XChange: A Universal Mechanism for Asset Exchange between Permissioned Blockchains

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Permissioned blockchains are increasingly being used as a solution to record transactions between companies. Several use cases that leverage permissioned blockchains focus on the representation and management of real-world assets. Since the number of incompatible blockchains is quickly growing, there is an increasing need for a universal mechanism to exchange, or trade, digital assets between these isolated platforms. There currently is no universal mechanism for inter-blockchain asset exchange without a requirement for trusted authorities that coordinate the trade. We address this shortcoming and present XChange, a universal mechanism for asset exchange between permissioned blockchains. To achieve universality and to avoid trusted authorities that coordinate a trade, XChange does not provide atomic guarantees but leverages risk mitigation strategies to reduce value at stake. Our mechanism records the specifications and progression of each trade within records on a distributed log. XChange reduces the economic gains of adversaries by bounding the total amount of fraud they can commit at any time. After having committed fraud, an adversary is forced to finish its ongoing trades before it can engage in new trades. We first present a four-phased protocol that coordinates an asset exchange between two traders. We then outline how trade records can be stored on TrustChain, which is a lightweight distributed ledger specifically built for the tamper-proof storage of data elements. We implement XChange and conduct experiments. Our experiments demonstrate that XChange is capable of reducing the economic gains of adversaries by more than 99.9% when replaying a real-world trading dataset. A deployment on low-resource devices reveals that the latency added to a trade by XChange is only 493 milliseconds. Finally, our scalability evaluation shows that XChange achieves over 1’000 trades per second and that its throughput, in terms of trades per second, scales linearly with the system load.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
JournalWorld Wide Web
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Blockchain asset trading
  • Blockchain interoperability
  • Permissioned blockchains
  • Universal asset exchange

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