Raiden Network

High speed asset transfers for Ethereum


Payment-Channel Network for Ethereum

Raiden is a technology that leverages off-chain state networks to extend Ethereum with some nice properties for asset transfers:

  • Scalable: it scales linearly with the number of participants (1,000,000+ transfers per second possible)
  • Fast: Transfers are confirmed and final within the fraction of a second
  • Confidential: Single transfers don’t show up in the global shared ledger
  • Interoperable: Works with any token that follows Ethereum’s standardized token API
  • Low Fees: Transaction fees can be 7 orders of magnitude lower than on the blockchain
  • Micro-payments: Low transaction fees allow to efficiently transfer tiny values

Technology

The technology enabling this is similar to the proposed Bitcoin Lightning Network.

The basic idea is to switch from a model where all transactions hit the shared ledger on the blockchain (which is the bottleneck) to a model where users can privately exchange messages which sign the transfer of value.

Raiden uses a network of p2p payment channels and deposits in Ethereum to preserve the guarantees expected from a blockchain system.

Raiden is implemented as an extension to Ethereum. A Raiden node runs alongside an Ethereum node and communicates with other Raiden nodes to facilitate transfers and with the Ethereum blockchain to manage deposits. It offers a simple API which makes it easy to use Raiden in DApps.

Applications

  • Micropayments for content distribution: Alternative to Paywalls, Ads and Subscriptions. (Figure a decentralized youtube where the creators of a video are paid for every second watched)
  • Decentralized M2M markets: especially in IoT where tiny chunks of bandwidth, storage, cpu time, energy, sensor data, etc. can be traded.
  • Frictionless Token Systems: Game Tokens, Reward Tokens, Private Currencies
  • API Access: Accessing and monetizing APIs on a per use basis is at the core of the upcoming Machine-to-Machine economy
  • Fast Decentralized Exchanges

Complementary to Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin: “State channels are an important technology that has the potential to greatly improve the scalability and privacy of many categories of blockchain applications; in conjunction with sharding and other privacy-preserving cryptographic technologies, they are an important ingredient in helping decentralized systems to achieve the properties that mainstream individual and institutional users expect and deserve.”

Development

The Raiden Network is currently under development. Release of an MVP is planned for the end of March 2017. See our GitHub repository and read our latest blog post on development progress for the latest updates.

Gitter