Paper 2016/408

Towards Bitcoin Payment Networks

Patrick McCorry, Malte Möser, Siamak F. Shahandashti, and Feng Hao


Bitcoin as deployed today does not scale. Scalability research has focused on two directions: 1) redesigning the Blockchain protocol, and 2) facilitating `off-chain transactions' and only consulting the Blockchain if an adjudicator is required. In this paper we focus on the latter and provide an overview of Bitcoin payment networks. These consist of two components: payment channels to facilitate off-chain transactions between two parties, and the capability to fairly exchange bitcoins across multiple channels. We compare Duplex Micropayment Channels and Lightning Channels, before discussing Hashed Time Locked Contracts which enable Bitcoin-based payment networks. Finally, we highlight challenges for route discovery in these networks.

Note: Invited paper to ACISP 2016.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. 21st Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy
Contact author(s)
patrick mccorry @ ncl ac uk
2016-04-26: revised
2016-04-25: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Patrick McCorry and Malte Möser and Siamak F.  Shahandashti and Feng Hao},
      title = {Towards Bitcoin Payment Networks},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/408},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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