## CryptoDB

### Benedikt Bünz

#### Publications

**Year**

**Venue**

**Title**

2024

CIC

A Survey of Two Verifiable Delay Functions Using Proof of Exponentiation
Abstract

<p>A verifiable delay function (VDF) is an important tool used for adding delay in decentralized applications. This paper surveys and compares two beautiful verifiable delay functions, one due to Pietrzak, and the other due to Wesolowski, In addition, we provide a new computational proof of security for one of them, present an attack on an incorrect implementation of the other, and compare the complexity assumptions needed for both schemes. </p>

2024

ASIACRYPT

Proofs for Deep Thought: Accumulation for large memories and deterministic computations
Abstract

An important part in proving machine computation is to prove the correctness of the read and write operations performed from the memory, which we term memory-proving. Previous methodologies required proving Merkle Tree openings or multi-set hashes, resulting in relatively large proof circuits. We construct an efficient memory-proving Incrementally Verifiable Computation (IVC) scheme from accumulation, which is particularly useful for machine computations with large memories and deterministic steps. In our scheme, the IVC prover PIVC has cost entirely independent of the memory size T and only needs to commit to approximately 15 field elements per read/write operation, marking a more than 100X improvement over prior work. We further reduce this cost by employing a modified, accumulation-friendly version of the GKR protocol. In the optimized version, PIVC only needs to commit to 6 small memory-table elements per read/write. If the table stores 32-bit values, then this is equivalent to committing to less than one single field element per read and write. Our modified GKR protocol is also valuable for proving other deterministic computations within the context of IVC. Our memory-proving protocol can be extended to support key-value store.

2023

EUROCRYPT

HyperPlonk: Plonk with Linear-Time Prover and High-Degree Custom Gates
Abstract

Plonk is a widely used succinct non-interactive proof system
that uses univariate polynomial commitments.
Plonk is quite flexible:
it supports circuits with low-degree ``custom'' gates
as well as circuits with lookup gates (a lookup gates ensures that its
input is contained in a predefined table).
For large circuits, the bottleneck in generating a Plonk proof
is the need for computing a large FFT.
We present HyperPlonk, an adaptation of Plonk to the boolean hypercube,
using multilinear polynomial commitments.
HyperPlonk retains the flexibility of Plonk,
but provides a number of additional benefits.
First, it avoids the need for an FFT during proof generation.
Second, and more importantly, it supports custom gates of much
higher degree than Plonk, without harming the running time of the prover.
Both of these can dramatically speed-up the prover's running time.
Since HyperPlonk relies on multilinear polynomial commitments,
we revisit two elegant constructions:
one from Orion and one from Virgo.
We show how to reduce the Orion opening proof size to less than 10kb (an almost factor 1000 improvement), and show how to make the Virgo FRI-based
opening proof simpler and shorter.

2023

ASIACRYPT

Protostar: Generic Efficient Accumulation/Folding for Special-sound Protocols
Abstract

Accumulation is a simple yet powerful primitive that enables incrementally verifiable computation (IVC) without the need for recursive SNARKs. We provide a generic, efficient accumulation (or folding) scheme for any (2k − 1)-move special-sound protocol with a verifier that checks l degree-d equations. The accumulation verifier only performs k+2 elliptic curve multiplications and k+d+O(1) field/hash operations. Using the compiler from BCLMS21 (Crypto 21), this enables building efficient IVC schemes where the recursive circuit only depends on the number of rounds and the verifier degree of the underlying special-sound protocol but not the proof size or the verifier time. We use our generic accumulation compiler to build Protostar. Protostar is a non-uniform IVC scheme for Plonk that supports high-degree gates and (vector) lookups. The recursive circuit is dominated by 3 group scalar multiplications and a hash of d∗ field elements, where d∗ is the degree of the highest gate. The scheme does not require a trusted setup or pairings, and the prover does not need to compute any FFTs. The prover in each accumulation/IVC step is also only logarithmic in the number of supported circuits and independent of the table size in the lookup.

