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NIST Roadmap Toward Criteria for Threshold Schemes for Cryptographic Primitives



Luis Brandao, Michael S. Davidson, Apostol T. Vassilev


This document constitutes a preparation toward devising criteria for the standardization of threshold schemes for cryptographic primitives by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The large diversity of possible threshold schemes, as identified in the NIST Internal Report (NISTIR) 8214, is structured along two main tracks: single-device and multi-party. Each track covers cryptographic primitives in several possible threshold modes. The potential for real-world applications is taken as an important motivating factor for differentiating the pertinence of each possible threshold scheme. Also, the selection of items for standardization needs to consider diverse features, such as advanced security properties, configurability of parameters, testing and validation, modularity and composability (e.g., of gadgets vs. composites), and specification detail. Overall, the organization put forward serves as a preparation for an upcoming solicitation of feedback useful for considering a variety of threshold schemes, while differentiating standardization paths and timelines that may depend on the levels of technical and standardization challenges. This approach paves the way for an effective engagement with the community of stakeholders and constitutes a preparation for devising criteria for standardization and subsequent calls for contributions. While the terms standards and standardization are used throughout this report to refer to a set of possible final products, this does not imply a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) as one or as the only intended format for NIST products of future threshold schemes for cryptographic primitives.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8214A
Report Number


threshold schemes, secure implementations, cryptographic primitives, threshold cryptography, secure multi-party computation, intrusion tolerance, distributed systems, resistance to side-channel attacks, standards and validation


Brandao, L. , Davidson, M. and Vassilev, A. (2020), NIST Roadmap Toward Criteria for Threshold Schemes for Cryptographic Primitives, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created July 6, 2020, Updated July 7, 2020