Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2020/1563

Verifiable Timed Signatures Made Practical

Sri Aravinda KrishnanThyagarajan and Adithya Bhat and Giulio Malavolta and Nico Döttling and Aniket Kate and Dominique Schröder

Abstract: A verifiable timed signature (VTS) scheme allows one to time-lock a signature on a known message for a given amount of time $T$ such that after performing a sequential computation for time $T$ anyone can extract the signature from the time-lock. Verifiability ensures that anyone can publicly check if a time-lock contains a valid signature on the message without solving it first, and that the signature can be obtained by solving the same for time $T$.

This work formalizes VTS, presents efficient constructions compatible with BLS, Schnorr, and ECDSA signatures, and experimentally demonstrates that these constructions can be employed in practice. On a technical level, we design an efficient cut-and-choose protocol based on the homomorphic time-lock puzzles to prove the validity of a signature encapsulated in a time-lock puzzle. We also present a new efficient {range proof} protocol that significantly improves upon existing proposals in terms of the proof size, and is also of independent interest.

While VTS is a versatile tool with numerous existing applications, we demonstrate VTS's applicability to resolve three novel challenging issues in the space of cryptocurrencies. Specifically, we show how VTS is the cryptographic cornerstone to construct: (i) Payment channel networks with improved on-chain unlinkability of users involved in a transaction, (ii) multi-party signing of transactions for cryptocurrencies without any on-chain notion of time and (iii) cryptocurrency-enabled fair multi-party computation protocol.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols / time locked signatures

Original Publication (with minor differences):

Date: received 14 Dec 2020

Contact author: sri aravinda thyagarajan at fau de, bhat24@purdue edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20201217:094118 (All versions of this report)

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