Privacy-Focused Messenger, Signal, is Testing Crypto Payments Using A Stellar-based Project

As Whatsapp users exit the platform and move en masse into other apps, Signal is hoping to engage and keep them with new features, including cryptocurrency payments.


One of the many exciting aspects of the technology industry has been watching it adapt due to changing global trends in the past year.

The world was plunged into uncertainty when the coronavirus hit, and everyone had to stay home. However, Zoom, Amazon, and Netflix – among others – stepped in and kept users sane. Signal faces a similar meteoric rise to fame.

No Clarity on MobileCoin Integration Yet

Signal is a privacy-focused mobile messaging app that has seen substantial growth in users over the past few weeks. Hoping to keep the buzz going, the service has begun working on adding new features for convenience.

Keeping in line with its privacy focus, Signal now appears to be working towards crypto payments. Casey Newton, the founder of the technology newsletter service Platformer, reported that Signal was considering implementing crypto payment services into its messaging platform.

According to the report, Signal has been running pilot tests for a token on MobileCoin, a Stellar-based, privacy-focused cryptocurrency platform with backing from Binance. The report pointed out that Moxie Marlinspike, Signa’s chief executive, is an adviser to MobileCoin, hypothesizing that the two services are looking towards a possible MobileCoin deployment into Signal.

Marlinspike had downplayed any integration speculations, explaining that the tests were “design explorations.” However, Signal employees have reportedly confirmed that the company is actively looking into integrating MobileCoin into its platform.

Signal in the Spotlight

Signal's growth was fueled by a new privacy policy update from Whatsapp is on a trajectory that several platforms have been on in the past. On January 6, WhatsApp users worldwide saw a pop-up from the service notifying them of changes to its privacy policy. While the changes were said to enable businesses to send and store messages, users would have to agree by February 8 or be deactivated by the app.

The privacy update caused a stir online, with many immediately suggesting alternatives. Several prominent tech names, including Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey, immediately touted Signal as a top substitute, and the app immediately saw a surge in users.

Quoting data from Sensor Tower, TechCrunch reported that the app got 7.5 million downloads between January 6 and January 10. It is worth noting that the company has been around for six years, during which time it reached 20 million downloads.

Signal isn’t the only app that benefited from the WhatsApp backlash. A tweet from Newton showed that Telegram, the latter’s top competitor, claimed to have added 90 million active users in January alone. However, Signal’s privacy focus has gotten a lot of attention.

Now that the app is on a tear, it will want to watch out. The Platformer report has noted that some employees are sounding warnings about changes in its corporate structure and some new features that the platform is adding. During its boom last year, Zoom faced issues with privacy and harassment issues. Now that Signal is hoping to keep its new users, all eyes will be on it to see how it performs.

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