eprint.iacr.org will be offline for approximately an hour for routine maintenance again at 10pm UTC on Wednesday, April 17.

Paper 2023/687

SoK: Delay-based Cryptography

Liam Medley, Royal Holloway University of London
Angelique Faye Loe, Royal Holloway University of London
Elizabeth A. Quaglia, Royal Holloway University of London

In this work, we provide a systematisation of knowledge of delay-based cryptography, in which we discuss and compare the existing primitives within cryptography that utilise a time-delay. We start by considering the role of time within cryptography, explaining broadly what a delay aimed to achieve at its inception and now, in the modern age. We then move on to describing the underlying assumptions used to achieve these goals, and analyse topics including trust, decentralisation and concrete methods to implement a delay. We then survey the existing primitives, discussing their security properties, instantiations and applications. We make explicit the relationships between these primitives, identifying a hierarchy and the theoretical gaps that exist. We end this systematisation of knowledge by highlighting relevant future research directions within the field of delay-based cryptography, from which this area would greatly benefit.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium
TimeTime-lock PuzzleDelay Function
Contact author(s)
liam medley 2018 @ rhul ac uk
Angelique loe 2016 @ live rhul ac uk
elizabeth quaglia @ rhul ac uk
2023-06-26: last of 3 revisions
2023-05-15: received
See all versions
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Liam Medley and Angelique Faye Loe and Elizabeth A. Quaglia},
      title = {SoK: Delay-based Cryptography},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/687},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/687}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/687}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, eprint.iacr.org does not use cookies or embedded third party content.