MicroCash: Practical Concurrent Processing of Micropayments

Ghada Almashaqbeh, Allison Bishop, Justin Cappos

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Micropayments have a large number of potential applications. However, processing these small payments individually can be expensive, with transaction fees often exceeding the payment value itself. By aggregating the small transactions into a few larger ones, and using cryptocurrencies, today’s decentralized probabilistic micropayment schemes can reduce these fees. Unfortunately, existing solutions force micropayments to be issued sequentially, thus to support fast issuance rates a customer needs a large number of escrows, which bloats the blockchain. Moreover, these schemes incur a large computation and bandwidth overhead, limiting their applicability in large-scale systems. In this paper, we propose MicroCash, the first decentralized probabilistic framework that supports concurrent micropayments. MicroCash introduces a novel escrow setup that enables a customer to concurrently issue payment tickets at a fast rate using a single escrow. MicroCash is also cost effective because it allows for ticket exchange using only one round of communication, and it aggregates the micropayments using a non-interactive lottery protocol that requires only secure hashing and supports fixed winning rates. Our experiments show that MicroCash can process thousands of tickets per second, which is around 1.7–4.2 times the rate of a state-of-the-art sequential micropayment system. Moreover, MicroCash supports any ticket issue rate over any period using only one escrow, while the sequential scheme would need more than 1000 escrows per second to permit high rates. This enables our system to further reduce transaction fees and data on the blockchain by 50%.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - 24th International Conference, FC 2020, Revised Selected Papers
    EditorsJoseph Bonneau, Nadia Heninger
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9783030512798
    StatePublished - 2020
    Event24th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2020 - Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Duration: Feb 10 2020Feb 14 2020

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    Volume12059 LNCS
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Conference24th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2020
    CityKota Kinabalu

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • General Computer Science


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