Date: 18 May 2001

On Defining Proofs of Knowledge

Abstract

The notion of a “proof of knowledge,” suggested by Goldwasser, Micali and Rackoff, has been used in many works as a tool for the construction of cryptographic protocols and other schemes. Yet the commonly cited formalizations of this notion are unsatisfactory and in particular inadequate for some of the applications in which they are used. Consequently, new researchers keep getting misled by existing literature. The purpose of this paper is to indicate the source of these problems and suggest a definition which resolves them.