Cryptocurrency Smart Contracts for Distributed Consensus of Public Randomness

Published: October 07, 2017

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
Pub Type: Conferences

Keywords

beacon, blockchain, randomness, smart contracts, distributed consensus
Created October 07, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018