2023

TCC

Multilinear Schwartz-Zippel mod N and Lattice-Based Succinct Arguments
Abstract

We show that for $x <-[0,2^\lambda)^u$ and any integer $N$ the probability that $f(x)=0 mod N$ for any non-zero multilinear polynomial $f \in Z[X_1, ...,X_u]$, co-prime to $N$ is inversely proportional to $N$. As a corollary we show that if $log_2 N≥log_2(2 u)\lambda+8u^2 $ then the probability is bounded by $(u+1)/(2^\lambda)$. We also give tighter numerically derived bounds, showing that if $log_2 N≥418 $, and $u ≤ 20$ the probability is bounded by $u/(2^\lambda)+2^{-120}$.
We then apply this Multilinear Composite Schwartz-Zippel Lemma (LCSZ) to resolve an open problem in the literature on succinct arguments: that the Bulletproofs protocol for linear relations over classical Pedersen commitments in prime-order groups remains knowledge sound when generalized to commitment schemes that are binding only over short integer vectors. In particular, this means that the Bulletproofs protocol can be instantiated with plausibly post-quantum commitments from lattice hardness assumptions (SIS/R-SIS/M-SIS). It can also be instantiated with commitments based on groups of unknown order (GUOs), in which case the verification time becomes logarithmic instead of linear time.
Prior work on lattice-based Bulletproofs (Crypto 2020) and its extensions required modifying the protocol to sample challenges from special sets of polynomial size. This results in a non-negligible knowledge error, necessitating parallel repetition to amplify soundness, which not only impacts efficiency but also poses issues for the Fiat-Shamir transform. Our analysis shows knowledge soundness for the original Bulletproofs protocol with the exponential-size integer challenge set $[0,2^\lambda]$ and thus achieves a negligible soundness error without repetition, circumventing a previous impossibility result (Crypto 2021). Our analysis also closes a critical gap in the original security proof of DARK, a GUO-based polynomial commitment scheme (Eurocrypt 2020).
Along the way to achieving our result we also define Almost Special Soundness (AMSS), a generalization of Special-Soundness. Our main result is divided into two parts: (1) that the Bulletproofs protocol over generalized commitments is AMSS, and (2) that AMSS implies knowledge soundness. This framework serves to simplify the application of our analytical techniques to protocols beyond Bulletproofs in the future.

2021

CRYPTO

Proof-Carrying Data without Succinct Arguments
📺
Abstract

Proof-carrying data (PCD) is a powerful cryptographic primitive that enables mutually distrustful parties to perform distributed computations that run indefinitely. Known approaches to construct PCD are based on succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (SNARKs) that have a succinct verifier or a succinct accumulation scheme.
In this paper we show how to obtain PCD without relying on SNARKs. We construct a PCD scheme given any non-interactive argument of knowledge (e.g., with linear-size arguments) that has a *split accumulation scheme*, which is a weak form of accumulation that we introduce.
Moreover, we construct a transparent non-interactive argument of knowledge for R1CS whose split accumulation is verifiable via a (small) *constant number of group and field operations*. Our construction is proved secure in the random oracle model based on the hardness of discrete logarithms, and it leads, via the random oracle heuristic and our result above, to concrete efficiency improvements for PCD.
Along the way, we construct a split accumulation scheme for Hadamard products under Pedersen commitments and for a simple polynomial commitment scheme based on Pedersen commitments.
Our results are supported by a modular and efficient implementation.

2021

ASIACRYPT

Proofs for Inner Pairing Products and Applications
📺
Abstract

We present a generalized inner product argument and demonstrate its applications to pairing-based languages. We apply our generalized argument to prove that an inner pairing product is correctly evaluated with respect to committed vectors of $n$ source group elements. With a structured reference string (SRS), we achieve a logarithmic-time verifier whose work is dominated by $6 \log n$ target group exponentiations. Proofs are of size $6 \log n$ target group elements, computed using $6n$ pairings and $4n$ exponentiations in each source group.
We apply our inner product arguments to build the first polynomial commitment scheme with succinct (logarithmic) verification, $O(\sqrt{d})$ prover complexity for degree $d$ polynomials (not including the cost to evaluate the polynomial), and a SRS of size $O(\sqrt{d})$. Concretely, this means that for $d=2^{28}$, producing an evaluation proof in our protocol is $76\times$ faster than doing so in the KZG commitment scheme, and the CRS in our protocol is $1000\times$ smaller: $13$MB vs $13$GB for KZG.
As a second application, we introduce an argument for aggregating $n$ Groth16 zkSNARKs into an $O(\log n)$ sized proof. Our protocol is significantly faster ($>1000\times$) than aggregating SNARKs via recursive composition: we aggregate $\sim 130,000$ proofs in $25$ minutes, versus $90$ proofs via recursive composition. Finally, we further apply our aggregation protocol to construct a low-memory SNARK for machine computations that does not rely on recursive composition. For a computation that requires time $T$ and space $S$, our SNARK produces proofs in space $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}(S+T)$, which is significantly more space efficient than a monolithic SNARK, which requires space $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}(S \cdot T)$.

