Threshold Signature Explained— Bringing Exciting Applications with TSS

ARPA Official
10 min readFeb 12, 2020

— A deep dive into threshold signature without mathematics by ARPA’s cryptographer Dr. Alex Su

Threshold signature is a distributed multi-party signature protocol that includes distributed key generation, signature, and verification algorithms.

In recent years, with the rapid development of blockchain technology, signature algorithms have gained widespread attention in both academic research and real-world applications. Its properties like security, practicability, scalability, and decentralization of signature are pored through.

Due to the fact that blockchain and signature are closely connected, the development of signature algorithms and the introduction of new signature paradigms will directly affect the characteristics and efficiency of blockchain networks.

In addition, institutional and personal account key management requirements stimulated by distributed ledgers have also spawned many wallet applications, and this change has also affected traditional enterprises. No matter in the blockchain or traditional financial institutions, the threshold signature scheme can bring security and privacy improvement in various scenarios. As an emerging technology, threshold signatures are still under academic research and discussions, among which there are unverified security risks and practical problems.

This article will start from the technical rationale and discuss about cryptography and blockchain. Then we will compare multi-party computation and threshold signature before discussing the pros and cons of different paradigms of signature. In the end, there will be a list of use cases of threshold signature. So that, the reader may quickly learn about the threshold signature.

I. Cryptography in Daily Life

Before introducing threshold signatures, let’s get a general understanding of cryptography. How does cryptography protect digital information? How to create an identity in the digital world? At the very beginning, people want secure storage and transmission. After one creates a key, he can use symmetric encryption to store secrets. If two people have the same key, they can achieve secure transmission between them. Like, the king encrypts a command and the…

ARPA Official

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