Nirvan Tyagi

Bicorn: An Optimistically Efficient Distributed Randomness Beacon

Kevin Choi, Arasu Arun, Nirvan Tyagi, Joseph Bonneau
FC 2023



We introduce Bicorn, an optimistically efficient distributed randomness protocol with strong robustness under a dishonest majority. Bicorn is a “commit-reveal-recover” protocol. Each participant commits to a random value, which are combined to produce a random output. If any participants fail to open their commitment, recovery is possible via a single time-lock puzzle which can be solved by any party. In the optimistic case, Bicorn is a simple and efficient two-round protocol with no time-lock puzzle. In either case, Bicorn supports open, flexible participation, requires only a public bulletin board and no group-specific setup or PKI, and is guaranteed to produce random output assuming any single participant is honest. All communication and computation costs are (at most) linear in the number of participants with low concrete overhead.