You Sank My Battleship! A Case Study to Evaluate State Channels as a Scaling Solution for Cryptocurrencies

Patrick McCorry, Chris Buckland, Surya Bakshi, Karl Wüst, Andrew Miller

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

Abstract

Off-chain protocols (or so-called Layer 2) are heralded as a scaling solution for cryptocurrencies. One prominent approach, state channels, allows a group of parties to transact amongst themselves and the global blockchain is only used as a last resort to self-enforce any disputed transactions. To evaluate state channels as a scaling solution, we provide a proof of concept implementation for a two-player battleship game. It fits a category of applications that are not considered reasonable to execute on the blockchain, but it is widely perceived as an ideal application for off-chain protocols. We explore the minimal modifications required to deploy the battleship game as a state channel and propose a new state channel construction, Kitsune, which combines features from existing constructions. While in the optimistic case we demonstrate the battleship game can be played efficiently in a state channel, the requirement for unanimous off-chain agreement introduces new economic and time-based attacks that can render the game as unreasonable to play.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - FC 2019 International Workshops, VOTING and WTSC, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAndrea Bracciali, Jeremy Clark, Federico Pintore, Peter B. Rønne, Massimiliano Sala
PublisherSpringer
Pages35-49
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783030437244
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Event4th Workshop on Advances in Secure Electronic Voting, VOTING 2019 and the 3rd Workshop on Trusted Smart Contracts, WTSC 2019, held at the 23rd 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)
Volume11599 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference4th Workshop on Advances in Secure Electronic Voting, VOTING 2019 and the 3rd Workshop on Trusted Smart Contracts, WTSC 2019, held at the 23rd International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2019
CountrySaint Kitts and Nevis
CitySt. Kitts
Period2/18/192/22/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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  • Cite this

    McCorry, P., Buckland, C., Bakshi, S., Wüst, K., & Miller, A. (2020). You Sank My Battleship! A Case Study to Evaluate State Channels as a Scaling Solution for Cryptocurrencies. In A. Bracciali, J. Clark, F. Pintore, P. B. Rønne, & M. Sala (Eds.), Financial Cryptography and Data Security - FC 2019 International Workshops, VOTING and WTSC, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 35-49). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 11599 LNCS). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43725-1_4