Atomic Swaps: Former Physicist Announces OpenSwap, a Fork of Electron Cash

“For the last few months,” a post on the popular subReddit r/btc announced, “I’ve been working on making an atomic swap tool based on Electron Cash. The software is designed to follow the model of a decentralized exchange, in the sense that it could be used by any capable liquidity provider to provide exchange services.” It’s the brainchild of physicist Mark Lundeberg, and caught up with the inventor to find out more about his intriguing project, OpenSwap.

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Simple, Easy Atomic Swaps Might Finally Move from Theory into Reality

For years, so-called Atomic Swaps have been considered among the conceptual brass rings of crypto. The ability to swap coins, frictionlessly, simply, with a single click has mostly eluded developers. And the bear market hasn’t helped matters.

Atomic Swaps: Former Physicist Announces OpenSwap, a Fork of Electron Cash

Enter physicist Mark Lundeberg. He announced something like a beta decentralized exchange (DEX) of sorts in a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) kind of way. “A virtual orderbook resides on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain,” he explained, “thus providing a BCH-based DEX if the protocol would be widely used.”

It’s an interesting idea, and it relies upon the hash lock method to achieve what he describes as trustless atomic swap trades. “Negotiations are carried out using ‘BCHMessage’ — an on-chain messaging protocol that uses encrypted OP_RETURN payloads,” Lundeberg noted.

Earliest Stages

For now, Lundeberg admits the project is in its earliest stages, but promises there “will be an initial beta version soon with a basic walk-through of the process.” That initial release will pair BCH and Bitcoin Core (BTC).

Atomic Swaps: Former Physicist Announces OpenSwap, a Fork of Electron Cash

It will feature BCH and BTC multi-wallet support, “integrating elements from the BTC Electrum into BCH Electron Cash.” As for endpoints at the moment, assisting in adoption by gaining through ease of implementation, in lieu of running only Electron Cash, the project remains an EC desktop application.

There’s only so much Lundeberg to go around, however, and his time was consumed by friendly user-interface design and to get multi-wallet support for BCH and BTC up and running. It boils down to a kind of smart contract most everyone in the ecosystem has considered at one time or another.

Meet Mark Lundeberg Dude, what are you doing innovating in crypto! Haven’t you heard the space is dead!

Mark Lundeberg: I’m a late-comer to cryptocurrency but I think there is great potential.

Atomic Swaps: Former Physicist Announces OpenSwap, a Fork of Electron Cash

What’s your background?

I’m actually a physicist by training, and I just left academia recently. I started looking into crypto as a hobby and just got more and more interested. My first foray into the space was a reddit post back in February of this year, funny enough, describing a technicality about atomic swap smart contracts.

How did you find crypto?

I had already taken a liking to the Bitcoin Cash community as I had seen the large fee spikes that were happening on BTC, and knew I wanted to contribute to a cryptocurrency that had the vision of being a good medium of exchange. I didn’t actually own any cryptocurrency until I received a BCH tip (from that first reddit post).

What Has He Done?

In really normie terms, what is it you’ve done?

Atomic swaps have been discussed for years as a way to trustlessly trade two different cryptocurrencies. Although they have been possible for a long time, there weren’t any simple user friendly ways to perform the swaps. My aim with this tool is to make atomic swapping as easy as clicking a button, and without needing to involve any specialized tokens.

Atomic Swaps: Former Physicist Announces OpenSwap, a Fork of Electron Cash

What does the original dev Jonald Fyookball think of your fork? Is he supportive?

Jonald is very supportive — actually, this project came out of discussions with him.

You’re featuring BCH and BTC, with later coins like LTC, Dash, Doge considered at some point. Why those?

BTC, BCH, LTC and Doge are all technically very similar so it’s easy to adapt the atomic swap smart contract and wallet to them. Really, any cryptocurrency where there is an Electrum fork available should be easy to include. With more effort, however, nothing stops atomic swaps from happening between very different cryptocurrencies such as BCH <-> ETH.

Atomic Swaps: Former Physicist Announces OpenSwap, a Fork of Electron Cash

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