Signal encrypted messenger testing Stellar-based crypto payments

stellar, mobilecoin, signal

Messaging app Signal is reportedly toying with offering cryptocurrency payments to its 40 million-odd users.

According to tech newsletter Platformer, the privacy-focused app is exploring the launch of its own cryptocurrency while carrying out initial tests with the Stellar-based MobileCoin.

Launched last year, MobileCoin is perhaps most famous for being the mobile-first crypto project advised by Signal’s CEO Moxie Marlinspike.

According to Platformer, the crypto integration is still in its very first stages, however former Signal employees claim the company has already dedicated “significant engineering resources to developing MobileCoin integrations” — which may hint at a future rollout.

If successful, the project is being pitched (at least internally) as a way to help people in developing nations transfer funds more easily.

[Read more: Bitcoin for Navalny — $120K donated during weekend protests]

Signal’s approach starkly contrasts similar initiatives by the likes of WeChat and Facebook, whose attempts at payment integration have been seen very much as a macro growth strategy

WhatsApp’s privacy issues could further play into Signal’s hands should the MobileCoin project make it to launch.

Signal’s user numbers recently doubled thanks to widespread concerns about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy that saw its subscribers jump ship in their millions.

MobileCoin borrowed some tech from Stellar, but it’s mostly its own crypto project.

Not to mention, MobileCoin was designed to make payments simple and secure, but more importantly potentially impossible to trace. Wired even described it as “a system that hides everything from everyone”.

For now, things are extremely early in development — if they’re in development at all — with Marlinspike going to great lengths to play down any possible launch of a new token.

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