WOTS-S: A Quantum Secure Compact Signature Scheme for Distributed Ledger

Furqan Shahid, Abid Khan*, Saif Ur Rehman Malik, Kim Kwang Raymond Choo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)
197 Downloads (Pure)


The digital signature scheme, which underpins most of the existing distributed ledgers, is generally based on non-quantum-resilient algorithms (e.g. elliptic curve digital signature algorithm). This highlights the need for quantum-secure signature schemes in future distributed ledgers (and other products). Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel quantum-secure digital signature scheme designed specifically for cryptocurrencies. Our proposed scheme is a hash-based signature scheme, which is a variant of Winternitz-one time signature scheme. A comparison of the proposed scheme and two other competing quantum-secure cryptocurrencies (IoTA and QRL) reveals that our scheme respectively achieves 59% and 24% reductions in signature lengths without compromising the level of security. A salient feature of the proposed approach is that, unlike the previously proposed variants of Winternitz scheme, we avoid the need for any expensive computation. In addition, we formally model the classical cryptocurrency and the proposed quantum-secure cryptocurrency using high-level Petri-nets, which allows the implementer to understand their workings in the presence of a quantum attacker. Furthermore, we also provide formal security proof in the random oracle model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
JournalInformation Sciences
Early online date18 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020


  • Cryptocurrency
  • Digital signature scheme
  • Distributed ledger
  • Quantum secure


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