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@keep-network/random-beacon

Keep Random Beacon

    2.0.0-dev.17latest

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:toc: macro :icons: font

= Keep Random Beacon v2

The Keep Network requires a trusted source of randomness for the process of trustless group selection. While the network requires that randomness to function correctly, the source of randomness is itself broadly applicable. This trusted source of randomness takes the form of a BLS Threshold Relay.

ifdef::env-github[] :tip-caption: :bulb: :note-caption: :information_source: :important-caption: :heavy_exclamation_mark: :caution-caption: :fire: :warning-caption: :warning: endif::[]

toc::[]

== Overview

The threshold relay is a way of generating verifiable randomness that is resistant to bad actors both in the relay network and on the anchoring Ethereum blockchain. The basic functioning of the relay is:

  • Some number of groups exist in the relay.
  • An arbitrary seed value v_s counts as the first entry in the relay.
  • A request r_i is dispatched to the chain for a new entry.
  • The previous entry v_s is used to choose a group to produce the response to the request.
  • v_s is signed by at least a subset of the chosen group members, and the resulting signature is the entry generated in response to the request. It is published to the anchoring blockchain as the entry v_i.
  • The new entry v_i may trigger the formation of a new group from the set of all members in the relay.
  • A group expires after a certain amount of time.

== Prior Work

Smart contracts for the first version of the random beacon are available in link:https://github.com/keep-network/keep-core/tree/main/solidity-v1[`solidity-v1` directory]. The new version uses the same approach for BLS signatures as v1 but replaces ticket-based group selection with an optimistic sortition pool call. It also redesigns staker rewards and offers a more operator-friendly approach for relay entry timeouts. Last but not least, most parameters for the relay are now governable.

== The Mechanism

=== Group Creation

New groups are created with a fixed frequency of relay requests. Instead of a v1 ticket-based approach for group selection, we use a sortition pool. Group creation start transaction is embedded into relay request transaction and locks a sortition pool. From this moment, no operator can enter or leave the pool. Once a new relay entry appears on the chain, all off-chain clients perform group selection optimistically calling RandomBeacon.selectGroup(seed) view function for free. Seed is available in DkgStarted event emitted when the group creation starts. After determining group members, clients should perform off-chain distributed key generation (DKG). <<dkg-submit-eligibility,Eligible group member>> submits the result to the chain calling RandomBeacon.submitDkgResult(DKG.Result calldata dkgResult) function. Once the result is submitted, a challenge period starts.

During the challenge period, anyone can notify that the submitted DKG result is malicious calling RandomBeacon.challengeDkgResult(DKG.Result calldata dkgResult) function. A malicious DKG result may contain corrupted data, group members not selected by the pool, or incorrect supporting signatures. If such malicious result is submitted and successfully challenged, the result submitter gets slashed and the malicious result is immediately discarded.

Once the challenge period passes, and no challenges are reported, the DKG result submitter should unlock the sortition pool and mark the DKG result as accepted calling RandomBeacon.approveDkgResult(DKG.Result calldata dkgResult) to receive a reward. In case the submitter does not call the approve function within a specific number of blocks, anyone can do that and receive the submitter's reward as described in <<fees-and-rewards,Fees and Rewards>> section.

There is a timeout before which a DKG result should be submitted. The timeout equals the group size multiplied by the number of blocks for a member to become eligible to submit a DKG result. The timer starts at the moment when the first member becomes eligible.

In case the DKG result was not submitted before a timeout, anyone can notify DKG timed out calling RandomBeacon.notifyDkgTimeout() and receive a reward, as described in <<fees-and-rewards,Fees and Rewards>> section. DKG timeout includes the situation when no new relay entry was produced and sortition could not be performed.

The sortition pool weights operators by their authorized stake amount and allows selecting the same operator multiple times. Off-chain DKG protocol executes in the same way as for v1 and inactive/disqualified members during the off-chain protocol are marked as ineligible for rewards for a certain period of time when the DKG result is approved.

