Nocturne brings private accounts to Ethereum


Nocturne, a protocol that enables private accounts on Ethereum, has launched its first version on mainnet. 

The protocol is designed so that users are able to deposit or receive funds privately on what Vitalik Buterin calls stealth addresses

This means that users can generate a secret spending and viewing key, which can then be used to create multiple meta-addresses that can be used to interact with other accounts.

These addresses are held within Nocturne smart contracts and are intended to be used to trade what the company refers to as ‘hot assets,’ or crypto assets that are not designed to be held. 

According to Nocturne, its smart accounts will be compatible with DeFi protocols that “represent state via output tokens.” This means that it will only be compatible with tokens that are made valuable from a previous input — or tokens where a user must deposit collateral in order to mint the token. 

Such tokens could include Uniswap liquidity tokens, Aave’s aTokens, and Compound’s cTokens. 

There are plans to later extend smart account compatibility to arbitrary protocols with the help of zero-knowledge technology, which can prove ownership of assets without revealing the details of the assets owned themselves, Nocturne notes. 

Luke Tchang, CEO and co-founder of Nocturne, noted in a press release reviewed by Blockworks that the company is moving away from simply being a ‘privacy tool.’

“Privacy should be embedded at the account layer and the v1 launch is the first step in making this possible,” Tchang said. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone, from individual users to large institutions, can transact securely without exposing their financial history to the world.”

Users who wish to access Nocturne v1 can do so through a private vault user interface. The current capabilities of the interface are limited to deposits, transfer of tokens to burner addresses, and private swapping and staking, the company said.

Future versions of the protocol include the migration of a ‘proof-of-innocence’ protocol that can prove transactions are verified without revealing any information about the user’s identity and further usability and functionality of Nocturne wallets by enabling compatibility with arbitrary smart contracts.

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