Sprites and State Channels: Payment Networks that Go Faster Than Lightning

Andrew Miller, Iddo Bentov, Surya Bakshi, Ranjit Kumaresan, Patrick McCorry

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


Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, as deployed today, cannot support more than several transactions per second. Off-chain payment channels, a “layer 2” solution, are a leading approach for cryptocurrency scaling. They enable two mutually distrustful parties to rapidly send payments between each other and can be linked together to form a payment network, such that payments between any two parties can be routed through the network along a path that connects them. We propose a novel payment channel protocol, called Sprites. The main advantage of Sprites compared with earlier protocols is a reduced “collateral cost,” meaning the amount of money time that must be locked up before disputes are settled. In the Lightning Network and Raiden, a payment across a path of channels requires locking up collateral for time, where is the time to commit an on-chain transaction; every additional node on the path forces an increase in lock time. The Sprites construction provides a constant lock time, reducing the overall collateral cost to Our presentation of the Sprites protocol is also modular, making use of a generic state channel abstraction. Finally, Sprites improves on prior payment channel constructions by supporting partial withdrawals and deposits without any on-chain transactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - 23rd International Conference, FC 2019, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsIan Goldberg, Tyler Moore
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783030321000
StatePublished - 2019
Event23rd International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2019 - St. Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Duration: Feb 18 2019Feb 22 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11598 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference23rd International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2019
Country/TerritorySaint Kitts and Nevis
CitySt. Kitts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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