Paper 2021/239

SoK: Auditability and Accountability in Distributed Payment Systems

Panagiotis Chatzigiannis, Foteini Baldimtsi, and Konstantinos Chalkias


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.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. Minor revision.
Distributed paymentsRegulationAuditingPrivacyCryptocurrenciesBlockchain
Contact author(s)
pchatzig @ gmu edu
foteini @ gmu edu
kostascrypto @ fb com
2021-03-02: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Panagiotis Chatzigiannis and Foteini Baldimtsi and Konstantinos Chalkias},
      title = {SoK: Auditability and Accountability in Distributed Payment Systems},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/239},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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