On the 30th of March, the drand team hosted the second edition of the Randomness Summit alongside Real World Crypto (opens new window) in Tokyo, the first having been online only in 2020 (opens new window) during the covid19 pandemic.
The Randomness Summit was a one day conference consisting of talks from a range of speakers on topics such as verifiable randomness functions, verifiable delay functions, distributed key generation, cryptographic specifications and more!
To kick off the day, Patrick McClurg from the drand team gave a brief overview of what's happened with drand since the last randomness summit.
Following him, Lefteris Kokoris Kogias from IST Austria and Mysten Labs gave a presentation on generating distributed randomness and how to architect for producing it under asynchrony safely.
Filippo Valsorda then gave a presentation giving some recommendations for specification-writers on how to avoid common pitfalls when specifying protocols and schemes using randomness.
Bernardo David from the University of Copenhagen came next and gave a comprehensive breakdown of all the different types of randomness beacons, their guarantees and how to combine them to fit your security model. His talk was a great overview to everything about public randomness for those who are new to the field!
Pratyay Mukherjee came next, presenting the architecture of the Supra (opens new window) VRF, the challenges they faced in designing it, and the innovative solutions they created to overcome them.
Luis Brandão from NIST presented a little on what NIST is currently doing in the randomness space, particularly around their ongoing effort to standardise randomness beacons and threshold cryptography. Details on their standardisation tracks can be found on the NIST website (opens new window).
Matej Pavlovic from the Consensus Lab team in Protocol Labs gave the next presentation on the latest research into scalable byzantine fault tolerance algorithms, and how randomness can be used to improve their performance characteristics.
Following up from his talk at the main Real World Crypto conference, Yolan Romailler from the drand team gave a shortened rendition of his talk on timelock encryption. The full thing can be found on the IACR youtube channel (opens new window).
To end the day, we had a few presentations from people using randomness in the wild: Hong Yu from Storswift (a member of the League of Entropy who runs a relay in Asia) presented both their upcoming drand implementation in rust, as well as a no-code tool they've created to create smart contracts using timelock encryption.
Finally, Thibault Meunier from Cloudflare (also a member of the League of Entropy) presented his new CLI dee (opens new window) which is both a drand client and timelock encryption tool - the team at drand have been using it a lot and loving it!
For those who couldn't make it on the day (in person or online), we have compiled a youtube playlist of all the talks that can be found here (opens new window). Also, the slide decks are available for download on IPFS: Qmd8Hbj31yXq6MDptaiez5JiRiG3vyU672oYTFfaV31NZL (opens new window)
It's still too early to release any details of a possible Randomness Summit 2024, but a big thank you to everyone who came along and we look forward to seeing you (and others!) at future events! Make sure to monitor this blog for announcements of future Randomness Summits, as well as events where the drand team will be present at.
You can join our drand Slack Workspace (opens new window) to discuss drand and randomness-related topics, or share with us your cool use cases for it. You can also follow us on our newly created @drand_loe Twitter account (opens new window) to stay tuned with the latest news from the drand team.