Each group created in the system remains active for a certain period of time. A group that expired is no longer selected for any new work. Group expiration is performed in the relay request transaction.

=== Relay Request and Relay Entry

Anyone can request a new relay entry (random number) by calling RandomBeacon.requestRelayEntry(IRandomBeaconConsumer callbackContract) function and providing an optional callback parameter. The requester needs to approve enough tokens for a fee, as described in <<fees-and-rewards,Fees and Rewards>> section.

In requestRelayEntry transaction, groups that reached their maximum lifetime are getting expired and one of the remaining active groups is tasked with producing a new relay entry. The off-chain clients are expected to monitor the RelayEntryRequested event. If a client is a part of a picked group they should start the off-chain protocol to sign the previous relay entry producing a new one.

Off-chain clients are expected to follow the order when submitting relay entry to minimize and distribute costs evenly, as described in <<fees-and-rewards,Fees and Rewards>> section but no ordering is enforced on-chain. New relay entry should be submitted using RandomBeacon.submitRelayEntry(bytes calldata entry) function.

=== Callbacks

Random Beacon supports simple, low gas budget callbacks from a relay entry submit a transaction with a gas limit.

When requesting a relay entry, it is possible to pass an optional address parameter - this is the address of a contract implementing IRandomBeaconConsumer interface that should be called when a new relay entry is submitted to the chain.

Smart contract consuming new relay entry needs to implement IRandomBeaconConsumer interface. The gas limit for __beaconCallback is initially set to 50k gas which is enough to SSTORE new relay entry, block height in which the entry was submitted, and to emit an event. Failure in the callback function does not revert the relay entry transaction.

interface IRandomBeaconConsumer {     /// @notice Receives relay entry produced by Keep Random Beacon. This function     /// should be called only by Keep Random Beacon.     ///     /// @param relayEntry Relay entry (random number) produced by Keep Random     ///                   Beacon.     /// @param blockNumber Block number at which the relay entry was submitted     ///                    to the chain.     function __beaconCallback(uint256 relayEntry, uint256 blockNumber) external; }

=== Timeouts

There are two timeouts for a relay entry to be provided by a group: soft timeout and hard timeout.

==== Soft Relay Entry Timeout

The soft timeout is the group size multiplied by the number of blocks for a member to become eligible to submit a relay entry. Eligibility is not enforced on-chain but off-chain clients are expected to agree and follow it.

If no entry was provided within the soft timeout, all operators in the group start bleeding and losing their stake. The bleeding increases linearly from 0 to the slashing amount per operator over time, until the hard timeout is reached or until a relay entry is submitted by the group.

The time for a single group member to become eligible to submit a result and the hard relay entry timeout are governable parameters. This gives a chance to start with more forgiving penalties and increase them over time. In general, the slashing penalty should be proportional to rewards and the frequency of relay requests and associated risk.

==== Hard Relay Entry Timeout

When the hard timeout is reached, anyone can notify about this fact by calling RandomBeacon.reportRelayEntryTimeout() function and receive a notifier reward. The group which failed to submit a relay entry is terminated, group members are slashed, and if there are still active groups in the beacon, another group is selected and tasked with producing relay entry for the given relay request.

==== DKG Timeout

There is a governable timeout for DKG to complete and for the result to be submitted. DKG timeout includes the time it takes to execute off-chain protocol to generate a key, and the time it takes for all group members to become eligible to submit the result. Note that unlike in the case of relay entry, RandomBeacon.submitDkgResult(DKG.Result calldata dkgResult) function enforces the eligibility of submitters on-chain. When DKG timeout is hit, anyone can call RandomBeacon.notifyDkgTimeout() function and receive the notifier's reward. The function unlocks the sortition pool and clears up DKG data but no slashing for DKG timeout is executed and no one is losing any rewards.

