NISTIR 8213 (Draft)

A Reference for Randomness Beacons: Format and Protocol Version 2

Date Published: May 2019
Comments Due: August 5, 2019 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to:


John Kelsey (NIST), Luís T. A. N. Brandão (NIST), Rene Peralta (NIST), Harold Booth (NIST)


Draft NISTIR 8213 provides a reference for implementing interoperable randomness beacons. The document defines terminology and notation, a format for pulses, a protocol for beacon operations, hash-chaining and skiplists of pulses, and the beacon interface calls. It also provides directions for how to use beacon randomness, and includes security considerations. With the release of this draft publication, NIST intends to seek constructive feedback from interested parties.

NOTE:  A call for patent claims is included on page iv of this draft. For additional information, see the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Patent Policy--Inclusion of Patents in ITL Publications.



cryptography; public randomness; beacons; hash chaining; timestamping; auditability; unpredictability
Control Families

None selected


NISTIR 8213 (Draft) (DOI)
Local Download

Supplemental Material:
NIST Randomness Beacon project (other)

Document History:
05/06/19: NISTIR 8213 (Draft)


Security and Privacy
random number generation

Activities and Products
reference materials