Advertisement

Verifiable Sealed-Bid Auction on the Ethereum Blockchain

  • Hisham S. GalalEmail author
  • Amr M. Youssef
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10958)

Abstract

The success of the Ethereum blockchain as a decentralized application platform with a distributed consensus protocol has made many organizations start to invest into running their business on top of it. Technically, the most impressive feature behind the success of Ethereum is its support for a Turing complete language. On the other hand, the inherent transparency and, consequently, the lack of privacy poses a great challenge for many financial applications. In this paper, we tackle this challenge and present a smart contract for a verifiable sealed-bid auction on the Ethereum blockchain. In a nutshell, initially, the bidders submit homomorphic commitments to their sealed-bids on the contract. Subsequently, they reveal their commitments secretly to the auctioneer via a public key encryption scheme. Then, according to the auction rules, the auctioneer determines and claims the winner of the auction. Finally, we utilize interactive zero-knowledge proof protocols between the smart contract and the auctioneer to verify the correctness of such a claim. The underlying protocol of the proposed smart contract is partially privacy-preserving. To be precise, no information about the losing bids is leaked to the bidders. We provide an analysis of the proposed protocol and the smart contract design, in addition to the estimated gas costs associated with the different transactions.

Keywords

Ethereum Smart contract Sealed-bid auction 

References

  1. 1.
    Andrychowicz, M., Dziembowski, S., Malinowski, D., Mazurek, L.: Secure multiparty computations on bitcoin. In: 2014 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP), pp. 443–458. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bentov, I., Kumaresan, R.: How to use bitcoin to design fair protocols. In: Garay, J.A., Gennaro, R. (eds.) CRYPTO 2014, Part II. LNCS, vol. 8617, pp. 421–439. Springer, Heidelberg (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44381-1_24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blass, E.-O., Kerschbaum, F.: Strain: A secure auction for blockchains. Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2017/1044 (2017). https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/1044
  4. 4.
    Brickell, E.F., Chaum, D., Damgård, I.B., van de Graaf, J.: Gradual and verifiable release of a secret (Extended Abstract). In: Pomerance, C. (ed.) CRYPTO 1987. LNCS, vol. 293, pp. 156–166. Springer, Heidelberg (1988).  https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-48184-2_11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chaum, D., Pedersen, T.P.: Wallet databases with observers. In: Brickell, E.F. (ed.) CRYPTO 1992. LNCS, vol. 740, pp. 89–105. Springer, Heidelberg (1993).  https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-48071-4_7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kosba, A., Miller, A., Shi, E., Wen, Z., Papamanthou, C.: Hawk: the blockchain model of cryptography and privacy-preserving smart contracts. In: 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP), pp. 839–858. IEEE (2016)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Krishna, V.: Auction Theory. Academic Press, San Diego (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kumaresan, R., Bentov, I.: Amortizing secure computation with penalties. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, pp. 418–429. ACM (2016)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kumaresan, R., Vaikuntanathan, V., Vasudevan, P.N.: Improvements to secure computation with penalties. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, pp. 406–417. ACM (2016)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Prentice, A., Vasina, O.: Ukrainian ministry carries out first blockchain transactions. Reuters Technology News. https://goo.gl/J8X1up
  11. 11.
    Pedersen, T., Petersen, B.: Explaining gradually increasing resource commitment to a Foreign market. Int. Bus. Rev. 7(5), 483–501 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ben Sasson, E., et al.: Zerocash: decentralized anonymous payments from bitcoin. In: 2014 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP), pp. 459–474. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cerezo Sánchez, D.: Raziel: Private and verifiable smart contracts on blockchains. Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2017/878 (2017). https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/878
  14. 14.
    Ethereum Project Team. Byzantium HF announcement (2017). https://blog.ethereum.org/2017/10/12/byzantium-hf-announcement/
  15. 15.
    Ethereum Project Team. Ethereum improvement proposals (2017). https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs
  16. 16.
    Ethereum Project Team. The ethereum launch process (2017). https://blog.ethereum.org/2015/03/03/ethereum-launch-process/
  17. 17.
    Wood, G.: Ethereum: a secure decentralised generalised transaction ledger. Ethereum Project Yellow Paper, 151 (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Financial Cryptography Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Concordia Institute for Information Systems EngineeringConcordia UniversityMontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations