State channels are a means for engaging parties to execute a series of state changes off-chain that are then settled and recorded on-chain. What could potentially be hundreds, thousands, or even millions of transactions between the channel participants could be summarized as one blockchain transaction that records the accumulated state changes.
While there are various implementations of state channels, all of them start by recording the current state of the blockchain that is used as the base truth prior to opening a channel. Participants then interact “in a channel” directly with one another over the Internet by exchanging signed messages that validate each new state change that iterates upon one other. A participant can close the channel at any time, and if there is no dispute from the other participants, the most recent state change is instantly recorded onto the blockchain. Opening a state channel requires a capital deposit, but transactions happening in the channel are extremely cheap and fast since they don’t necessitate interaction with the blockchain.
The state channel integrations that Abridged provides use hub-spoke model where each provider supplies a central entity acting as an intermediary between participants.
This means that you can open a channel once with a provider and ship a product that gives your users immediate access to high transaction throughput that is secured by the underlying blockchain.
Abridged's state channel implementation allows for the creation of bridge channels, which gives a user the ability to open a generalized state channel with a peer without first knowing the peer's account address. This is done by creating a virtual payment that can be claimed by any address as long as the user verifies the payment by signing off on it.