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Cryptocurrency Smart Contracts for Distributed Consensus of Public Randomness

Published

Author(s)

Peter M. Mell, John M. Kelsey, James Shook

Abstract

Most modern electronic devices can produce a random number. However, it is dicult to see how a group of mutually distrusting entities can have con dence in any such hardware-produced stream of random numbers, since the producer could control the output to their gain. In this work, we use public and immutable cryptocurrency smart contracts, along with marginally-trusted randomness providers, to produce a trustworthy stream of timestamped public random numbers. Our simple contract eliminates the ability of a producer to predict or control the generated random numbers, including the stored history of random numbers. We consider and mitigate the threat of collusion between the randomness providers and miners in a second, more complex contract.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 19th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems
Volume
10616
Conference Dates
November 6-8, 2017
Conference Location
Boston, MA
Conference Title
19th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems

Keywords

beacon, blockchain, randomness, smart contracts, distributed consensus
Created October 7, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018