[[fees-and-rewards]] === Fees and Rewards

Relay requester should provide a fee in T. The entire fee is deposited in the DKG rewards pool that is used to reimburse for different actions related to DKG.

There is a fixed reward for submitting and approving a DKG result paid from the DKG rewards pool. The reward is paid to the DKG result submitter in the transaction approving the DKG result. If the DKG result submitter failed to approve the result after the challenge period, anyone can do that and receive the submitter's reward.

The logic triggering new group selection is embedded in relay request transaction and is as cheap as possible, so no additional reward is paid for triggering DKG.

In case the DKG result has not been submitted on time, anyone can unlock the pool and receive a fixed reward for reporting DKG timeout. The reward is paid from the DKG reward pool.

[[dkg-submit-eligibility]] The order in which operators are supposed to submit a DKG result is not enforced on-chain. The first member eligible to submit the DKG result is a member with index keccak256(new_group_pubkey) % group_size. Members with subsequent indices are becoming eligible one after another, during the result submission period.

[NOTE] For example, if hash(new_group_pubkey) % group_size = 62, group_size = 64, group members are becoming eligible in the following order: 62, 63, 64, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ..., 61.

The transaction submitting relay entry is not reimbursable and implementation ensures the gas cost of this transaction is as low as possible, below 200k gas when no callback is executed.

Everyone is eligible to submit relay entry at any time but off-chain clients are expected to agree and follow the following order to minimize the gas cost and distribute costs: the first group member eligible to submit the result is new_entry % group_size; then, if the selected member does not provide an entry within the eligibility period, (new_entry % group_size) + 1 and so on.

If some group members are notoriously ignoring their duty, the group can vote on <<inactivity,inactivity>> notification for these operators.

T rewards will be distributed continuously to all operators registered in the beacon sortition pool, excluding operators who were marked as ineligible for rewards due to failing the heartbeat.

[[inactivity]] === Inactivity notification

Off-chain clients are free to execute any heartbeat protocol they want to ensure group members are alive and nodes are operating properly.

[TIP] One example of a heartbeat protocol is signing some piece of information every nth blocks and first making sure the information cannot be used for RandomBeacon.reportUnauthorizedSigning(), that is, the signed information can not become msg.sender for reportUnauthorizedSigning call.

Group members can agree upon members who are permanently inactive and issue an operator inactivity claim. If the required threshold of group members signed the operator inactivity claim, they can submit it to RandomBeacon.notifyOperatorInactivity(Inactivity.Claim calldata claim, uint256 nonce) function and have the group members who are inactive excluded from the sortition pool rewards for a governable time period.

This approach is theoretically susceptible to group members colluding together but because a reasonably high number of operators is needed to sign a claim and operators signing the claim other than the submitter receive nothing in return, we consider this approach safe and good enough. An important advantage of this approach is that honest players can decide off-chain when it makes sense to submit an operator inactivity claim and mark someone as ineligible for rewards. For example, marking an operator ineligible for rewards for the next two weeks have a higher impact than prolonging reward ineligibility for 10 minutes for an operator that was already marked as ineligible for rewards. This approach does not increase the gas cost of a happy path and leaves some freedom to group members. They may mark as ineligible operators who turned off their nodes, operators whose nodes never participate in signing because they are misconfigured, or operators who notoriously miss their turn in submitting relay entry.

== Parameters

[%header,cols="3m,4,^1,^2m"] |=== ^|Property Name ^|Description |Governable |Default Value

4+s|DKG

|groupSize |Size of a group in the threshold relay. |No |64

|groupThreshold |The minimum number of group members needed to interact according to the protocol to provide signatures for the DKG result. |No |33

|activeThreshold |The minimum number of active and properly behaving group members during the DKG needed to accept the result. |No d|58 + 90% of groupSize

|singnatureByteSize |Size in bytes of a single signature produced by operator supporting DKG result. |No |65

|resultChallengePeriodLength |Time in blocks during which a submitted result can be challenged. |Yes d|11520 blocks + ~48h assuming 15s block time

|resultSubmissionTimeout |Time in blocks during which a result is expected to be submitted. |Yes d|1280 blocks + 64 members * 20 blocks = 1280 blocks

|submitterPrecedencePeriodLength |Time in blocks during which only the result submitter is allowed to approve it. |Yes |20 blocks

