First Bitcoin Lightning Network Wallet App Removed From Google Play

Francisco Memoria
  • Bitcoin's Lightning Network-enabled app, Eclair Wallet, has recently been removed from Google Play, as its developers lost the signing key.
  • This stops them from being able to update the app and fix bugs in it. Another app may be in the works.

Bitcoin’s first Lightning Network-enabled wallet app, Eclair Wallet, has recently been removed from Google’s Play Store by the developers, as they lost access to the app’s signing keys. This, as the developers noted on social media, prevents them from fixing bugs and working on the app.

The Eclair Wallet app was widely reported on a few days ago, as it allows Android users to use and experiment with bitcoin’s lightning network. It was developed by French tech startup ACINQ, which seeks to build “products and services for the bitcoin ecosystem.”

On GitHub, ACINQ described the Lightning network-enabled Éclair Wallet as follows:

“The Eclair Wallet is a next-generation, Lightning-ready Bitcoin wallet. It can be used as a regular Bitcoin wallet, and can also connect to the Lightning Network for cheap and instant payments. This software is based upon eclair [a Lightning implementation], and follows the Lightning Network standard.”

ACNQ

The company recently took to Twitter to warn the cryptocurrency community that it disabled the mainnet Eclair Wallet app, and removed the apk link from its GitHub page. On a follow-up tweet the company notes that it lost the signing key, which allowed it to update the app.

 

To make things worse, ACINQ claims to suspect a bug related to unilateral closing is present in the app – a bug that if confirmed can’t be fixed. The company’s solution, as noted in another tweet, is to let users know they should stop using the app, and wait for ACINQ to release a new, separate one. Meanwhile, the testnet Eclair Wallet is still up and running on Google Play.

On social media, some users pointed out that ACINQ made a blatant mistake, while others claimed we’re still in Lightning’s early stages and as such it’s better to make mistakes now then later on.

At press time, the Lightning Network mainnet has 1,389 nodes, and 4,597 channels. Its total capacity is of $81,400. While it’s still relatively small in size, it has seemingly already benefited bitcoin, along with SegWit.