Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/239

SoK: Auditability and Accountability in Distributed Payment Systems

Panagiotis Chatzigiannis and Foteini Baldimtsi and Konstantinos Chalkias

Abstract: Enforcement of policy regulations and availability of auditing mechanisms are crucial building blocks for the adoption of distributed payment systems. This paper reviews a number of existing proposals for distributed payment systems that offer some form of auditability for regulators. We identify two major distinct lines of work: payment systems that are not privacy-preserving such as Bitcoin, where regulation functionalities are typically tailored for organizations controlling many accounts, and privacy-preserving payment systems where regulation functionalities are typically targeted to user level. We provide a systematization methodology over several axes of characteristics and performance, while highlighting insights and research gaps that we have identified, such as lack of dispute-resolution solutions between the regulator and the entity under audit, and the incompatibility of ledger pruning or off-chain protocols with regulatory requirements. Based on our findings, we propose a number of exciting future research directions.

Category / Keywords: applications / Distributed payments, Regulation, Auditing, Privacy, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain

Date: received 1 Mar 2021

Contact author: pchatzig at gmu edu, foteini@gmu edu, kostascrypto@fb com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210302:203928 (All versions of this report)

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