[WINE 2021] Decentralized Asset Custody Scheme with Security against Rational Adversary

Asset custody is a core financial service in which the custodian holds in-safekeeping assets on behalf of the client. Although traditional custody service is typically endorsed by centralized authorities, decentralized custody scheme has become technically feasible since the emergence of digital assets, and furthermore, it is greatly needed by new applications such as blockchain and DeFi (Decentralized Finance).


In this work, we propose a framework of decentralized asset custody scheme that is able to support a large number of custodians and safely hold customer assets of multiple times the value of the total security deposit. The proposed custody scheme distributes custodians and assets into many custodian groups via combinatorial designs, where each group fully controls the assigned assets. Since every custodian group is small, the overhead cost is significantly reduced. The liveness is also improved because even a single alive group would be able to process transactions.


The security of this custody scheme is guaranteed under the rational adversary model, such that any adversary corrupting a bounded fraction of custodians cannot move assets more than the security deposit paid. We further analyze the security and performance of our constructions from both theoretical and experimental sides and give explicit examples with concrete numbers and figures for a better understanding of our results.





Over the past decade, research in theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, operations research, and economics has joined forces to tackle problems involving incentives and computation. These problems are of particular importance in application areas like the Web and the Internet that involve large and diverse populations. The Conference on Web and Internet Economics (WINE) is an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas and results on incentives and computation arising from these various fields. WINE 2021 will be held in Potsdam, Germany from December 14th to 17th, 2021.