Privacy-centric messaging app Signal is reportedly working on modalities to introduce a crypto payment gateway for users on the platform. However, critics of the plan say the move could bring further regulatory heat on the company.
Signal May Tap Stellar-based MobileCoin Privacy Crypto
According to a report by popular technology newsletter Platformer, Signal is moving towards adding crypto payments as one of the features of its platform. As part of the report, author Casey Newton revealed that the messaging platform recently ran experiments on MobileCoin; a privacy-focused cryptocurrency developed on the Stellar blockchain.
Newton also highlighted the fact that Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike is a stakeholder in the MobileCoin project as further indications of a coming collaboration between both establishments. However, Marlinspike did not confirm if Signal was close to implementing MobileCoin on its platform, telling Platformer:
“If we did decide we wanted to put payments into Signal, we would try to think really carefully about how we did that. It’s hard to be totally hypothetical.”
In his report, Newton, however, stated that inside sources at the company as well as former employees say Signal has devoted resources to working on MobileCoin. Tweeting earlier in January, MobileCoin debunked insinuations that Signal was moving towards integrating its privacy crypto, stating:
“To be clear, MobileCoin is very much not Signal. We’re fans of their work but we are not them. Moxie advises us but Signal is a fiercely independent non-profit. We would love for them to use the tech we made but the choice is theirs and theirs alone.”
Meanwhile, there are indications of significant unrest within the Signal ranks due to the rumored crypto integration as well as a raft of other features under consideration. Some sections of the company reportedly believe that such moves would put Signal on the wrong side of government regulations.
Messaging Firms Mulling Digital Payments
Facebook’s Diem project, previously called Libra, is one of the more popular examples of this growing trend. However, negative responses from regulators across the world have forced Facebook and its collaborators to scale down their ambitions in a bid to smoothen regulatory wrinkles.