Delay and Escrow in the Blockchain (Draft)

A.W. Roscoe
Chieftin Lab

In this paper we show how to implement exact-time delay encryption in a trust environment like the blockchain, where we can be confident that some sort of majority of participants are trustworthy but not any individual one. In other words we give a protocol for generating delay(x; t), a value which gives no significant information until time t, whereupon it can be decrypted to x by anyone. We highlight some applications of this construct and show how it can be extended to a more general form of escrow.