StarkWare Blockchain Project Launches StarkPay Scalability Engine for Faster Crypto Payments


StarkWare, a blockchain platform focused on improving scalability and privacy in blockchains through STARK technology, has announced the launch of StarkPay, a crypto payments scalability engine that is designed to address the shortcomings of the Lightning Network, according to a blog post published March 4, 2019.

StarkWare Poised To Promote Superfast Crypto Payments

As stated in its Medium blog post, StarkWare has unveiled StarkPay, a payment scalability engine powered by STARK technology, in a bid to address the limitations of the Lightning Network, a scalability solution for the Bitcoin blockchain that is fast gaining traction in the cryptospace.

While the StarkWare team has praised the excellent properties of the Lightning Network, including its low latency, minimal fees and more, the firm has also noted that Lightning has a whole lot of disadvantages that make StarkPay a better solution than the former.

The Limitations Of Lightning

Specifically, the StarkWare team has outlined some of the drawbacks of Lightning, including liveness requirement, capital inefficiency, operations security challenge, diminishing completion rates and more.

For a Lightning transaction to be successful, all parties (the sender, recipient and routing nodes) taking part in the operation must be online, and the payee must monitor the blockchain to make sure the payer doesn’t submit an outdated state of their balance and close the channel.

Although Lightning has introduced dedicated watchtowers in a bid to limit the burdens on the Payee, the service, however, comes with a fee and it does not entirely address the issue of liveness, says StarkWare.

StarkWare also points out the issue of capital inefficiency. Lightning requires capital used in a transaction to be locked up per channel, not per payer and if routing nodes are used to facilitate the payment, the nodes will also lock amounts necessary for the transaction.

While the problem of capital inefficiency can be solved by centralization, employing the latter is not an excellent option due to the security risks inherent in centralized systems.

“A critique often heard of centralized exchanges is that they create honey pots of cryptoassets, which attract hackers. At scale, routing nodes in Lightning networks will create a much more tempting honey pot,”

declared StarkWare.

The StarkPay Advantage

Powered by STARK technology, the StarkWare team claims that StarkPay is designed to provide users with a

“scalable capital-efficient non-custodial payment solution with no liveness requirement.”

According to StarkWare, StarkPay uses both on-chain and off-chain building blocks.

StarkPay comes with an off-chain

“payment processor that interacts with payers and payees and a prover which generates STARK proofs attesting to the validity of batches of payments.”

Once the prover verifies the authenticity of the digital signatures and verifies that the payer has enough funds for the transaction, it updates the balances commitment before sending it to an on-chain verifier contract.

Importantly, StarkWare claims that the StarkPay architecture allows it to offer users more scalability, capital-efficiency, liveness-free and more.

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