- Signal could integrate a cryptocurrency called MobileCoin, which is based on the Stellar blockchain.
Signal is experimenting with integrating MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency based on the Stellar blockchain. MobileCoin could be integrated into the messenger app as a payment method, according to a report from Platformer. However, the report also suggests that there is tension within Signal over the implications of this initiative.
Signal’s CEO, Moxie Marlinspike, was an advisor to MobileCoin. The cryptocurrency was designed to “hide everything from everyone” and make it ideal for escaping government surveillance. Nevertheless, the report shows that Marlinspike is trying to prevent the integration of Stellar-based cryptocurrency into Signal.
The CEO believes that a payment method based on keeping the identities of its users hidden could be “risky.” First and foremost, it could lead to the application being used by “bad actors.” In conjunction with its other private functions and integrated with an “untraceable” cryptocurrency, it seems only fair that Signal’s CEO fears that the application will come under the scrutiny of the authorities.
In the past, attempts by Facebook and Telegram to integrate a native payment method have led to lawsuits, congressional hearings, and a series of scrutinies that have put pressure on them.
Marlinspike said they have only done “design explorations” with MobileCoin. However, the report contradicts Signal’s CEO and states that sources within the engineering team confirm that resources have been dedicated to integrating MobileCoin with the privacy messenger. About this possibility, Marlinspike said:
If we did decide we wanted to put payments into Signal, we would try to think really carefully about how we did that. It’s hard to be totally hypothetical.
Signal in the spotlight
The application with end-to-end encryption was created by the non-profit organization Signal Foundation. Despite a policy of not sharing growth figures, the report indicates that the number of Signal users has doubled in the last month.
After Facebook decided to change its privacy policies, affecting the messenger app WhatsApp, millions of users downloaded Signal under the endorsement of entrepreneur Elon Musk. Popular for causing the price of a cryptocurrency or product to rise, Musk boosted Signal users that went from 20 million to 40 million.
This brought internal problems for the team behind the application. Via Twitter, the Signal team appreciated the support of the new millions of users. The success has been such that Facebook postponed the implementation of its new privacy policies and Signal became the most downloaded application in the United States and other countries.
An integration with MobileCoin could be part of a strategy to expand its adoption in the mainstream. However, some newly added features have caused discomfort among some employees who fear that the most important feature of the application – privacy – will be compromised. Anyway, 2021 is shaping up to be a turning point for Signal, and its integration with the Stellar-based cryptocurrency could push it even further or stop it altogether.