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Publication Detail
Pisa: Arbitration outsourcing for state channels
  • Publication Type:
    Conference
  • Authors:
    McCorry P, Bakshi S, Bentov I, Meiklejohn S, Miller A
  • Publisher:
    ACM
  • Publication date:
    21/10/2019
  • Pagination:
    16, 30
  • Published proceedings:
    AFT 2019 - Proceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies
  • ISBN-13:
    9781450367325
  • Status:
    Published
  • Name of conference:
    1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies
  • Conference place:
    Zurich, Switzerland
  • Conference start date:
    21/10/2019
  • Conference finish date:
    23/10/2019
Abstract
© 2019 Association for Computing Machinery. State channels are a leading approach for improving the scalability of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. They allow a group of distrustful parties to optimistically execute an application-defined program amongst themselves, while the blockchain serves as a backstop in case of a dispute or abort. This effectively bypasses the congestion, fees and performance constraints of the underlying blockchain in the typical case. However, state channels introduce a new and undesirable assumption that a party must remain on-line and synchronised with the blockchain at all times to defend against execution fork attacks. An execution fork can revert a state channel’s history, potentially causing financial damage to a party that is innocent except for having crashed. To provide security even to parties that may go off-line for an extended period of time, we present Pisa, the first protocol to propose an accountable third party who can be hired by parties to cancel execution forks on their behalf. To evaluate Pisa, we provide a proof-of-concept implementation for a simplified Sprites and we demonstrate that it is cost-efficient to deploy on the Ethereum network.
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