Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/939

The Proof is in the Pudding: Proofs of Work for Solving Discrete Logarithms

Marcella Hastings and Nadia Heninger and Eric Wustrow

Abstract: We propose a proof of work protocol that computes the discrete logarithm of an element in a cyclic group. Individual provers generating proofs of work perform a distributed version of the Pollard rho algorithm. Such a protocol could capture the computational power expended to construct proof-of-work-based blockchains for a more useful purpose, as well as incentivize advances in hardware, software, or algorithms for an important cryptographic problem. We describe our proposed construction and elaborate on challenges and potential trade-offs that arise in designing a practical proof of work.

Category / Keywords: applications / Proofs of work, discrete logarithm problem, Pollard rho, cryptanalysis, distributed cryptography

Date: received 2 Oct 2018, last revised 5 Oct 2018

Contact author: mhast at cis upenn edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20181005:143917 (All versions of this report)

Short URL: ia.cr/2018/939


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