26 votes

Signal adds a beta test for a payments system with cryptocurrency MobileCoin

41 comments

  1. [28]
    lionirdeadman
    Link
    I really dislike this. I'll probably stop using Signal as a result. I refuse to support cryptocurrencies. It's a shame, I think Signal is really good.

    I really dislike this. I'll probably stop using Signal as a result. I refuse to support cryptocurrencies. It's a shame, I think Signal is really good.

    19 votes
    1. [6]
      fleg
      Link Parent
      For other people who are now thinking about moving somewhere else, I would like to remind you that XMPP is still alive, with multiple implementations, clients, and e2e encryption modelled after...

      For other people who are now thinking about moving somewhere else, I would like to remind you that XMPP is still alive, with multiple implementations, clients, and e2e encryption modelled after what's used in Signal.

      As a nice example, Quicksy is a "product" based on XMPP, which works in a similar fashion as Signal (registration using phone number, automatic contact discovery using phone book), but is still open. What more, the author openly states that it's kind of a "gentle introduction" to the rest of XMPP. That is pretty much everything you need if you want to start with XMPP now without getting into details, though.

      If you're more technically apt and can host your own server, Snikket is an interesting concept, which provides a server suited for small communities (such as a family) and an easy-to-use client for Android.

      Both Quicksy and Snikket Android clients are based on (Conversations)[https://conversations.im/], which is a very easy to use client for Android. Paid on Google Play, but as it is fully open source, the F-Droid version is free of charge. There are also other forks of it, such as Blabber. There are also a few clients for iOS, but as I don't use iPhone, I am not up to date on that topic.

      8 votes
      1. [5]
        petrichor
        Link Parent
        Matrix is also a good alternative! Clients like FluffyChat have gotten very good. Their end-to-end encryption is also based on the Signal Protocol. Custom emojis and proper channel groups are a...

        Matrix is also a good alternative! Clients like FluffyChat have gotten very good. Their end-to-end encryption is also based on the Signal Protocol.

        Custom emojis and proper channel groups are a couple of cool specs on their way.

        8 votes
        1. [5]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. petrichor
            Link Parent
            There's a couple of reasons why Signal's crypto adventures also affect those who don't use it. It requires them to collect a boatload more metadata about transactions, opens them up to a whole new...

            There's a couple of reasons why Signal's crypto adventures also affect those who don't use it. It requires them to collect a boatload more metadata about transactions, opens them up to a whole new suite of legal action, provides a great new attack vector, and draws away resources that could go towards developing the core app.

            Then, of course, there's other, unrelated problems with Signal that I'm just reminded of every time they do something like this. Their community interactions suck. Their desktop client is a joke. They're hostile towards third party developers. They frequently reject outside work, even when it's on a highly-requested feature. Everything that happened with Naomi Wu highlighting their IME vulnerability.

            15 votes
          2. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I just want to point out that it's not just supporting it technically, it's also promoting it. MobileCoin will no doubt become more popular as a result of this partnership and give it legitimacy....

            I don't know guys maybe I'm crazy, but maybe just don't use the feature if you don't like it.

            I just want to point out that it's not just supporting it technically, it's also promoting it. MobileCoin will no doubt become more popular as a result of this partnership and give it legitimacy.

            Furthermore, as some have pointed out here iirc, Signal is giving itself trouble as it will no doubt be used for money laundering. It risks making itself more susceptible to legal scrutiny.

            5 votes
          3. [2]
            nukeman
            Link Parent
            I do think it is important for there to be a diverse array of software options, but I agree that the reality is many people (especially “normies”) really like to standardize on a small number...

            I do think it is important for there to be a diverse array of software options, but I agree that the reality is many people (especially “normies”) really like to standardize on a small number (1-3) of platforms. Unless we can make the apps work together seamlessly, we’ll probably continue to converge toward one app.

            2 votes
            1. petrichor
              Link Parent
              Well, that's what Matrix aims to do. And it's pretty good already - I can switch between Element and Fluffychat at will with no friction.

