[Bitcoin-development] (space) efficient reusable addr via weil pairing IBE (Re: Bait for reusable addresses)

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Sun Feb 2 11:55:31 UTC 2014

> On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 05:19:01PM +0100, Adam Back wrote:
> [quote author=adam3us link=topic=431756.msg4729682#msg4729682
> date=1390660452]
> So have been talking with Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Jeremy Spillman,
> Mike Hearn, Bytecoin and others about reusable addresses.
> There is a summary of the situation here
> http://www.mail-archive.com/bitcoin-development@lists.sourceforge.net/msg03792.html
> and I had posed th question of whether it was possible to do better at
> all with Peter Todd:

You're explanation is a bit long-winded, so I'll start with a simplified
ECC-based version first and later explain how identity-based encryption
applies to the problem; I have a feeling not many non-crypt-experts
spent the time to figure out what you're talking about; do check if what
I've written below is correct:

So Alice wants to pay Bob, who is bandwidth constrained and frequently
offline. Meanwhile Ivan has a full node, but can't really be trusted.
Meanwhile Eve is busy trying to piece together everyones' financial

Bob publicly publishes three pubkeys, Filter, Recover, and Spend, along
with a short n-bit prefix p. When Alice needs to pay Bob she creates a
ephemeral keypair and uses ECDH *two* shared secrets, n_f and n_r, from
Bob's Filter and Recover pubkeys respectively. She makes a transaction
that pays Bob by deriving pubkey Spend_{n_f} from the Spend and n_r
nonce.  She also uses the Filter nonce and the prefix to derive a
encrypted prefix p'=n_f^p and puts that prefix and the cleartext
ephemeral pubkey in the transaction as data.

When Bob wants to find that transaction he gives the prefix and Filter
secret key to Ivan, who then scans the blockchain. For every transaction
he computes n_f=ECDH(Filter_sec, Ephm_pub), extracts the encrypted
prefix p' from the transaction, and checks if p'=n_f^p If so he gives
that transaction to Bob who can then use his Recover secret key to check
if the transaction was in fact for him. (note how the prefix can
actually always be simply a given length of zeros)

Because Bob's prefix is short Ivan only learns probabalistic information
about what transactions might be Bob's. Eve doesn't know the Filter
secret key, and thus learns nothing at all from the blockchain data. On
the other hand after getting the key once Ivan can forever after get
that probability information about what transactions might be Bob's.

What we'd really like is for there to be some way for Alice to derive a
time-limited Filter pubkey from some public random beacon with value
R_i, such as the Bitcoin blockchain, such that each defined time
interval uses a different key. Bob would then only give Ivan the secret
key(s) for the time interval(s) in question.

Unfortunately ECDSA doesn't have a way to do this. The closest thing
available is BIP32-style key derivation, however it has the property
that given a derived secret key and known master pubkey the master
secret key can be derived. Thus Ivan can simply try every public Filter
key/epoch tweak he knows about until he finds Q,d' st. (d+d')G=Q+d'G
From that he can recover d, reducing the security to where we started.
(or put another way, Ivan can store every (d+d') secret key he is asked
to search with, and test it against every public key he learns about

Identity-based cryptograhy however can do that. Bob publishes a (single)
master public key, and anyone can derive public keys based on that
master key and the random beacon value R_i. Bob can then derive the
corresponding secret key, but unlike with ECDSA, that secret key *can't*
be used to derive the master private key. Having said that, it can of
course be linked to that key, so every query that Bob makes gives Ivan
some knowledge about what transactions might be in Bob's wallet.

Problem is, who the hell has a production-ready Weil pairing library
kicking around? (is this read? http://crypto.stanford.edu/pbc/) Also,
Weil pairing is not yet trustworthy:

    < gmaxwell> (IMO thats how we should be using pairing in
    cryptosystems: for lower value applications, and solving things that
    can't be solved any other way)

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