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Signal 'Actively Exploring' Adding Crypto Payments

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Published on:
January 26, 2021

The encrypted messaging app has been experimenting with MobileCoin, a privacy coin built on the Stellar blockchain.

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Signal has been experimenting with crypto payments, according to a new report.

 

According to Platformer, the encrypted messaging app has been “actively exploring the addition of payments” — and has looked into integrating MobileCoin, a privacy coin that has been built on the Stellar blockchain.

 

All of this comes after WhatsApp announced a controversial new privacy policy that caused millions of users to explore alternative services including Signal and Telegram.

 

Signal’s CEO Moxie Marlinspike has also served as an advisor to MobileCoin — and the report notes how Wired described this asset as “more resistant to surveillance, whether it’s coming from a government or a criminal.”

 

Although the increasing numbers of companies that are exploring digital payments can be seen as something to celebrate for the crypto sector, Platformer reported that those who work at Signal “regard the company’s exploration of cryptocurrency as risky since it could invite more bad actors onto the platform and attract regulatory scrutiny from world leaders.”

 

Employees have also claimed that other new features are “ripe for abuse” — with Signal bowing to complaints by unveiling plans to offer usernames as an alternative to real phone numbers. Marlinspike was quoted by Platformer as saying:

“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.”

Encrypted messaging apps and digital payments have been a lethal mix so far. Last year, Telegram reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the controversial sale of tokens for the Telegram Open Network, known as TON for short. More than $1.7 billion had been raised, and the company was ordered to return $1.2 billion to investors.

 

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