Breeding unicorns: Developing trustworthy and scalable randomness beacons

Samvid Dharanikota, Michael Toft Jensen, Sebastian Rom Kristensen, Mathias Sass Michno, Yvonne Anne Pignolet, René Rydhof Hansen, Stefan Schmid*


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Randomness beacons are services that periodically emit a random number, allowing users to base decisions on the same random value without trusting anyone: ideally, the randomness beacon does not only produce unpredictable values, but is also of low computational complexity for the users, bias-resistant and publicly verifiable. Such randomness beacons can serve as an important primitive for smart contracts in a variety of contexts. This paper first presents a structured security analysis, based on which we then design, implement, and evaluate a trustworthy and efficient randomness beacon. Our approach does not require users to register or run any computationally intensive operations. We then compare different implementation and deployment options on distributed ledgers, and report on an Ethereum smart contract-based lottery using our beacon.
TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Udgave nummer4
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2020

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The authors received no specific funding for this work. The first four authors were immatriculated as students at university during the study, while the last three authors acted as supervisors and individual contributors.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 Dharanikota et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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