Pisa: Arbitration outsourcing for state channels

Patrick McCorry, Surya Bakshi, Iddo Bentov, Sarah Meiklejohn, Andrew Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAFT 2019 - Proceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages16-30
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367325
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 21 2019
Event1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies, AFT 2019 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: Oct 21 2019Oct 23 2019

Publication series

NameAFT 2019 - Proceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies

Conference

Conference1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies, AFT 2019
CountrySwitzerland
CityZurich
Period10/21/1910/23/19

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Finance

Cite this

McCorry, P., Bakshi, S., Bentov, I., Meiklejohn, S., & Miller, A. (2019). Pisa: Arbitration outsourcing for state channels. In AFT 2019 - Proceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies (pp. 16-30). (AFT 2019 - Proceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3318041.3355461