Paper 2020/166

Non Atomic Payment Splitting in Channel Networks

Stefan Dziembowski, University of Warsaw, IDEAS NCBR
Paweł Kędzior, University of Warsaw

Off-chain channel networks} are one of the most promising technologies for dealing with blockchain scalability and delayed finality issues. Parties connected within such networks can send coins to each other without interacting with the blockchain. Moreover, these payments can be ``routed'' over the network. Thanks to this, even the parties that do not have a channel in common can perform payments between each other with the help of intermediaries. In this paper, we introduce a new notion that we call ``Non-Atomic Payment Splitting (NAPS)'' protocols that allow the intermediaries in the network to split the payments recursively into several subpayments in such a way that the payment can be successful ``partially'' (i.e.~not all the requested amount may be transferred). This contrasts with the existing splitting techniques that are ``atomic'' in that they did not allow such partial payments (we compare the ``atomic'' and ``non-atomic'' approaches in the paper). We define NAPS formally and then present a protocol that we call ``EthNA'', that satisfies this definition. EthNA is based on very simple and efficient cryptographic tools; in particular, it does not use expensive cryptographic primitives. We implement a simple variant of EthNA in Solidity and provide some benchmarks. We also report on some experiments with routing using EthNA.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Major revision. 5th Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies (AFT 2023)
blockchainsmart contractspayment networks
Contact author(s)
Stefan Dziembowski @ crypto edu pl
Pawel Kedzior @ crypto edu pl
2023-08-16: last of 4 revisions
2020-02-13: received
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      author = {Stefan Dziembowski and Paweł Kędzior},
      title = {Non Atomic Payment Splitting in Channel Networks},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/166},
      year = {2020},
      doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.AFT.2023.17},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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