We are proud to announce that Automata (opens new window), a Web3 middleware protocol focused on protecting fairness & privacy, is joining forces with the League of Entropy (LoE)! Automata is becoming the 17th member to join the LoE and the first partner joining from Singapore - a significant milestone for the LoE.
We’ve asked Automata some key questions that we’ve previously asked other LoE members - see here (opens new window), here (opens new window) and here (opens new window) - on the value of drand. Here are the team's answers.
Why is drand important as a protocol for the next generation of the Internet in your opinion?
Randomness plays a critical role in modern infrastructure, but by far the most important and widely used aspect of it is within the field of cryptography. What really impressed us about drand was how the system approaches and realizes randomness - instead of having a single entity that controls the infrastructure where it runs, beacon providers work together and run their own nodes to ensure that no single party can either bias or predict the final output.
A diverse set of stakeholders is important in so many ways; in ensuring the integrity of the randomness being generated; in improving the transparency of the source of randomness; in making it such that no individual party is the single point of failure, be it benign or malicious. While Web3 on its own can sometimes be too vague to be a coherent goal, drand is an excellent example of what it takes to get the job done in a distributed fashion.
Why did you decide to join the League of Entropy? What value do you see in drand that is important for your mission? What convinced you to join?
Fairness and privacy is important to us at Automata. The rise of Web3 - which has shown itself to be as much an ideological movement as much as it has been an economic one - has given us reason to believe that its subsequent development will be governed by a set of rules quite unlike its predecessors. A decentralized source of randomness is fundamental to a decentralized Web3.
In particular, there are a few characterizations that are helpful to keep in mind when it comes to considering what constitutes high-quality randomness: Anyone (such as users!) should be able to verify that a number is legitimately random. Randomness needs to be unbiased. No participant should be able to influence the output in any measure or way. Randomness needs to be unpredictable. No participant should be able to predict the output (or its properties) before it has been generated
drand’s passion about verifiable, unpredictable and bias-resistant randomness really spoke to us, and joining the League was an easy decision.
Please explain briefly how you use drand in your setup.
Using random numbers generated by drand’s distributed randomness beacon helps to ensure the “freshness” of the information at the point of computation, a global timestamp if you will. By integrating the latest number by drand - 256 bits of entropy generated every 30 seconds (also available every 3s in the latest deployment) - and ensuring that the random number is only valid during the interval it is generated, attackers are restricted in their ability to perform brute-force attacks, like reversing a one-way function.
Pre-computation is not possible if the number is not yet known and the interval limits the time attackers have to guess for any given valid number.
Where would you like to see drand in 2 years from now? What should we have achieved?
We’ve been keeping a keen eye on drand’s roadmap and there have been some pretty exciting developments, including the Time-lock-encryption and Unchained Randomness, which now allows each randomness beacon to be independent of the previous one.
We would love to see drand grow to be the definitive source of randomness for Web3 and for the project to extend its capabilities in more impactful ways, some of which are: a) On-demand randomness for specific requests, such as the generation of random nonces to cater to users who need tailored randomness, b) Verifiable, confidential randomness to enable a wider range of use-cases such as gaming.
The League of Entropy evaluates, votes on, and onboards new members quarterly. If you want to be a part of the first production-grade distributed randomness beacon and help provide publicly verifiable randomness as a service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for enthusiastic teams with experience running secure production services who are interested in operating drand nodes and relays. We also encourage you to check out the drand GitHub repository (opens new window) for details and join us on slack (opens new window).