Paper 2020/998

Lightweight Virtual Payment Channels

Maxim Jourenko, Mario Larangeira, and Keisuke Tanaka


Blockchain systems have severe scalability limitations e.g., long confirmation delays. Layer-2 protocols are designed to address such limitations. The most prominent class of such protocols are payment channel networks e.g., the Lightning Network for Bitcoin where pairs of participants create channels that can be concatenated into networks. These allow payments across the network without interaction with the blockchain. A drawback is that all intermediary nodes within a payment path must be online. Virtual Channels, as recently proposed by Dziembowski et al. (CCS'18), allow payments without this limitation. However, these can only be implemented on blockchains with smart contract capability therefore limiting its applicability. Our work proposes the notion of --Lightweight-- Virtual Payment Channels, i.e. only requiring timelocks and multisignatures, enabling Virtual Channels on a larger range of blockchain systems of which a prime example is Bitcoin. More concretely, other contributions of this work are (1) to introduce a fully-fledged formalization of our construction, and (2) to present a simulation based proof of security in Canetti's UC Framework.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Major revision. CANS 2020
blockchainpayment channelscryptocurency
Contact author(s)
jourenko m ab @ m titech ac jp
mario @ c titech ac jp
2021-01-29: revised
2020-08-18: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Maxim Jourenko and Mario Larangeira and Keisuke Tanaka},
      title = {Lightweight Virtual Payment Channels},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/998},
      year = {2020},
      doi = {10.1007/978-3-030-65411-5_18},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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