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Game Theoretical Analysis of Atomic Cross-Chain Swaps

Abstract : In this paper we address the distributed cross-chain swap problem in the blockchain context where multiple agents exchange assets across multiple blockchain systems (e.g. trading Bitcoins for Litecoins or Ethers). We present a mathematical framework allowing to characterize blockchain swap protocols as the combination of a publishing and a commitment phase, where contracts are respectively published and then committed. We characterize the equilibria of existing cross-chain swap protocols (i.e., blockchain swap protocols exchanging assets among different blockchains). More precisely, we prove that following a swap protocol characterized by concurrent publishing of exchange contracts and snap (immediate) assets transfers is a Nash equilibrium. Furthermore, we prove that for protocols with a sequential publishing and commitment of the assets transfers, following the prescribed protocol is a sub-game perfect equilibrium.
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Contributor : Marianna Belotti <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 6:00:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 8, 2021 - 5:38:03 PM


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Marianna Belotti, Stefano Moretti, Maria Potop-Butucaru, Stefano Secci. Game Theoretical Analysis of Atomic Cross-Chain Swaps. 40th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), Nov 2020, Singapore, Singapore. ⟨hal-02414356⟩



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