              Unless we can make the apps work together seamlessly

              Well, that's what Matrix aims to do. And it's pretty good already - I can switch between Element and Fluffychat at will with no friction.

              4 votes
    2. [21]
      p4t44
      Link Parent
      All of them? I agree that the changes in Signal seem questionable, but I'm genuinely curious what the issue is with all crypto currencies?

      I refuse to support cryptocurrencies

      All of them? I agree that the changes in Signal seem questionable, but I'm genuinely curious what the issue is with all crypto currencies?

      7 votes
      1. [12]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        A distributed model for a currency system is just a bad idea. One, it tries to solve a social problem (trust) with a technical one (proof of work or proof of stake). Second, the way it does this...
        • Exemplary

        A distributed model for a currency system is just a bad idea.

        One, it tries to solve a social problem (trust) with a technical one (proof of work or proof of stake).

        Second, the way it does this is a huge energy waste due to its distributed nature which ends up wasting more than entire countries worth of electricity for a system that doesn't even hold a global economy.

        Third, the volatile nature of these cryptocurrencies make them terribly suited to use them as actual currency.

        Fourth, it's a legal nightmare. Trying to regulate transactions done on these networks is atrocious and it results in them being used as tax havens. It's fundamentally at odd with taxation and I don't believe it's possible to rectify without just recreating a worse banking system.

        I don't believe any cryptocurrency can overcome all of these problems. I strongly believe a federated network system based on fiat would be much better which is already kind of what we have with the traditional banking system.

        26 votes
        1. [2]
          bloup
          Link Parent
          So I definitely have yet to actually find an example of a cryptocurrency I have much confidence in, for a lot of the reasons you describe. But what I don't understand is why you are so convinced...

          So I definitely have yet to actually find an example of a cryptocurrency I have much confidence in, for a lot of the reasons you describe. But what I don't understand is why you are so convinced that these problems you assert (and, for the record, they are real problems) are some inherent quality to the idea of cryptocurrency in general. Like for instance, for a long time, what I considered to be one of the big "showstoppers" for cryptocurrency was the energy consumption associated with "mining" the currencies. However, with the rise of things like proof of stake, which basically solves the energy consumption problem almost entirely, I realized that this was not some kind of characteristic flaw in cryptocurrency as a concept, but rather just a problem that arose from a shortsighted implementation detail in early prototypical implementations of a brand new technology. In a similar vein, while I don't think the other problems you bring up have been solved yet, you really have provided no rationalization at all as to why you think that they couldn't even be solved at least in theory. And, for the record, I have thought of some ways I think you could address some of the other stuff you mentioned that I'd be happy to talk more about. But while there are definitely a lot of kinks to work out in crypto, the reality is if you could find a way to make it work, I think you'd open up some amazing doors for regular people. This line of thinking really reminds me of the sorts of people who wanted to go back to incandescent traffic lights because the LED ones didn't melt the snow, instead of taking a few seconds to realize "hey we could just put some heating element wire in the lens cap".

          Also, I'm sorry, but I think the fact that I have to just "trust" giant private financial institutions with horrible track records of committing humanitarian atrocities in the pursuit of wealth if I want to have any level of financial security is a much bigger and far more fatal "problem" within "the traditional banking system" then anything you have mentioned with crypto, in my opinion.

          16 votes
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I believe that's because I don't believe these problems can be solved in a distributed network. I would mostly agree with that, it's definitely possible and PoS is a much more energy efficient...

            But what I don't understand is why you are so convinced that these problems you assert (and, for the record, they are real problems) are some inherent quality to the idea of cryptocurrency in general.

            I believe that's because I don't believe these problems can be solved in a distributed network.

            However, with the rise of things like proof of stake, which basically solves the energy consumption problem almost entirely, I realized that this was not some kind of characteristic flaw in cryptocurrency as a concept, but rather just a problem that arose from a shortsighted implementation detail in early prototypical implementations of a brand new technology.

            I would mostly agree with that, it's definitely possible and PoS is a much more energy efficient model than PoW but it would still be more energy hungry than a federalized system.

