Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/893

Blockchain as cryptanalytic tool

Manfred Lochter

Abstract: One approach for blockchain based applications to provide a proof-of-work is the computation of hash-values. In our opinion these computations are a waste of energy. It would be highly desirable to find an alternative method that generates useful output. We show how to substitute hashing by performing multiplications on Elliptic Curves in order to find distinguished points that can then be used to solve the discrete logarithm problem on a chosen curve. Today's digital infrastructures rely on only a few curves. We argue that the advent of blockchain based technologies makes the use of only few standardised curves questionable.

In principle all cryptanalytic algorithms that use Rabin's idea of distinguished points can be used in blockchain based attacks. Similar ideas can be used for the number field sieve.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols / Blockchain Elliptic Curve Proof-of-Work

Date: received 22 Sep 2018

Contact author: manfred lochter at bsi bund de

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Version: 20180923:193830 (All versions of this report)

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