Verifiable Lotteries and Verifiable Delay Functions


Joseph Bonneau

Date of Talk


Joseph Bonneau is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at New York University. His research focuses on computer security, including the economics and usability of security and novel applications of cryptography. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University, Stanford University and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He has worked in industry at Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cryptography Research, Inc. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, climbing and kayaking.


Lotteries are a fundamental tool for the allocation of many scarce resources that aren't easily divisible, from school places to immigration visas to matchups in sporting tournaments. How can an authority run a lottery and convince the public that the results were both random and unknown in advance? This talk will discuss the general framework for running a verifiable lottery. Recent work in this area has led to the development of the verifiable delay function (VDF) a new cryptographic primitive particularly useful for this application. This talk will discuss progress on VDFs and open challenges in this exciting new area of cryptography.

External Link

Read the Research Paper

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

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