PathShuffle: Credit Mixing and Anonymous Payments for Ripple

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Abstract

The I owe you (IOU) credit network Ripple is one of the most prominent alternatives in the burgeoning field of decentralized payment systems. Ripple’s path-based transactions set it apart from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Its pseudonymous nature, while still maintaining some regulatory capabilities, has motivated several financial institutions across the world to use Ripple for processing their daily transactions. Nevertheless, with its public ledger, a credit network such as Ripple is no different from a cryptocurrency in terms of weak privacy; recent demonstrative deanonymization attacks raise important concerns regarding the privacy of the Ripple users and their transactions. However, unlike for cryptocurrencies, there is no known privacy solution compatible with the existing credit networks such as Ripple.

In this paper, we present PathShuffle, the first path mixing protocol for credit networks. PathShuffle is fully compatible with the current credit networks. As its essential building block, we propose PathJoin, a novel protocol to perform atomic transactions in credit networks. Using PathJoin and the P2P mixing protocol DiceMix, PathShuffle is a decentralized solution for anonymizing path-based transactions. We demonstrate the practicality of PathShuffle by performing path mixing in Ripple.

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