4+s|Groups

|groupLifetime |Group lifetime in blocks. |Yes d|403200 blocks + ~10 weeks assuming 15s block time

4+s|Relay Entry

|relayEntrySoftTimeout |Time in blocks during which a result is expected to be submitted. |Yes d|1280 blocks + 64 members * 20 blocks = 1280 blocks

|relayEntryHardTimeout |Hard timeout in blocks for a group to submit the relay entry. |Yes d|5760 blocks + ~24h assuming 15s block time

|relayEntrySubmissionFailureSlashingAmount |Slashing amount for not submitting relay entry. |Yes d|1000e18 + 1 000 T

4+s|Random Beacon

|_owner |Address of the RandomBeacon contract owner. |Yes d|deployer's address

|callbackGasLimit |Relay entry callback gas limit. |Yes d|56000

|groupCreationFrequency |The frequency of new group creation. |Yes |5

|maliciousDkgResultSlashingAmount |Slashing amount for submitting malicious DKG result. |Yes d|50000e18 + 50 000 T

|unauthorizedSigningSlashingAmount |Slashing amount when an unauthorized signing has been proved. |Yes d|100e3 * 1e18 + 100 000 T

|sortitionPoolRewardsBanDuration |Duration of the sortition pool rewards ban imposed on operators who were inactive/disqualified during off-chain DKG, misbehaved during the DKG result submission or were voted by the group as notoriously failing heartbeats. |Yes |2 weeks

|relayEntryTimeoutNotificationRewardMultiplier |Percentage of the staking contract malicious behavior notification reward which will be transferred to the notifier reporting about relay entry timeout. |Yes |40

|unauthorizedSigningNotificationRewardMultiplier |Percentage of the staking contract malicious behavior notification reward which will be transferred to the notifier reporting about unauthorized signing. |Yes |50

|dkgMaliciousResultNotificationRewardMultiplier |Percentage of the staking contract malicious behavior notification reward which will be transferred to the notifier reporting about a malicious DKG result. |Yes |100

|dkgResultSubmissionGas |Calculated gas cost for submitting a DKG result. This will be refunded as part of the DKG approval process. |Yes |235000

|dkgResultApprovalGasOffset |Gas that is meant to balance the DKG result approval's overall cost. |Yes |41500

|notifyOperatorInactivityGasOffset |Gas that is meant to balance the operator inactivity notification cost. |Yes |54500

|relayEntrySubmissionGasOffset |Gas that is meant to balance the relay entry submission cost. |Yes |11250

|authorizedRequesters |Authorized addresses that can request a relay entry. |No |

4+s|Authorization

|minimumAuthorization |The minimum authorization amount required so that operator can participate in the Random Beacon. |Yes d|100000 * 1e18 + 100 000 T

|authorizationDecreaseDelay |Delay in seconds that needs to pass between the time authorization decrease is requested and the time that request gets approved. |Yes d|403200 blocks + ~10 weeks 15s block time

4+s|Governance

|governanceDelay |Time in blocks after which initiated change of governable parameters can be finalized. |Yes |0

|===

== Build

Random beacon contracts use https://hardhat.org/[*Hardhat*] development environment. To build and deploy these contracts, please follow the instructions presented below.

=== Prerequisites

Please make sure you have the following prerequisites installed on your machine:

=== Build contracts

To build the smart contracts, install node packages first:

yarn install

Once packages are installed, you can build the smart contracts using:

yarn build

Compiled contracts will land in the build/ directory.

=== Test contracts

There are multiple test scenarios living in the test directory. You can run them by doing:

yarn test
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