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Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:52:59 -0400
From: Bill Cox <>
Subject: The best of the best, IMO

It's nice not being a judge.  I can be all judgemental and get away with it
:-)  Also, I can make dumb judgements without consequences, since my
opinion really doesn't count much.  It's not like I get paid to do any work
in this field.

Now that we have 23 entries (minus Catfish), I have four categories that I
personally think may deserve separate winners, and my current favorites in
each (highly subject to change) are:

Blowfish inspired: either Pufferfish or Battcrypt (I have no current
preference for one over the other)

Catena inspired: Catena (fairly easy, right?)

Script inspired: Yescript

Other: Makwa.

Delegation is potentially game changing, so Makwa, if it survives serious
cryptanalysis, deserves a boost from the PHC in the end.

I'm a big fan of some of the other algorithms as well (like my own
TwoCats).  These are just the ones I like most based on what I know so far.
 After serious cryptanalysis happens, I'm sure this will change.  I think
my TwoCats could give Yescript a run for it's money in the areas I know and
care about most, such as ASIC resistance and fast huge memory footprint
hashing.  However, I didn't include (or only partially included) features
for areas I know little about, like authentication servers (ROM), and GPU
defense (Bcrypt-like small random reads).  Biased as I am, I still have to
put Yescript in the top Script-inspired spot.  Alexander simply knows more
about what these algorithms should be doing in all the different situations
than me.

I give the edge to Catena in cache-timing attack resistant algorithms
simply because Catena was published early, and with many features that
inspired others to copy various pieces of Catena.  I feel that an algorithm
should show some significant improvement over Catena to win in this
category, and I don't think I've seen enough from the others to do the

I think we need a solid Blowfish successor as well, since the 4KiB that
Blowfish uses for defense may soon be too little for this popular algorithm
to remain secure.

That's my $0.02 for the state of the horse race now that there are 23.  My
opinion is worth less than you paid for it :-)


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