[Resource Topic] 2020/1441: PayMo: Payment Channels For Monero

Welcome to the resource topic for 2020/1441

PayMo: Payment Channels For Monero

Authors: Sri AravindaKrishnan Thyagarajan, Giulio Malavolta, Fritz Schmidt, and Dominique Schröder


Decentralized cryptocurrencies still suffer from three interrelated weaknesses: Low transaction rates, high transaction fees, and long confirmation times. Payment Channels promise to be a solution to these issues, and many constructions for real-life cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are known. Somewhat surprisingly, no such solution is known for Monero, the largest privacy-preserving cryptocurrency, without requiring system-wide changes like a hard-fork of its blockchain. In this work, we close this gap by presenting \textsc{PayMo}, the first payment channel protocol that is fully compatible with Monero. \textsc{PayMo} does not require any modification of Monero and can be readily used to perform off-chain payments. Notably, transactions in \textsc{PayMo} are identical to standard transactions in Monero, therefore not hampering the coins’ fungibility. Using \textsc{PayMo}, we also construct the first fully compatible secure atomic-swap protocol for Monero: One can now securely swap a token of Monero with a token of several major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, etc. Before our work, it was not known how to implement secure atomic swaps protocols for Monero without forcing a hard fork. Our main technical contribution is a new construction of an efficient verifiable timed linkable ring signature, where signatures can be hidden for a pre-determined amount of time, in a verifiable way. Our scheme is fully compatible with the transaction scheme of Monero and it might be of independent interest. We implemented \textsc{PayMo} and our results show that, even with high network latency and with a single CPU core, two regular users can perform up to 93500 payments over a span of 2 minutes (the block production rate of Monero). This is approximately five orders of magnitude improvement over the current payment rate of Monero.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2020/1441

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