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Boomerang: Redundancy Improves Latency and Throughput in Payment-Channel Networks

  • Vivek Bagaria
  • Joachim NeuEmail author
  • David Tse
Conference paper
  • 51 Downloads
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12059)

Abstract

In multi-path routing schemes for payment-channel networks, Alice transfers funds to Bob by splitting them into partial payments and routing them along multiple paths. Undisclosed channel balances and mismatched transaction fees cause delays and failures on some payment paths. For atomic transfer schemes, these straggling paths stall the whole transfer. We show that the latency of transfers reduces when redundant payment paths are added. This frees up liquidity in payment channels and hence increases the throughput of the network. We devise Boomerang, a generic technique to be used on top of multi-path routing schemes to construct redundant payment paths free of counterparty risk. In our experiments, applying Boomerang to a baseline routing scheme leads to 40% latency reduction and 2\({\times }\) throughput increase. We build on ideas from publicly verifiable secret sharing, such that Alice learns a secret of Bob iff Bob overdraws funds from the redundant paths. Funds are forwarded using Boomerang contracts, which allow Alice to revert the transfer iff she has learned Bob’s secret. We implement the Boomerang contract in Bitcoin Script.

Keywords

Payment-channel networks Redundancy Atomic multi-path Routing Throughput Latency Adaptor signatures 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Giulia Fanti and Lei Yang for fruitful discussions. VB and DT are supported by the Center for Science of Information, an NSF Science and Technology Center, under grant agreement CCF-0939370. JN is supported by the Reed-Hodgson Stanford Graduate Fellowship. Icons from ‘Twemoji v12.0’ (https://github.com/twitter/twemoji) by Twitter, Inc and other contributors, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© International Financial Cryptography Association 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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