I would like to know how much it would cost to factor a large integer. The cost can be given computer operations, time to process it or even monetary value. I know there are people that factored 200 bit RSA keys, but Wikipedia doesn't say how long it would take in modern CPUs.

-- Background --

I am designing a virtual roulette game where the ball is spun (the number is chosen) before the player bets. As a proof of that but I show the player the product of two primes, one of them is used as the random number seed.

I would like to know what is the minimum suitable size for this number such as the cost of factoring it will be greater than the maximum prize I offer.


2 Answers 2


Instead of reinventing the wheel, I recommend that you use the cryptographic concept of a commitment scheme. Pick your needed randomness as you normally would, commit to it, and then reveal your committed randomness after betting.

  • $\begingroup$ I suppose the OP needs a commitment scheme which can be verified (and understood) manually by a layman. $\endgroup$ Jun 6, 2011 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ Couldn't understand it the first time. I'll try later $\endgroup$
    – Jader Dias
    Jun 6, 2011 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ I got it. A hash function will do the job. Someone is already using it for the same purpose I devised bitcoin-kamikaze.com $\endgroup$
    – Jader Dias
    Jun 7, 2011 at 0:29

To turn the question around, one could equivalently ask: "How large must my prime be in order to be secure until year X against the resource plausibly available to a potent (e.g. government-funded) attacker?" This question is being regularly reassessed in various studies yielding recommended key lengths for crypto systems. A regularly updated web page summarizing these reports can be found here.


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