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Tang, W., Wang, W., Fanti, G., & Oh, S. (2020). Privacy-utility tradeoffs in routing cryptocurrency over payment channel networks. Proc. ACM Meas. Anal. Comput. Syst. 4(2). 
Added by: Rucknium (10/22/22, 8:37 PM)   Last edited by: Rucknium (10/22/22, 8:37 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1145/3392147
BibTeX citation key: Tang2020
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Categories: Monero-focused
Keywords: Blockchain, p2p network, privacy
Creators: Fanti, Oh, Tang, Wang
Collection: Proc. ACM Meas. Anal. Comput. Syst.
Views: 75/1692
Attachments   tang2020.pdf [53/974] URLs
Payment channel networks (PCNs) are viewed as one of the most promising scalability solutions for cryptocurrencies today. Roughly, PCNs are networks where each node represents a user and each directed, weighted edge represents funds escrowed on a blockchain; these funds can be transacted only between the endpoints of the edge. Users efficiently transmit funds from node A to B by relaying them over a path connecting A to B, as long as each edge in the path contains enough balance (escrowed funds) to support the transaction. Whenever a transaction succeeds, the edge weights are updated accordingly. In deployed PCNs, channel balances (i.e., edge weights) are not revealed to users for privacy reasons; users know only the initial weights at time 0. Hence, when routing transactions, users typically first guess a path, then check if it supports the transaction. This guess-and-check process dramatically reduces the success rate of transactions. At the other extreme, knowing full channel balances can give substantial improvements in transaction success rate at the expense of privacy. In this work, we ask whether a network can reveal noisy channel balances to trade off privacy for utility. We show fundamental limits on such a tradeoff, and propose noise mechanisms that achieve the fundamental limit for a general class of graph topologies. Our results suggest that in practice, PCNs should operate either in the low-privacy or low-utility regime; it is not possible to get large gains in utility by giving up a little privacy, or large gains in privacy by sacrificing a little utility.
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