WhatsApp competitor Signal is planning to launch cryptocurrencies payment features

Signal, a Whatsapp killer messaging platform when it comes to privacy and security announced this week that they are now trying out a new payment feature in England to work with MobileCoin (MOB).

If you want to communicate securely with your peers, you had to turn to WhatsApp alternative Signal. The app is known for its sparing use of data and secure encryption. The six-year-old app had about 20 million users worldwide as of Jan 2021 and had a 4,200% increase in downloads in January.

The goal of MOB, which is based on Stellar blockchain technology, is to be able to work efficiently on mobile devices while also protecting users’ privacy. The launch on Signal has long been rumored, dating back to when Facebook announced plans to launch its libra stablecoin in early 2019. Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike has been an adviser to the MOB project since 2018.

MOB is also the only messenger native crypto coin that made it successful to the launch while Telegram’s TON and Facebook’s Libra still did not see the light of the day.

In a blog post announcing the launch of the feature in beta, the company said users can link a MOB wallet to Signal, send funds, receive funds, keep track of their balances, and review transaction histories.

“As always, our goal is to keep your data in your hands rather than ours; mobile coin’s design means Signal does not have access to your balance, full transaction history, or funds,” Signal wrote. “You can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service.”

Among many criticisms that are coming after this announcement, one of the criticisms of this payment method is the relatively high price fluctuations of the cryptocurrency. MobileCoin has undergone strong price changes in recent months. The value of the cryptocurrency could sometimes fluctuate between €27 and €61 within 24 hours. For users of the app, this can be a big problem. Especially in everyday life, a currency is not practical if customers have to expect large losses over the course of a day.  

Cryptocurrency experts also see some problems with Signal’s new offering. Especially because the provider is virtually challenging legal regulation as a result. The messenger app has achieved great success in recent years. It surprises many users that it is now involved with cryptocurrencies, which can cause major problems with laws and regulations. Even though Signal has no control over electronic currency, the payment feature may cause problems in the future.

Some critics claim that Signal only introduced the feature because it thinks it can stay competitive through it. The developer has not been profit-oriented in recent years. The company is funded almost entirely by donations from people for whom it is important to protect privacy. The app has emerged in recent years as a trusted alternative to other communication apps.

However, some critics see some problems with the application. Even though Signal takes data protection and privacy very seriously, users register with their phone numbers. This allows you to be uniquely identified later, which is not in line with the company’s philosophy. Also, some of the users’ data is stored on servers, even if a PIN protects it.

Another critical point is the location of the servers. They are located in the USA and thus give the American authorities the possibility to access the data in doubt. Even if the encryption does not allow access to the message content, the phone number can be used for identification.

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