Nocturne has rolled out the first version of its privacy protocol onto the Ethereum ($ETH) mainnet, introducing the new concept of on-chain private accounts to ETH users.
This move marks a departure from the usual blockchain privacy tools, embedding privacy features directly into user accounts.
Luke Tchang, the co-founder and CEO of Nocturne, emphasised the shift in perspective towards privacy in blockchain technology. “With Nocturne v1’s launch, we’re moving away from the notion of a ‘privacy tool.’ Privacy should be embedded at the account layer and the v1 launch is the first step in making this possible,” he stated.
How does Nocturne work?
Nocturne’s approach differs significantly from existing blockchain privacy solutions. Instead of operating as a separate tool or ecosystem, it integrates privacy directly into the account layer, like a smart contract wallet.
This integration means that Nocturne functions as an additional account type on the Ethereum blockchain, offering users enhanced privacy features.
A post on social media app X said: “This marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a more private and accessible Ethereum. For the first time, users will have a compatible and easy-to-use product resembling a private onchain account.”
The protocol is designed to be compatible with various DeFi protocols that use output tokens to represent state, such as Uniswap, Aave, and Compound tokens.
The Nocturne team plans to eventually expand this compatibility to a wider range of decentralised applications, aiming to create private user accounts on both layer-1 and layer-2 that are fully compatible with existing Ethereum accounts.
The protocol utilises a “private vault UI”, which was said in the social media post to offer users a portal to manage their private assets, supporting features like deposits, transfers to new addresses, and private swaps/staking.
Tchang added: “Our goal is to ensure that everyone, from individual users to large institutions, can transact securely without exposing their financial history to the world. This is more than a product; it’s a commitment to making Etherereum more accessible and enabling secure and private money over the internet.”
Recent Funding and Future Plans
This launch comes on the heels of a successful funding round for Nocturne Labs, the company behind the privacy protocol. A month prior, the company announced a $6million seed funding round co-led by Bain Capital Crypto and Polychain Capital.
Alex Evans, Partner at Bain Capital Crypto, said: “It’s hard to imagine satiating consumer or institutional demand for permissionless, composable applications without privacy. But it’s also hard to imagine most users adopting new platforms purely for privacy’s sake.”
He added: “Nocturne seeks to close this gap by bringing privacy to existing applications and assets while striving for feature parity as a minimum requirement. We believe that approach is valuable.”
The round also saw participation from notable figures in the Ethereum ecosystem, including ETH co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Bankless Ventures, HackVC, and Robot Ventures.
The funds raised were said to be used for the continued development of the protocol. It was also said to cover legal expenses, especially as regulatory scrutiny in the privacy blockchain space intensifies.