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PISA: Arbitration Outsourcing for State Channels

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PISA: Arbitration Outsourcing for State Channels

Duration: 00:23:52

Speaker: Patrick McCorry

Type: Talk

Expertise: Intermediate

Event: Devcon 4

Date: Oct 2018

PISA alleviates the "always online assumption" for all channel protocols and it is necessary for Raiden, L4, Perun, etc. State channels are a leading approach for improving the scalability of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. They allow a group of distrustful parties to optimistically execute an application-defined a program amongst themselves, while the blockchain serves as a backstop in case of a dispute or abort. This effectively bypasses the congestion, fees and performance constraints of the underlying blockchain in the typical case. However, state channels introduce a new and undesirable assumption that a party must remain on-line and synchronised with the blockchain at all times to defend against execution fork attacks. An execution fork can revert a state channel’s history, potentially causing financial damage to a party that is innocent except for having crashed. To provide security even to parties that may go offline for an extended period of time, we present Pisa, a protocol which enables such parties to delegate to a third party, called the custodian, to cancel execution forks on their behalf. To evaluate Pisa, we provide a proof-of-concept implementation for a simplified Sprites and we demonstrate that it is cost-efficient to deploy on the Ethereum network. Blog+Paper: http://hackingdistributed.com/2018/05/22/pisa/

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Patrick McCorry

Assistant Professor

Patrick is an Assistant Professor at  King’s College London. Previously he worked with Sarah Meiklejohn at University College London, Andrew Miller at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed his PhD in cryptocurrencies with Feng Hao at Newcastle University.  His focus is cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, cryptography and decentralised systems. He previously presented at Devcon3 with "The Open Vote Network" which is the first privacy-preserving and boardroom e-voting protocol without any tally authority (i.e. anyone can count the votes) on Ethereum.

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