2020

EUROCRYPT

Transparent SNARKs from DARK Compilers
📺
Abstract

We construct a new polynomial commitment scheme for univariate and multivariate polynomials over finite fields, with public-coin evaluation proofs that have logarithmic communication and verification cost in the number of coefficients of the polynomial. The underlying technique is a Diophantine Argument of Knowledge (DARK), leveraging integer representations of polynomials and groups of unknown order. Security is shown from the strong RSA and the adaptive root assumption. Moreover, the scheme does not require a trusted setup if instantiated with class groups. We apply this new cryptographic compiler to a restricted class of algebraic linear IOPs in order to obtain doubly-efficient public-coin IPs with succinct communication and witness-extended emulation for any NP relation. Allowing for linear preprocessing, the online verifier's work is logarithmic in the circuit complexity of the relation.
Concretely, we obtain quasi-linear prover time when compiling the IOP employed in Sonic(MBKM, CCS 19). Applying the Fiat-Shamir transform in the random oracle model results in a SNARK system with quasi-linear preprocessing, quasi-linear (online) prover time, logarithmic proof size, and logarithmic (online) verification time for arbitrary circuits. The SNARK is also concretely efficient with 8.4KB proofs and 75ms verification time for circuits with 1 million gates. Most importantly, this SNARK is transparent: it does not require a trusted setup. We also obtain zk-SNARKs by applying a variant of our polynomial commitment scheme that is hiding and offers zero-knowledge evaluation proofs. This construction is the first transparent zk-SNARK that has both a practical prover time as well as strictly logarithmic proof size and verification time. We call our system Supersonic.

2020

TCC

Proof-Carrying Data from Accumulation Schemes
📺
Abstract

Recursive proof composition has been shown to lead to powerful primitives such as incrementally-verifiable computation (IVC) and proof-carrying data (PCD). All existing approaches to recursive composition take a succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge (SNARK) and use it to prove a statement about its own verifier. This technique requires that the verifier run in time sublinear in the size of the statement it is checking, a strong requirement that restricts the class of SNARKs from which PCD can be built. This in turn restricts the efficiency and security properties of the resulting scheme.
Bowe, Grigg, and Hopwood (ePrint 2019/1021) outlined a novel approach to recursive composition, and applied it to a particular SNARK construction which does *not* have a sublinear-time verifier. However, they omit details about this approach and do not prove that it satisfies any security property. Nonetheless, schemes based on their ideas have already been implemented in software.
In this work we present a collection of results that establish the theoretical foundations for a generalization of the above approach. We define an *accumulation scheme* for a non-interactive argument, and show that this suffices to construct PCD, even if the argument itself does not have a sublinear-time verifier. Moreover we give constructions of accumulation schemes for SNARKs, which yield PCD schemes with novel efficiency and security features.

2019

CRYPTO

Batching Techniques for Accumulators with Applications to IOPs and Stateless Blockchains
📺
Abstract

We present batching techniques for cryptographic accumulators and vector commitments in groups of unknown order. Our techniques are tailored for distributed settings where no trusted accumulator manager exists and updates to the accumulator are processed in batches. We develop techniques for non-interactively aggregating membership proofs that can be verified with a constant number of group operations. We also provide a constant sized batch non-membership proof for a large number of elements. These proofs can be used to build the first positional vector commitment (VC) with constant sized openings and constant sized public parameters. As a core building block for our batching techniques we develop several succinct proof systems in groups of unknown order. These extend a recent construction of a succinct proof of correct exponentiation, and include a succinct proof of knowledge of an integer discrete logarithm between two group elements. We circumvent an impossibility result for Sigma-protocols in these groups by using a short trapdoor-free CRS. We use these new accumulator and vector commitment constructions to design a stateless blockchain, where nodes only need a constant amount of storage in order to participate in consensus. Further, we show how to use these techniques to reduce the size of IOP instantiations, such as STARKs. The full version of the paper is available online [BBF18b].

2018

CRYPTO

Verifiable Delay Functions
📺
Abstract

We study the problem of building a verifiable delay function (VDF). A $$\text {VDF}$$VDFrequires a specified number of sequential steps to evaluate, yet produces a unique output that can be efficiently and publicly verified. $$\text {VDF}$$VDFs have many applications in decentralized systems, including public randomness beacons, leader election in consensus protocols, and proofs of replication. We formalize the requirements for $$\text {VDF}$$VDFs and present new candidate constructions that are the first to achieve an exponential gap between evaluation and verification time.

#### Program Committees

- Crypto 2024
- Crypto 2023

#### Coauthors

- Dan Boneh (4)
- Joseph Bonneau (1)
- Benedikt Bünz (11)
- Binyi Chen (2)
- Jessica Chen (1)
- Alessandro Chiesa (2)
- Ben Fisch (5)
- Wei-Kai Lin (1)
- Mary Maller (1)
- Pratyush Mishra (3)
- Nicholas Spooner (2)
- Alan Szepieniec (1)
- Nirvan Tyagi (1)
- Psi Vesely (1)
- Zhenfei Zhang (1)