Single Secret Leader Election (SSLE) protocols allow a set of users to elect a leader among them so that the identity of the winner remains secret until she decides to reveal herself. This notion was formalized and implemented in a recent result by Boneh, et al. (ACM Advances on Financial Technology 2020) and finds important applications in the area of Proof of Stake blockchains.
In this paper we put forward new SSLE solutions that advance the state of the art both from a theoretical and a practical front. On the theoretical side we propose a new definition of SSLE in the universal composability framework. We believe this to be the right way to model security in highly concurrent contexts such as those of many blockchain related applications. Next, we propose a UC-realization of SSLE from public key encryption with keyword search (PEKS) and based on the ability of distributing the PEKS key generation and encryption algorithms. Finally, we give a concrete PEKS scheme with efficient distributed algorithms for key generation and encryption and that allows us to efficiently instantiate our abstract SSLE construction.
Our resulting SSLE protocol is very efficient, does not require participants to store any state information besides their secret keys and guarantees so called on-chain efficiency: the information to verify an election in the new block should be of size at most logarithmic in the number of participants. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first SSLE scheme achieving this property along with practical efficiency.

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