International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Black-box use of One-way Functions is Useless for Optimal Fair Coin-Tossing

Hemanta K. Maji , Purdue University
Mingyuan Wang , Purdue University
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-56880-1_21 (login may be required)
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Presentation: Slides
Conference: CRYPTO 2020
Abstract: A two-party fair coin-tossing protocol guarantees output delivery to the honest party even when the other party aborts during the protocol execution. Cleve (STOC--1986) demonstrated that a computationally bounded fail-stop adversary could alter the output distribution of the honest party by (roughly) $1/r$ (in the statistical distance) in an $r$-message coin-tossing protocol. An optimal fair coin-tossing protocol ensures that no adversary can alter the output distribution beyond $1/r$. In a seminal result, Moran, Naor, and Segev (TCC--2009) constructed the first optimal fair coin-tossing protocol using (unfair) oblivious transfer protocols. Whether the existence of oblivious transfer protocols is a necessary hardness of computation assumption for optimal fair coin-tossing remains among the most fundamental open problems in theoretical cryptography. The results of Impagliazzo and Luby (FOCS–1989) and Cleve and Impagliazzo (1993) prove that optimal fair coin-tossing implies the necessity of one-way functions' existence; a significantly weaker hardness of computation assumption compared to the existence of secure oblivious transfer protocols. However, the sufficiency of the existence of one-way functions is not known. Towards this research endeavor, our work proves a black-box separation of optimal fair coin-tossing from the existence of one-way functions. That is, the black-box use of one-way functions cannot enable optimal fair coin-tossing. Following the standard Impagliazzo and Rudich (STOC--1989) approach of proving black-box separations, our work considers any $r$-message fair coin-tossing protocol in the random oracle model where the parties have unbounded computational power. We demonstrate a fail-stop attack strategy for one of the parties to alter the honest party's output distribution by $1/\sqrt r$ by making polynomially-many additional queries to the random oracle. As a consequence, our result proves that the $r$-message coin-tossing protocol of Blum (COMPCON--1982) and Cleve (STOC--1986), which uses one-way functions in a black-box manner, is the best possible protocol because an adversary cannot change the honest party's output distribution by more than $1/\sqrt r$. Several previous works, for example, Dachman--Soled, Lindell, Mahmoody, and Malkin (TCC--2011), Haitner, Omri, and Zarosim (TCC--2013), and Dachman--Soled, Mahmoody, and Malkin (TCC--2014), made partial progress on proving this black-box separation assuming some restrictions on the coin-tossing protocol. Our work diverges significantly from these previous approaches to prove this black-box separation in its full generality. The starting point is the recently introduced potential-based inductive proof techniques for demonstrating large gaps in martingales in the information-theoretic plain model. Our technical contribution lies in identifying a global invariant of communication protocols in the random oracle model that enables the extension of this technique to the random oracle model.
Video from CRYPTO 2020
  title={Black-box use of One-way Functions is Useless for Optimal Fair Coin-Tossing},
  author={Hemanta K. Maji and Mingyuan Wang},