A formal treatment of distributed key generation, and new constructions


In this work, we present a novel generic construction for a Distributed Key Generation (DKG) scheme. Our generic construction relies on three modular cryptographic building blocks. The first is an aggregatable Verifiable Secret Sharing (AgVSS) scheme, the second is a Non-Interactive Key Exchange (NIKE) scheme, and the third is a secure hash function. We give formal definitions for the AgVSS and NIKE schemes, as well as concrete constructions. The utility of this generic construction is flexibility; i.e., any aggregatable VSS and NIKE scheme can be employed, and the construction will remain secure.

To prove the security of our generic construction, we introduce formalized game based notions of security for DKGs, building upon existing notions in the literature. However, these prior security notions either were presented informally, omitted important requirements, or assumed certain algebraic structure of the underlying scheme. Our security notions make no such assumption of underlying algebraic structure, and explicitly consider details such as participant consistency, communication patterns, and key validity. Further, our security notions imply simulatability with respect to a target key generation scheme without rewinding. Hence, any construction that is proven secure using our security notions additionally imply UC security.

We then present STORM, a concrete instantiation of our generic construction that is secure in the discrete logarithm setting in the random oracle model. STORM is more efficient than related DKG schemes in the literature. Because of its simple design and composability, it is a practical choice for real world settings and standardization efforts.

Keywords: threshold cryptography, key generation


Chelsea Komlo, Ian Goldberg, Douglas Stebila. A formal treatment of distributed key generation, and new constructions. Technical report. February 2023. © The authors.




This research was supported by:
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant RGPIN-2022-03187
  • Canada Research Chairs program