Nicholas Gregory first joined the Bitcoin Takeover podcast in June 2022 – and in the seven months that passed between the two interviews, MercuryWallet has grown remarkably. What started as a simple design which enables untraceable off-chain CoinSwaps via Statechains is now aiming to also go mobile and add a Lightning network integration.
This means that, in an upcoming release of MercuryWallet, users will be able to trade UTXOs, use them to open Lightning channels and make payments to each other, and perform these actions from a train station on a mobile phone. The added privacy benefits can help millions of people worldwide, who live under authoritarian regimes which caught up with surveillance on the Bitcoin blockchain and may use the data against the citizens.
MercuryWallet is CommerceBlock’s main project right now. And Nicholas Gregory, who serves as director and CEO, is fully committed to maximize the potential of this software product. He makes use of Ruben Somsen’s Statechains, which were designed to offer cryptographic proof of ownership within a framework that resembles a sidechain. And in the context of allowing users to do CoinSwaps, this provides a layer of trustless interactions that facilitate the elements that make MercuryWallet so special.
Swapping your UTXO can be a great way to get someone else’s identity on the Bitcoin blockchain. When it works well, you trade a surveilled UTXO for one that gives you better plausible deniability. But if it goes badly, you can end up with coins that are associated with an exchange hack. This is why CoinJoins can be used as a complementary tool – while CoinSwaps leave no traces on chain but leave your privacy score to chance, CoinJoins add permanent records on the open ledger while increasing the anonymity score through intentional obfuscation.
Currently, MercuryWallet is only available on desktop operating systems. But in an upcoming update, all the CoinSwap features will also work on mobile devices. With portability, Lightning network integrations will also work. According to Nicholas Gregory, the implementation will take inspiration from Blixt wallet to create a non-custodial system which requires no manual channel management. Ideally, this system should also allow users to connect to their own full nodes.
During my interview with Nicholas Gregory, we discuss what’s new with MercuryWallet, future plans, but also other projects in which CommerceBlock is involved. In the second part, which starts at the 37-minute mark, I also do a guided tutorial which highlights all of MercuryWallet’s current features (as of version 0.8.9).
Listen to Nicholas Gregory on Spotify, Apple Podcasts & YouTube!
In the true spirit of privacy, I recommend you to not use any of these big tech platforms. Instead, open this player in Tor browser so you can enjoy the interview without me (or anyone else, for that matter) knowing your IP address. The experience is on par with the one that you get on Spotify and you can even download the file for offline listening – just in case you want to dust off your old Microsoft Zune or iPod Nano.
However, if you do choose convenience over privacy, then it would be really great if you could subscribe and leave feedback. Any comment, five-star rating, like, or other type of interaction helps tremendously. Essentially, the big tech algorithms get instructed to boost the content and rank it higher in search results.
So when people search for Nicholas Gregory and MercuryWallet, it would be really useful if they came across this interview. Thank you in advance for your contribution to increasing the visibility of the Bitcoin Takeover podcast!
Bitcoin Takeover Podcast Season 13 Is Sponsored By Wasabi Wallet, Cryptosteel, Bumbee & ShopInBit!
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