomness is not only an essential building block in various cryptographic, security, and distributed systems protocols, but also plays an integral part in the design of many new blockchain proposals. Consequently, the topic of publicly-verifiable, bias-resistant and unpredictable randomness has recently enjoyed increased attention. In particular random beacon protocols, aimed at continuous operation, can be a vital component for current Proof-of-Stake based distributed ledger proposals. We improve upon previous random beacon approaches with HydRand, a novel distributed protocol based on publicly-verifiable secret sharing (PVSS) to ensure unpredictability, bias-resistance, and public-verifiability of a continuous sequence of random beacon values. Furthermore, HydRand provides guaranteed output delivery of randomness at regular and predictable intervals in the presence of adversarial behavior and does not rely on a trusted dealer for the initial setup. Compared to existing PVSS based approaches that strive to achieve similar properties, our solution improves scalability by lowering the communication complexity from \mathcal{O}(n^3) to \mathcal{O}(n^2) . Furthermore, we are the first to present a detailed comparison of recently described schemes and protocols that can be used for implementing random beacons.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/319

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