Paper 2017/1044

Strain: A Secure Auction for Blockchains

Erik-Oliver Blass and Florian Kerschbaum


We present Strain, a new auction protocol running on top of blockchains and guaranteeing bid confidentiality against fully-malicious parties. As our goal is efficiency and low blockchain latency, we abstain from using traditional, highly interactive MPC primitives such as secret shares. We focus on a slightly weaker adversary model than MPC which allows Strain to achieve constant latency in both the number of parties and the bid length. The main idea behind Strain is a new maliciously-secure two-party comparison mechanism executed between any pair of bids in parallel. Using zero-knowledge proofs, Strain broadcasts the outcome of comparisons on the blockchain in a way that all parties can verify each outcome. Strain's latency is not only asymptotically optimal, but also efficient in practice, requiring a total of just 4 blocks of the underlying blockchain. Strain provides typical auction security requirements such as non-retractable bids against fully-malicious adversaries.

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Preprint. MINOR revision.
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erik-oliver blass @ airbus com
2018-06-18: last of 4 revisions
2017-10-28: received
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      author = {Erik-Oliver Blass and Florian Kerschbaum},
      title = {Strain: A Secure Auction for Blockchains},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2017/1044},
      year = {2017},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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