Skip to main content

An Efficient Micropayment Channel on Ethereum

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNSC,volume 11737)

Abstract

Blockchain protocols for cryptocurrencies offer secure payment transactions, yet their throughput pales in comparison to centralized payment systems such as VISA. Moreover, transactions incur fees that relatively hinder the adoption of cryptocurrencies for simple daily payments. Micropayment channels are second layer protocols that allow efficient and nearly unlimited number of payments between parties at the cost of only two transactions, one to initiate it and the other one to close it. Typically, the de-facto approach for micropayment channels on Ethereum is to utilize digital signatures which incur a constant gas cost but still relatively high due to expensive elliptic curve operations. Recently, ElSheikh et al. have proposed a protocol that utilizes hash chain which scales linearly with the channel capacity and has a lower cost compared to the digital signature based channel up to a capacity of 1000 micropayments. In this paper, we improve even more and propose a protocol that scales logarithmically with the channel capacity. Furthermore, by utilizing a variant of Merkle tree, our protocol does not require the payer to lock the entire balance at the channel creation which is an intrinsic limitation with the current alternatives. To assess the efficiency of our protocol, we carried out a number of experiments, and the results prove a positive efficiency and an overall low cost. Finally, we release the source code for prototype on Github (https://github.com/HSG88/Payment-Channel).

Keywords

  • Micropayment channel
  • Ethereum
  • Merkle tree

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-31500-9_13
  • Chapter length: 8 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-31500-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.

References

  1. Blockchain Explorer: Number of transactions per day in Bitcoin and Ethereum (2019). https://www.blockchain.com/explorer

  2. Di Ferrante, M.: Ethereum payment channel in 50 lines of code. Medium, June 2017

    Google Scholar 

  3. Dziembowski, S., Eckey, L., Faust, S., Malinowski, D.: Perun: virtual payment hubs over cryptocurrencies. In: 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP), pp. 327–344 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Elsheikh, M., Clark, J., Youssef, A.M.: Deploying PayWord on Ethereum. In: International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security Workshops, BITCOIN, VOTING, and WTSC. Springer (2019, to appear)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Gervais, A., Karame, G.O., Wüst, K., Glykantzis, V., Ritzdorf, H., Capkun, S.: On the security and performance of proof of work blockchains. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications security, pp. 3–16. ACM (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Gudgeon, L., Moreno-Sanchez, P., Roos, S., McCorry, P., Gervais, A.: SoK: off the chain transactions. IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive 2019:360 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Miller, A., Bentov, I., Kumaresan, R., Cordi, C., McCorry, P.: Sprites and state channels: payment networks that go faster than lightning. arXiv preprint arXiv:1702.05812 (2017)

  8. Nakamoto, S., et al.: Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Poon, J., Dryja, T.: The Bitcoin lightning network: scalable off-chain instant payments (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Rivest, R.L., Shamir, A.: PayWord and MicroMint: two simple micropayment schemes. In: Lomas, M. (ed.) Security Protocols 1996. LNCS, vol. 1189, pp. 69–87. Springer, Heidelberg (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-62494-5_6

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Wood, G.: Ethereum: A secure decentralised generalised transaction ledger. Ethereum Project Yellow Paper 151, pp. 1–32 (2014)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hisham S. Galal .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Galal, H.S., ElSheikh, M., Youssef, A.M. (2019). An Efficient Micropayment Channel on Ethereum. In: Pérez-Solà, C., Navarro-Arribas, G., Biryukov, A., Garcia-Alfaro, J. (eds) Data Privacy Management, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology. DPM CBT 2019 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11737. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31500-9_13

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31500-9_13

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-31499-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-31500-9

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)