What you need to know
- Signal Payments introduced for those in the United Kingdom.
- The only payments currently accepted make use of the MobileCoin protocol.
- The feature could be expanded to more countries based on feedback.
If privacy is the name of the game, then Signal Private Messenger is the way to go. Signal is already one of the best Android messaging apps, thanks to its vast array of security and privacy features, but the company is looking to expand a bit further.
In a blog post, Signal's head of growth and communication, Jun Harada, detailed the company's new beta build for those who live in the UK. Instead of bringing messaging features to the platform, this new beta brings the ability to make secure mobile payments between users. But instead of relying on traditional means of linking your bank account or debit cards, Signal plans to make use of cryptocurrency.
Signal has partnered with MobileCoin, which features its own protocol and companion cryptocurrency named MOB. The reason for using MobileCoin over something else has everything to do with privacy and keeping your information secure. With a reputation for privacy like Signal has, it only makes sense for the company to partner with MobileCoin to use the MOB currency. It's also important to note that if you live in the UK and participate in the beta program, this feature will only be avaialble for iOS and Android users, and not those who use Signal on a computer.
But this is also the same reason why this new beta is not available in the U.S., as MobileCoin's cryptocurrency is not available for trade here in the States. This is due to the fact that MOB is only available from a single exchange, FTX, which does not currently allow trades involving U.S. residents.
If Signal and MobileCoin receive good enough user feedback, the feature should be rolling out to more countries through Signal's beta program. However, it will be interesting to see how this plays out for those of us here in the West who would like to send payments to friends, giving it even more of an edge when compared to Telegram vs WhatsApp.
Signal Private Messenger
Protecting your messages and soon-to-be payments
Signal is already one of the best messaging apps for Android, but it's easily the best if you care more about privacy than features. The company is working on new features to bring encrypted payments between users with the help of cryptocurrency.