Cryptocurrency Smart Contracts for Distributed Consensus of Public Randomness

  • Peter MellEmail author
  • John Kelsey
  • James Shook
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10616)


Most modern electronic devices can produce a random number. However, it is difficult to see how a group of mutually distrusting entities can have confidence 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 a set of potentially malicious randomness providers, to produce a trustworthy stream of timestamped public random numbers. Our 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG (outside the US) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringESAT/COSIC, KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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