            In a similar vein, while I don't think the other problems you bring up have been solved yet, you really have provided no rationalization at all as to why you think that they couldn't even be solved at least in theory.

            I'll try to expand on my ideas a little bit and see if that bites.

            One, it tries to solve a social problem (trust) with a technical one (proof of work or proof of stake). I believe that this is a wrong approach because it's very likely to be less energy efficient than a federalized system if only because of the distributed nature of the network. It can result in systemic problems later down the road if there are flaws in the system and changing it would likely be difficult. The latter part is also true of laws governing the traditional system though.

            Second, the energy waste. This can be mostly solved with PoS, I'll agree to that much even if I think a distributed model is inherently more inefficient than a federalized one.

            Third, the volatile nature. I can think of two ways to solve these but neither are particularly good and maybe there's better ones. One is fixing it to fiat which doesn't make sense if this is a distributed model with money being created out of thin air. The second would be to reach the limit and now it would simply inflate gradually. The problem with that is that the early investors in the coin would become insanely rich because of the amount of money being available early on rather than later on. Also, with the money gradually disappearing forever with people dying, there's little recourse that can be taken to fix the limited resource. Maybe I'm just wrong on both accounts, I'm no financial adviser.

            Fourth, the legal nightmare, I believe there are two imperfect solutions to trying to solve it. One, the ledger is transparent but it's still public and we ask people to link their wallets to their identity. If we accept this, this means that anyone can look at everyone's transactions... not what people would want. Two, the ledger is transparent but the ledger is private with banks controlling it.. that's a deal breaker for any cryptoccurency person because we return to the original problem of central authority. I can't think of any real solutions, feel free to think of one.

            Also, I'm sorry, but I think the fact that I have to just "trust" giant private financial institutions with horrible track records of committing humanitarian atrocities in the pursuit of wealth if I want to have any level of financial security is a much bigger and far more fatal "problem" within "the traditional banking system" then anything you have mentioned with crypto, in my opinion.

            That's a totally fair opinion but I don't think this is one that is solved by a distributed model. I believe the reality is most people using cryptocurrencies will end up with another company handling their money. Example Coinbase. Now I'm not saying Coinbase is evil but their success is proof enough that people don't want to handle their own wallets in a distributed model so we'd very likely end up with the same problem. If anything, it could be worse since you could bank with a company who can just move country and continue operating, right?

            You could argue that those in the know would be able to avoid them and use their own wallet but I'm not convinced that's a good solution to that societal problem. I think that this problem needs to be solved by antitrust and new legislation to address those concerns directly rather than hoping the new companies will simply be better.

            7 votes
        2. [2]
          vegai
          Link Parent
          It kinda does a lot more than just try. That's where most of its value is, in fact.

          One, it tries to solve a social problem (trust) with a technical one (proof of work or proof of stake).

          It kinda does a lot more than just try. That's where most of its value is, in fact.

          7 votes
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            Well, the 51% problem makes it a try rather than a success imo. It's a problem that doesn't exist outside of crypto. I can see why people would disagree with that conclusion though.

            Well, the 51% problem makes it a try rather than a success imo. It's a problem that doesn't exist outside of crypto. I can see why people would disagree with that conclusion though.

            3 votes
        3. [7]
          petrichor
          Link Parent
          Nitpick: Your first point isn't exactly a negative, and your second point doesn't hold for proof of stake. But yeah, I strongly agree. Bitcoin is pretty much a cautionary tale.

          Nitpick: Your first point isn't exactly a negative, and your second point doesn't hold for proof of stake.

          But yeah, I strongly agree. Bitcoin is pretty much a cautionary tale.

          6 votes
          1. [6]
            lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I believe the first point is a negative because it requires much more effort to solve this and it rarely results in things with no side-effects. Note that social problems also have side-effects...

            I believe the first point is a negative because it requires much more effort to solve this and it rarely results in things with no side-effects. Note that social problems also have side-effects but I feel like technical ones are harder to solve but that may not be true.

            For example, an unintended consequence of machine learning is often that these systems are fed biased data based on our own flaws which results in automating racism (see this Vox video for an explanation).

