Signal, one of the world’s largest–and private–instant messaging apps, has released its cryptocurrency feature for its users across the world. The payment
feature allows users to pay with a new, privacy-focused cryptocurrency called MobileCoin. But the company has not announced its release even though the
feature has been available to users since November.
“MobileCoin founder Josh Goldbard confirmed the timing of the rollout and says that it spurred massive adoption of the cryptocurrency, which now sees
thousands of daily transactions versus just dozens before the global beta release” reported Wired.
MobileCoin is a privacy coin built using the same techniques behind popular privacy coins like Monero and Zcash. Unlike other cryptocurrencies
like Bitcoin, which has a public ledger, MobileCoin has features that make payments and transactions hard to trace but easy to confirm.
Signal’s foray into cryptocurrency is because the app wants to bring its widely lauded privacy protection systems to monetary transactions.
“I would like to get to a world where not only can you feel
It is for these reasons that many of Signal’s supporters and users are concerned. The instant-messaging app is used by millions across the world for its
sophisticated and thorough privacy protection systems. Many believe that by delving into the legally murky world of cryptocurrency payments the company is
risking pitting itself against governmental authorities. As the new coin is likely to be used by many for unscrupulous activity, the same activity would bring the
authority’s spotlight on the company.
- Encrypted messaging app Signal is testing a new payments feature on its app that would let users send privacy-focused payments.
- The feature is currently available in a beta build for users in the United Kingdom.
- The messaging app is yet to begin testing the features in the other markets.
Signal’s association with MobileCoin isn’t surprising though. It’s worth noting here that Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike has pretty close ties to this new crypto, acting as an advisor on the project since 2017.
Have been waiting a lot of years for something like this to happen in crypto. So exciting!! pic.twitter.com/wcBFDjHMGZ
— Kevin Beardsley (@kevinhbeardsley) April 6, 2021
Moxie Marlinspike said during an interview with Wired, “When compared to other communication platforms, communicating through Signal gives you the
distinct impression that you are not being observed or listened to. I want to live in a future where you may feel that not only when you communicate with your
therapist via Signal, but also when you pay for the session via Signal.”
“We’re not creating private payments; they already exist and will continue to exist in the form of privacy-preserving cryptocurrencies. Again, what we’re doing
is simply a small portion of our efforts to make that available to regular people,” he continued.
MobileCoin’s slow uptake is the current issue with the functionality. Only the UK’s FTX trading platform offers the cryptocurrency, and there it sells for $65
per coin. Since the value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate greatly, any money transmitted using MobileCoin may increase in value suddenly or decrease dramatically.
A signal is requesting UK users’ assistance in testing the payment mechanism. If all goes well, plans for expanding the beta may be likely.