Paper 2022/1614

Throughput Limitation of the Off-chain Payment Networks

Shayan Hamidi Dehshali, University of Tehran
Seyed Mahdi Hosseini, University of Tehran
Soheil Zibakhsh Shabgahi, University of Tehran
Behnam Bahrak, University of Tehran

Off-chain payment channels were introduced as one of the solutions to the blockchain scalability problem. The channels shape a network, where parties have to lock funds for their creation. A channel is expected to route a limited number of transactions before it becomes unbalanced, when all of the funds are devoted to one of the parties. Since an on-chain transaction is often necessary to establish, rebalance, or close a channel, the off-chain network is bounded to the throughput of the blockchain. In this paper, we propose a mathematical model to formulate limitation on the throughput of an off-chain payment network. As a case study, we show the limitation of the Lightning Network, in comparison with popular banking systems. Our results show that theoretically, the throughput of the Lightning Network can reach the order of 10000 transactions per second, close to the average throughput of centralized banking systems.

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Bitcoin Blockchain Payment Channels Channel Rebalancing
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shayanhamidi2000 @ gmail com
smahdihosseini4 @ gmail com
soheil zibakhsh @ gmail com
bahrak @ ut ac ir
2022-11-21: approved
2022-11-19: received
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      author = {Shayan Hamidi Dehshali and Seyed Mahdi Hosseini and Soheil Zibakhsh Shabgahi and Behnam Bahrak},
      title = {Throughput Limitation of the Off-chain Payment Networks},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1614},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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