Garou: An Efficient and Secure Off-Blockchain Multi-Party Payment Hub

Yongjie Ye, Zhifeng Ren, Xiapu Luo, Jingjing Zhang, Weigang Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


To mitigate the scalability problem of decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the payment channel, which allows two parties to perform secure coin transfers without involving the blockchain, has been proposed. The payment channel increases the transaction throughput of two parties to a level that is only limited by their network bandwidth. Recent proposals focus on extending the two-party payment channel to the N-party payment hub. Unfortunately, none of them can achieve efficiency, flexibility in the absence of a trusted third-party. In this paper, we propose Garou, a secure N-party payment hub that allows multiple parties to perform secure off-chain coin transfers. Except in the case of disputes, participants within the payment hub can make concurrent and direct coin transfers with each other without the involvement of the blockchain or any third-party intermediaries. This allows Garou to achieve both high-performance and flexibility. If all participants keep online, Garou guarantees all honest users' balance security against strong adversarial capabilities. To demonstrate the feasibility of the Garou protocol, we develop a proof of concept prototype for the Ethereum network. Experimental evaluations show that, with 300 participants and without disputes, that the maximum transaction throughput of Garou is 20× higher than that of state-of-the-art payment hubs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4450-4461
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021


  • concurrency
  • Off-chain protocol
  • payment hub
  • scalability
  • smart contract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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