The new NIST reference for Randomness Beacons (A32c)
A randomness Beacon produces timed outputs of fresh public randomness. It pulsates randomness in an expected format at expected times, making it available to the public. Beacons offer the potential to improve fairness, auditability and efficiency in numerous societal applications that require randomness.
In 2013, NIST made an initial deployment of an online prototype randomness beacon (version 1), generating and storing random values, timestamped, signed and hash-chained, in a publicly-readable database. In 2018, NIST upgraded the Beacon to improve security and facilitate envisioned applications.
In this talk we’ll describe the new NIST reference—format and protocol (version 2)—for Randomness Beacons, which includes new metadata and cryptographic elements to support several security and usability features. This new version intends to be a baseline for the deployment of numerous inter-operable beacons.