A Simple Publicly Verifiable Secret Sharing Scheme and Its Application to Electronic Voting

Abstract

A publicly verifiable secret sharing (PVSS) scheme is a verifiable secret sharing scheme with the property that the validity of the shares distributed by the dealer can be verified by any party; hence verification is not limited to the respective participants receiving the shares. We present a new construction for PVSS schemes, which compared to previous solutions by Stadler and later by Fujisaki and Okamoto, achieves improvements both in efficiency and in the type of intractability assumptions. The running time is O(nk), where k is a security parameter, and n is the number of participants, hence essentially optimal. The intractability assumptions are the standard Diffie-Hellman assumption and its decisional variant. We present several applications of our PVSS scheme, among which is a new type of universally verifiable election scheme based on PVSS. The election scheme becomes quite practical and combines several advantages of related electronic voting schemes, which makes it of interest in its own right.