Eclair: first Bitcoin Lightning Network wallet removed from Google Playstore

Eclair: first Bitcoin Lightning Network wallet removed from Google Playstore

Eclair, the first Bitcoin wallet which leverages the power of the Lightning Network has been removed from Google Playstore.

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The arrival of the Eclair wallet which allows superfast micropayments through the lightning network was greeted with joy by Bitcoin enthusiasts. However, that ballon of euphoria has just been pricked.

Eclair is the first Bitcoin LN mobile wallet. It was developed by a French Bitcoin technology company named ACINQ.

The wallet connects you to Bitcoin's LN so you can make fast transactions, something you can't say about the blockchain's mainnet at the moment. 

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Here's what you need to know about Eclairs.

  • It was launched on March 21st, 2018.
  • It was available on Google Playstore and ran only on Android 5.0 OS or later. (Sorry, iPhone users.) 
  • It interfaces with Bitcoin as well as the Lightning network so users don't need to create a separate wallet for on-net transactions. 
  • It only allows you to make LN payments; you can't accept such payments. 
  • The wallet had been downloaded more than 5000 times before its removal.

Despite receiving a lot of praise from users, Eclair wasn't the finished product. The app contained bugs and was updated on a frequent basis based on complaints received from the public.  

However, late on Saturday, ACINQ announced that they have removed the app from Playstore because they "may have lost the signing key" which allows them to update the app. According to the startup, the key isn't compromised, it just was "accidentally deleted" and isn't recoverable.

"So it is best to stop using the app, and we will release a new separate app shortly," they added.

This development elicited a number of responses from social media. It was generally agreed to be an embarrassing thing for a startup who are thought to be experts in crypto, in this age and clime, to "accidentally delete" their key or not have a backup in case they lost it.

A set of people believe the startup wasn't forthcoming with the truth and that the key was either compromised or that they discovered an irreparable bug in the app. They concluded that Eclairs must have made a huge mistake somewhere.