Micropayments are payments that are worth a few pennies. A challenge in achieving them is that payment networks charge fees that are high compared to “micro” sums of money. Wheeler (1996) and Rivest (1997) proposed probabilistic payments as a technique to achieve micropayments: a merchant receives a macro-value payment with a given probability so that, in expectation, he receives a micro-value payment.
Despite much research and trial deployment, micropayment schemes have not seen widespread adoption. The widespread adoption of decentralized currencies such as Bitcoin (2009) and Zcash (2016) suggests that decentralized micropayment schemes are easier to deploy.
We realize this potential by constructing decentralized anonymous micropayment schemes, which enable parties with access to a ledger to conduct offline probabilistic payments with one another, directly and privately.