Signal to Launch Payments Feature in Beta with MobileCoin, Available in UK for Now

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Signal to Launch Payments Feature in Beta with MobileCoin, Available in UK for Now
Photo: Depositphotos

Signal said that its new payments feature would be accessible to UK residents only. The feature will be available on iOS and Android and not on desktops. 

Private messaging app Signal sets to launch a payments feature in Beta, using MobileCoin (MOB). The project, which is about to be launched, has been in development since 2018. Since then, Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike has been an adviser. The cryptocurrency MOB was developed to be digital cash with the primary priority to provide private, fast, and secured transactions through phones. With a trading volume of over $81 million, the cryptocurrency is currently trading on only FTX at $64.10.

Signal Plans to Launch Payments Feature in Beta

Before now, Coinspeaker had reported that Signal was developing a stellar-based crypto payment. The MobileCoin, which Signal is leveraging in its new payments feature, is to work efficiently on mobiles. Also, MobileCoin aims at protecting users’ privacy. Ahead of the recent report of the beta launch, there has been news that MobileCoin was launching on Signal.

Like Signal, messaging apps such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and Telegram have also been planning to launch their own cryptocurrencies. However, Facebook’s crypto launch has remained unsuccessful. Also, Telegram has abandoned TON blockchain projects due to a legal war between the company and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced the discontinuation of the blockchain project in May 2020.

Now, Signal said that its new payments feature would be accessible to UK residents only. Also, the feature will be available on just iOS and Android and not desktops.

Furthermore, Signal explained how the payments feature works in a blog post. The company said users could link their MobileCoin wallet to Signal to send and receive funds. Users can also keep track of their funds’ balance and transaction histories.

Speaking to WIRED about the launch, Marlinspike talked about Signal’s aim to extend privacy protections to payments. He said:

“There’s a palpable difference in the feeling of what it’s like to communicate over Signal, knowing you’re not being watched or listened to, versus other communication platforms.”

He added that he hopes for a world where SIgnal can offer people privacy to enable them to talk to their therapist over the phone. Apart from enjoying privacy, he hopes that people can equally pay the therapist via the same platform.

A cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University, Matthew Green, said that he is “terrified for Signal.”

Green told WIRED:

“Signal as an encrypted messaging product is really valuable. Speaking solely as a person who is really into encrypted messaging, it terrifies me that they’re going to take this really clean story of an encrypted messenger and mix it up with the nightmare of laws and regulations and vulnerability that is cryptocurrency.”

Marlinspike and MobileCoin’s founder Josh Goldbard, however, countered that the Signal will not become an exchange platform for Mobile exchange which may attract regulatory scrutiny.

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