[Resource Topic] 2024/418: Atomic and Fair Data Exchange via Blockchain

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Atomic and Fair Data Exchange via Blockchain

Authors: Ertem Nusret Tas, István András Seres, Yinuo Zhang, Márk Melczer, Mahimna Kelkar, Joseph Bonneau, Valeria Nikolaenko


We introduce a blockchain Fair Data Exchange (FDE) protocol, enabling a storage server to transfer a data file to a client atomically: the client receives the file if and only if the server receives an agreed-upon payment. We put forth a new definition for a cryptographic scheme that we name verifiable encryption under committed key (VECK), and we propose two instantiations for this scheme. Our protocol relies on a blockchain to enforce the atomicity of the exchange and uses VECK to ensure that the client receives the correct data (matching an agreed-upon commitment) before releasing the payment for the decrypting key. Our protocol is trust-minimized and requires only constant-sized on-chain communication, concretely 3 signatures, 1 verification key, and 1 secret key, with most of the data stored and communicated off-chain. It also supports exchanging only a subset of the data, can amortize the server’s work across multiple clients, and offers a general framework to design alternative FDE protocols using different commitment schemes. A prominent application of our protocol is the Danksharding data availability scheme on Ethereum, which commits to data via KZG polynomial commitments. We also provide an open-source implementation for our protocol with both instantiations for VECK, demonstrating our protocol’s efficiency and practicality on Ethereum.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2024/418

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