Security and Privacy for Payment Channel Networks



Payment channel networks such as the Lightning Network are the predominant solution to scaling blockchains without fundamentally changing the underlying consensus algorithm. At their core, they rely on the concept of a payment channel, wherein two parties who wish to perform transactions off-the-ledger put funds in escrow dedicated to such operations. For parties that do not directly share a channel, payment channel networks facilitate transactions by forwarding the payment along one or multiple paths in the graph created by all existing direct payment channels. The chosen paths need to have the necessary funds to complete the transaction. The process of finding suitable paths is referred to as routing, as an analogy to routing in networks, with the caveat that the main goal here is completion of the payment. Our work focuses on the security and privacy of such routing protocols.



    • Structural Attacks on Local Routing in Payment Channel Networks. Ben Weintraub, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, and Stefanie Roos. Workshop on Security & Privacy on the Blockchain, 362–374. 2021 [ArXiv] [Code]
    • SPON: Enabling Resilient Inter-Ledgers Payments with an Intrusion-Tolerant Overlay. Lucian A Trestioreanu, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Aanchal Malhotra, Radu State. IEEE CNS, 2021. [PDF]
    • Under the Hood of the Ethereum Gossip Protocol. Lucianna Kiffer, Asad Salman, Dave Levin, Alan Mislove, Cristina Nita-Rotaru. FC 2021. [PDF]
    • A Flash(bot) in the Pan: Measuring Maximal Extractable Value in Private Pools Theft-as-a-Service on Ethereum. Ben Weintraub, Christof Ferreira Torres, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Radu State. ACM IMC 2022. [arXiv]. [Blog].


Previous Members

  • Jaison Titus


This work was supported from a grant from University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).