International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

IACR News item: 04 July 2022

Akash Madhusudan, Mahdi Sedaghat, Philipp Jovanovic, Bart Preneel
ePrint Report ePrint Report
Given the high transaction confirmation latencies in public blockchains, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. are not yet suitable to support real-time services such as transactions on retail markets. There are several solutions to address this latency problem, with layer-2 solutions being the most promising ones. Existing layer-2 solutions, however, suffer from privacy and/or collateral issues when applied to retail environments where customer-merchant relationships are usually ephemeral.

In this paper, we propose Nirvana, that can be combined with existing cryptocurrencies to provide instant, anonymous and unlinkable payment guarantees. Nirvana does not require any trusted third party. It conceals the identities of honest participants, thus ensuring customer anonymity within the system while only relying on efficient Groth-Sahai proof systems. We introduce a novel randomness-reusable threshold encryption that mitigates double-spending by revealing the identities of malicious users. We formally prove how our scheme provides customer anonymity, unlinkability of transactions and payment guarantees to merchants. Our experiments demonstrate that Nirvana allows for fast (zero-confirmation) global payments in a retail setting with a delay of less than $1.7$ seconds.

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