P2P-NetPay: A Micro-Payment System for Peer-to-Peer Networks

P2P-NetPay: A Micro-Payment System for Peer-to-Peer Networks

Xiaoling Dai (Charles Sturt University, Australia), Kaylash Chaudhary (The University of the South Pacific – Laucala, Fiji) and John Grundy (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0023-2.ch009
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Abstract

Micro-payment systems are becoming an important part of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. The main reason for this is to address the “free-rider” problem in most existing content sharing systems. The authors of this chapter have developed a new micro-payment system for content sharing in P2P networks called P2P-Netpay. This is an offline, debit based protocol that provides a secure, flexible, usable, and reliable credit service in peer-to-peer networks ensuring equitable participation by all parties. The authors have carried out an assessment of micro-payment against non-micro-payment credit systems for file sharing applications. The chapter reports on the design of our experiment and results of an end user evaluation. The chapter then discusses the performance of the credit model, comparing it to a non-micro-payment credit model. Through evaluation of the proposed system and comparison with other existing systems, the authors find that the new approach eliminates the “free-rider” problem. The chapter analyses a heuristic evaluation performed by a set of evaluators and presents directions for research aiming to improve the overall satisfaction and efficiency of this model for peers.
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Motivation

It is all too easy for users of peer-to-peer content sharing networks to “free ride”. This is a practice by which a user gains content but contributes little or nothing back. Contributions could be adding their own content to the network or allowing their machine to be a conduit for others to share content. To address this issue one common approach is a credit-based scheme. Users are given credit for contributions and this credit allows them to “pay” for content from others. Credit may be real money but more often is some form of virtual credit specific to the peer-to-peer network. Credit across peer-to-peer networks is currently very uncommon. Unfortunately, implementing such a credit-based scheme can severely impact the peer-to-peer network security, privacy, efficiency, scalability and robustness. One approach is to adopt micro-payment techniques developed for more traditional customer/vendor, client-server on-line applications. Micro-payment systems support very high-volume, low-cost transactions much more efficiently and effectively than macro-payment (e.g. credit card) or subscription services. Unlike ad-hoc credit-based systems they are designed with high security, integrity and performance in mind, being designed to facilitate real-money electronic commerce.

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