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.

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Chinese Court Rules Bitcoin Is Legally Protected Virtual Property

The Hangzhou Internet Court, in China, has recently ruled bitcoin is seen as virtual property in the country, and as such is legally protected.

The ruling came in a case in which the plaintiff, Mr. Wu, sued the Shanghai Technology Company, which allegedly operated the FXBTC cryptocurrency exchange on Taobao, a leading Chinese online marketplace, and sold bitcoin back in 2013.

Wu reportedly bought 2.675 BTC for 20,000 yuan, about $2,900, back in 2013 from the exchange. In 2017, during the cryptocurrency market’s bull run that saw bitcoin hit a near $20,000 all-time high, the buyer wanted to access the funds, but found out FXBTC closed and could no longer get to the BTC.

According to Beijing News, the plaintiff claims the Shanghai Technology Company didn’t warn it was closing the platform nor gave him a chance to access the funds afterwards. The store likely shut down as between 2013 and 2017, the Chinese government made it illegal to trade cryptocurrencies, which in turn forced Taobao to stop vendors from selling cryptos on its platform.

While the plaintiff failed to prove Shanghai Tech was the vendor that sold him the bitcoin and lost the case, the court did determine bitcoin is legally protected virtual property.

According to Dovey Wan, this was seen as a bullish signal in China and chatter on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform similar to Twitter, seemed to point to this as the reason behind bitcoin’s recent price surge.

According to CryptoCompare data, BTC rose 4.8% in the last 24-hour period, and is currently trading at $10,300. Earlier today, bitcoin jumped from a $9,400 low to as much as $10,500 before facing a small correction.

Notably, this isn’t the first time a Chinese court defends bitcoin. As CryptoGlobe covered late last year, an arbitration court ruled bitcoin should be protected as property by law, and clarified at the time Chinese law doesn’t forbid owning or transferring bitcoin. Earlier this year, a prominent Chinese lawyer argued owning and occasionally trading bitcoin is legal in the country.

On Twitter, Wan clarified that while holding bitcoin as private property is legal, trading the cryptocurrency “in a systematic way” isn’t.