Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/1423

Encryption to the Future: A Paradigm for Sending Secret Messages to Future (Anonymous) Committees

Matteo Campanelli and Bernardo David and Hamidreza Khoshakhlagh and Anders Konring and Jesper Buus Nielsen

Abstract: A number of recent works have constructed cryptographic protocols with flavors of adaptive security by having a randomly-chosen anonymous committee run at each round. Since most of these protocols are stateful, transferring secret states from past committees to future, but still unknown, committees is a crucial challenge. Previous works have tackled this problem with approaches tailor-made for their specific setting, which mostly rely on using a blockchain to orchestrate auxiliary committees that aid in state hand-over process. In this work, we look at this challenge as an important problem on its own and initiate the study of Encryption to the Future (EtF) as a cryptographic primitive. First, we define a notion of a non-interactive EtF scheme where time is determined with respect to an underlying blockchain and a lottery selects parties to receive a secret message at some point in the future. While this notion seems overly restrictive, we establish two important facts: 1. if used to encrypt towards parties selected in the ``far future'', EtF implies witness encryption for NP over a blockchain; 2. if used to encrypt only towards parties selected in the ``near future'', EtF is not only sufficient for transferring state among committees as required by previous works but also captures previous tailor-made solutions. Inspired by these results, we provide a novel construction of EtF based on witness encryption over commitments (cWE), which we instantiate from a number of standard assumptions via a construction based on generic cryptographic primitives. Finally, we show how to lift ``near future'' EtF to ``far future'' EtF with a protocol based on an auxiliary committee whose communication complexity is independent from the length of plaintext messages being sent to the future.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols / applications, blockchain, witness encryption, YOSO

Date: received 21 Oct 2021, last revised 25 Oct 2021

Contact author: matteo at cs au dk, jbn at au dk, beda at itu dk, hamidreza at cs au dk, konr at itu dk

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20211025:143323 (All versions of this report)

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