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Encrypted messenger: Signal tests payment function with cryptocurrency


In the future, the WhatsApp alternative should not only offer secure communication, but also non-traceable transactions. Experts think this is a bad idea.

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Messenger apps

Photo: DPA

The messenger app Signal, known for its data economy and strong encryption, is testing a payment function with MobileCoin in Great Britain.

Users of the beta version of Signal can send the comparatively unknown cryptocurrency to each other.

Signal's goal, according to Wired, is to offer a way of sending money in such a way that no one except sender and recipient can see or track it.

There has been a link between Signal and MobileCoin for a long time: Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike was a paid advisor to MobileCoin and was involved in the development.

The underlying technology is intended to ensure that transfers are largely anonymized and the amount of transactions is concealed.

Signal users who can already test the system must set up a MobileCoin wallet and link it to their Signal app on their smartphone.

So far you can only buy MobileCoin on the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

The value fluctuates widely, in the past 24 hours alone it was 27 euros and 61 euros. This is a problem for users, because they would have to reckon with heavy losses when converting to traditional currencies that are more useful in everyday life.

Experts such as cryptography professor Matthew Green consider this step dangerous anyway, because Signal is actually attracting more extensive regulation: »I am downright horrified that you are mixing this really clean story of an encrypted messenger with the nightmare of laws and regulations, the crypto currencies bring with you, ”he said,“ Wired ”.

Security expert Bruce Schneier also sees it this way.

Marlinspike, however, believes that Signal has no further regulation to fear, as Signal will not have any control over MobileCoin.

MobileCoin founder Josh Goldbard even said "Wired" that Signal had to introduce a payment function "in order to remain competitive with the top messaging apps in the world."

So far, however, Signal has not portrayed itself as overly competitive.

“Signal is not profit-oriented,” Marlinspike emphasized in an interview with SPIEGEL in February.

»We are supported with donations directly from those who use our app.

And so far it looks like people think Signal and their privacy are important enough to keep the project going. "


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-04-07

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