[cryptography] secret predictions, selective revelations

travis+ml-rbcryptography at subspacefield.org travis+ml-rbcryptography at subspacefield.org
Thu Dec 23 03:01:34 EST 2010

So, I'm wondering about the solution space for a general problem
structure summarized above.

I have seen it two places:

1) Cryptographically secure logs, where you use a distributed
hash chain (or lattice), and have the ability to reveal some
subset of those log entries at a later date for proof.

2) Alice makes a prediction about the future, and wishes to assure
Bob that she had made that precise prediction, without necessarily
revealing the predictions which have not yet come true.  Also, she
wants to do this relatively cheaply.

3) Similarly, she may wish to prove that something happened at a
certain time, and advances in technology may make that difficult to
prove unless she has somehow committed information widely (what was
once unforgeable may later become so).

What are the solutions?  What are the tradeoffs?

I'm sure that time stamping may factor in but I wonder how many there
are; archive.org, and web pages could also factor in, but can be
tampered with.  USENET has a nice flood model, but does anyone
actually use it anymore?  Then there's eternity, and...
Good code works on most inputs; correct code works on all inputs.
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