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Towards faster settlement in HTLC-based Cross-Chain Atomic Swaps
  • Subhra Mazumdar ,
  • Abhinandan Sinha
Subhra Mazumdar
Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata
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Abhinandan Sinha
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Abstract

Hashed Timelock (HTLC)-based atomic swap pro- tocols enable the exchange of coins between two or more parties without relying on a trusted entity. This protocol is like the American call option without premium. It allows the finalization of a deal within a certain period. This puts the swap initiator at liberty to delay before deciding to proceed with the deal. If she finds the deal unprofitable, she just waits for the time- period of the contract to elapse. However, the counterparty is at a loss since his assets remain locked in the contract. The best he can do is to predict the initiator’s behavior based on the asset’s price fluctuation in the future. But it is difficult to predict as cryptocurrencies are quite volatile, and their price fluctuates abruptly. We perform a game theoretic analysis of HTLC-based atomic cross-chain swap to predict whether a swap will succeed or not. From the strategic behavior of the players, we infer that this model lacks fairness. We propose Quick Swap, a two-party protocol based on hashlock and timelock that fosters faster settlement of the swap. The parties are required to lock griefing-premium along with the principal amount. If the party griefs, he ends up paying the griefing-premium. If a party finds a deal unfavorable, he has the provision to cancel the swap. We prove that Quick Swap is more participant-friendly than HTLC- based atomic swap. Our work is the first to propose a protocol to ensure fairness of atomic-swap in a cyclic multi-party setting.
(Accepted in Special Session of The Fourth IEEE International Conference on Trust, Privacy and Security in Intelligent Systems, and Applications, 2022)