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Eclair Mobile

latest release: 0.4.13 last analysed  22nd December 2019
Not reproducible from the source provided
4.1 ★★★★★
351 ratings
12th April 2018


Our last analysis is based on data found in their Play Store description and their website and their source repository. We discuss issues with the provider here.
details below 

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If you find something we should include, you can create an issue or edit this analysis yourself and create a merge request for your changes.

The Analysis

This wallet has a really short description. Here it is in full:

Eclair Mobile 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 on eclair, and follows the Lightning Network standard.

No word on custodial or not.

Their website is more informative if only for the link to their GitHub.

eclair-mobile sounds promising.

There, in the description again we find no hints at it being non-custodial.

But in the repository’s wiki finally we find:

Is Eclair Mobile a “real” Lightning Node ?

Yes it is. Eclair Mobile is a real, self-contained lightning node that runs on your phone. It does not require you to run another Lightning Node node at home or in the cloud. It is not a custodial wallet either, you are in full control of your funds.

So … can we reproduce the build?

The build instructions are not very plentiful on the repo’s description:


  1. clone this project
  2. clone eclair and checkout the android branch.

    Follow the steps here to build the eclair-core library.

  3. Open the Eclair Mobile project with Android studio. You should now be able to install it on your phone/on an emulator.

This has two immediate issues:

  • How do we know which version of “eclair” should we use? This should be resolved with a git submodule.
  • Compiling with Android Studio is not easy to automate and should not be necessary.
  • Branches are not a good way of referencing revisions of a repository. The “android branch” has 1938 revisions and if I want to check anything but the latest revision I have little to go by to find which app would match to which state of the branch.

but let’s see how compiling looks once these issues are resolved as we have little hope to verify the current apk …

$ git clone git@github.com:ACINQ/eclair-mobile.git
$ git clone git@github.com:ACINQ/eclair.git
$ cd eclair
$ git checkout android
$ docker run -it -v $PWD/eclair:/eclair -v $PWD/eclair-mobile:/eclair-mobile --workdir / electrum-android-builder-img
user@d0cf683a144a:/$ sudo su -
root@d0cf683a144a:~# apt update      
root@d0cf683a144a:~# apt install maven
root@d0cf683a144a:~# mvn install -DskipTests
[INFO] --- maven-compiler-plugin:3.1:testCompile (default-testCompile) @ eclair-core_2.11 ---
[INFO] Nothing to compile - all classes are up to date
[INFO] --- scala-maven-plugin:3.4.2:testCompile (scalac) @ eclair-core_2.11 ---
[INFO] /eclair/eclair-core/src/test/java:-1: info: compiling
[INFO] /eclair/eclair-core/src/test/scala:-1: info: compiling
[INFO] Compiling 114 source files to /eclair/eclair-core/target/test-classes at 1577007350665
[ERROR] /eclair/eclair-core/src/test/scala/fr/acinq/eclair/blockchain/bitcoind/BitcoindService.scala:74: error: value writeString is not a member of object java.nio.file.Files
[ERROR]       Files.writeString(new File(PATH_BITCOIND_DATADIR.toString, "bitcoin.conf").toPath, conf)
[ERROR]             ^
[ERROR] one error found
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] Reactor Summary for eclair_2.11 0.3.4-android-SNAPSHOT:
[INFO] eclair_2.11 ........................................ SUCCESS [  1.951 s]
[INFO] eclair-core_2.11 ................................... FAILURE [ 28.245 s]
[INFO] eclair-node ........................................ SKIPPED
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------

So following the instructions we didn’t get far and for now hope for better documentation and remain with the verdict: This app is not verifiable.


Verdict Explained

Not reproducible from the source provided

The app provider also shares code but we could so far not verify that the published code matches the published app!

This verdict means that the provider did share some source code but that we could not verify that this source code matches the released app. This might be due to the source being released later than the app or due to the provided instructions on how to compile the app not being sufficient or due to the provider excluding parts from the public source code. In any case, the result is a discrepancy between the app we can create and the app we can find on GooglePlay and any discrepancy might leak your backup to the server on purpose or by accident.

As we cannot verify that the source provided is the source the app was compiled from, this category is only slightly better than closed source but for now we have hope projects come around and fix verifiability issues.

The app cannot be independently verified. If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, you will probably not know about the issue before people start losing money. If the provider is more criminally inclined he might have collected all the backups of all the wallets, ready to be emptied at the press of a button. The app might have a formidable track record but out of distress or change in management turns out to be evil from some point on, with nobody outside ever knowing before it is too late.