3 years ago

Atomic Cross-Chain Swaps.

Maurice Herlihy

An atomic cross-chain swap is a distributed coordination task where multiple parties exchange assets across multiple blockchains, for example, trading bitcoin for ether.

An atomic swap protocol guarantees (1) if all parties conform to the protocol, then all swaps take place, (2) if some coalition deviates from the protocol, then no conforming party ends up worse off, and (3) no coalition has an incentive to deviate from the protocol.

A cross-chain swap has an associated directed graph ${\cal D} = (V,A)$. For any pair $({\cal D},L)$, where ${\cal D} = (V,A)$ is a strongly-connected directed graph and $L \subset V$ a feedback vertex set for ${\cal D}$, we give an atomic cross-chain swap protocol using hashed timelock contracts, where the vertexes in $L$ generate the hashlocked secrets. We show that no such protocol is possible if ${\cal D}$ is not strongly connected, or if ${\cal D}$ is strongly connected but $L$ is not a feedback vertex set. The protocol has time complexity $O(diam({\cal D}))$ and communication complexity (bits published on blockchains) $O(|A| \cdot |L|)$.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.09515

DOI: arXiv:1801.09515v1

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