Paper 2023/728

SoK: Distributed Randomness Beacons

Kevin Choi, New York University
Aathira Manoj, New York University
Joseph Bonneau, New York University, a16z Crypto Research

Motivated and inspired by the emergence of blockchains, many new protocols have recently been proposed for generating publicly verifiable randomness in a distributed yet secure fashion. These protocols work under different setups and assumptions, use various cryptographic tools, and entail unique trade-offs and characteristics. In this paper, we systematize the design of distributed randomness beacons (DRBs) as well as the cryptographic building blocks they rely on. We evaluate protocols on two key security properties, unbiasability and unpredictability, and discuss common attack vectors for predicting or biasing the beacon output and the countermeasures employed by protocols. We also compare protocols by communication and computational efficiency. Finally, we provide insights on the applicability of different protocols in various deployment scenarios and highlight possible directions for further research.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2023
randomness beacondistributed randomnesspublic randomness
Contact author(s)
kc2296 @ nyu edu
2023-05-22: approved
2023-05-21: received
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      author = {Kevin Choi and Aathira Manoj and Joseph Bonneau},
      title = {SoK: Distributed Randomness Beacons},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/728},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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