Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2017/635

Perun: Virtual Payment Hubs over Cryptocurrencies

Stefan Dziembowski and Lisa Eckey and Sebastian Faust and Daniel Malinowski

Abstract: Payment channels emerged recently as an efficient method for performing cheap \emph{micropayments} in cryptocurrencies. In contrast to traditional on-chain transactions, payment channels have the advantage that they allow for nearly unlimited number of transactions between parties without involving the blockchain. In this work, we introduce \emph{Perun}, an off-chain channel system that offers a new method for connecting channels that is more efficient than the existing technique of ``routing transactions'' over multiple channels. To this end, Perun introduces a technique called ``virtual payment channels'' that avoids involvement of the intermediary for each individual payment. In this paper we formally model and prove security of this technique in the case of one intermediary, who can be viewed as a ``payment hub'' that has direct channels with several parties. Our scheme works over any cryptocurrency that provides Turing-complete smart contracts. As a proof of concept, we implemented Perun's smart contracts in \emph{Ethereum}.

Category / Keywords: applications / cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, payments

Original Publication (with minor differences): IEEE S&P 2019

Date: received 26 Jun 2017, last revised 1 Sep 2018

Contact author: stefan dziembowski at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: We slightly changed the title. We also rewrote the paper by (a) providing an informal description of the protocol, (b) giving an informal security properties, and (c) correcting several typos.

Version: 20180901:132133 (All versions of this report)

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