            I think for example, one of the technical problems with Proof of Work in Bitcoin is the 51% problem which can't be regulated and could lead to very destructive damage if it were to happen. It also encourages more and more machines to run the network to avoid the problem. This is not a problem or risk we have in our current traditional system.

            As for proof of stake, I don't know how energy efficient it is but logically, an operation that needs to be done on the entire network should be more expensive than one which only needs to happen on two computers like in a federated system so I believe it would still be more energy hungry even if not as environment destructive as Proof of Work.

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              Adys
              Link Parent
              It's utterly absurd to generalize the failures of machine learning to failures of technology as a whole. It's akin to saying "Lie detectors suck, why should I trust my plumber to know how to fix...

              For example, an unintended consequence of machine learning is often that these systems are fed biased data based on our own flaws which results in automating racism (see this Vox video for an explanation).

              It's utterly absurd to generalize the failures of machine learning to failures of technology as a whole. It's akin to saying "Lie detectors suck, why should I trust my plumber to know how to fix my faucet?"

              7 votes
              1. [2]
                lionirdeadman
                Link Parent
                This was mostly to show systemic failures when using technical means. You essentially have to predict future problems and find potential solutions to get a result without flaws.

                It's utterly absurd to generalize the failures of machine learning to failures of technology as a whole.

                This was mostly to show systemic failures when using technical means. You essentially have to predict future problems and find potential solutions to get a result without flaws.

                4 votes
                1. Adys
                  Link Parent
                  Can be said about anything.

                  You essentially have to predict future problems and find potential solutions to get a result without flaws.

                  Can be said about anything.

                  7 votes
            2. [2]
              petrichor
              Link Parent
              We've already been solving the kind of trust that blockchain aims to solve for thousands of years with technology. Blockchain is just slightly better at it than banks (here's a great explanation...

              We've already been solving the kind of trust that blockchain aims to solve for thousands of years with technology. Blockchain is just slightly better at it than banks (here's a great explanation of the public ledger, if you're interested). I don't think it's really comparable to machine learning.

              Alternatively, the 51% attack (in proof of work - it's different in proof of stake) is a negative feedback loop. Small systems are more vulnerable to the 51% attack, and can exhibit what you describe - an increase in the number of nodes and energy consumption as people concerned with an attack and those trying to cause an attack increase their mining power. But as the network grows larger, it becomes less and less profitable to run a 51% attack. That's the case with Bitcoin right now.

              Proof of stake's energy consumption would comparable to the modern banking system. It's really a non-issue. Proof of work's ridiculous energy consumption just makes it difficult to think in normal units again.

              4 votes
              1. lionirdeadman
                Link Parent
                I don't see what problem it solves other than making a ledger work in a distributed way (which is unneeded in a federalized system like our banking system). My comparison to ML is mostly that...

                Blockchain is just slightly better at it than banks (here's a great explanation of the public ledger, if you're interested).

                I don't see what problem it solves other than making a ledger work in a distributed way (which is unneeded in a federalized system like our banking system). My comparison to ML is mostly that technical means are likely to have systemic flaws.

                But as the network grows larger, it becomes less and less profitable to run a 51% attack.

                I'm not entirely convinced of that. IIRC the majority of cryptocurrency mining happens in China so it wouldn't be less profitable for them to make them lie since they already run the system. I suppose that's unlikely but any attack on the system that succeeds would likely result in lost of credibility for the system and for it to crash if it were ever found out.

                Proof of stake's energy consumption would comparable to the modern banking system.

                Has there been research on this? I agree that it should be very much less than PoW but I don't think that a distributed model could ever be more energy efficient than a federated one. Maybe the difference is too minimal to be worth caring about. I guess that's still up in the air considering the lack of cryptos using it.

                2 votes
      2. [8]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        They are glorified sudoku solutions you can trade for crack and use to hide your money from the government. That last bit is the real dealbreaker for me. Financial transactions in the US need more...

        They are glorified sudoku solutions you can trade for crack and use to hide your money from the government.

        That last bit is the real dealbreaker for me. Financial transactions in the US need more regulatory scrutiny, not less. Bitcoin seems almost purpose built for committing financial crimes.

        The whole blockchain/distributed ledger concept is really cool. Eventually someone might find an actual practical use for it. But replacing fiat currency isn't it.

        6 votes
        1. [4]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. skybrian
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Although there is plenty of criminal activity done with cash, I think the idea is that it could scale up to get even worse? Anti-money-laundering laws aren't even trying to stop the small stuff....

            Although there is plenty of criminal activity done with cash, I think the idea is that it could scale up to get even worse? Anti-money-laundering laws aren't even trying to stop the small stuff. There are limits on things like gift cards because they are trying to make it harder for illegal businesses that use large amounts of cash.

            The difficulty of physically transferring large amounts of cash and converting it into more convenient forms (such as a bank account balance) results in opportunities for law enforcement. Bitcoin makes it easier to do things at a distance, at scale, safely (for the criminal).

            For example, ransomware is a crime committed by people who aren't even in the same country as the victims. It would be difficult for North Korea to collect payment without cryptocurrency.

            7 votes
          2. babypuncher
            Link Parent
            I think this is just by virtue of being the most widely circulated currency in the world. A better metric to focus on would be what percentage of a given currency in active circulation is being...

            People act like the physical US dollar isn't the most widely used currency for drug purchases, and criminal activity.

            I think this is just by virtue of being the most widely circulated currency in the world. A better metric to focus on would be what percentage of a given currency in active circulation is being used for criminal activity.

            5 votes
          3. guts
            Link Parent
            Another small example black market (drugs, prostitution, etc) bitcoin being not fungible is hard to trade on most exchanges. You could have black market USD dollars in your pocket.

            Another small example black market (drugs, prostitution, etc) bitcoin being not fungible is hard to trade on most exchanges. You could have black market USD dollars in your pocket.

            1 vote
        2. [3]
          guts
          Link Parent
          I read stories of people from Iran and Venezuela where crypto has been a blessing alternative to their local currency and there is no other way around because the American restriction they get to...

          I read stories of people from Iran and Venezuela where crypto has been a blessing alternative to their local currency and there is no other way around because the American restriction they get to the world. There are really lots of uses cases for cryptocurrencies and thinking it is just for "trade crack" i better recommend do more research.

          8 votes
          1. [2]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            I'm wondering how this works in practice, considering trade embargoes and so on? When local supplies are scarce, who would sell them for cryptocurrency? I would expect more barter.

            I'm wondering how this works in practice, considering trade embargoes and so on? When local supplies are scarce, who would sell them for cryptocurrency? I would expect more barter.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. skybrian
                Link Parent
                If there are people in Venezuela who are trading Bitcoin for US dollars that they can use locally, there must be people willing to do the opposite trade. Presumably, people who have a way of...

                If there are people in Venezuela who are trading Bitcoin for US dollars that they can use locally, there must be people willing to do the opposite trade. Presumably, people who have a way of earning more US dollars than they need in Venezuela and are looking for a way to get it out of the country?

                It wouldn't be surprising if the Bitcoin ends up in the hands of corrupt government officials or whoever is smuggling in black-market goods. Or just funding the Venezuelan government as they look for ways to bypass the embargo.

                But this does provide incentives for them to sell essential goods to people who are lucky enough to have overseas family or other foreign connections. You might compare to something like GiveDirectly, where giving money to people in need supports the local economy. (Or what's left of the economy in such places.)

                3 votes
        3. AVo
          Link Parent
          https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenehrlich/2021/04/13/janet-yellen-bitcoin-and-crypto-fearmongers-get-pushback-from-former-cia-director/?sh=33f932fb9bb7 "In an expansive study, Morell came to two...

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenehrlich/2021/04/13/janet-yellen-bitcoin-and-crypto-fearmongers-get-pushback-from-former-cia-director/?sh=33f932fb9bb7

          "In an expansive study, Morell came to two key conclusions: The broad generalizations about the use of bitcoin in illicit finance are significantly overstated. Blockchain analysis is a highly effective crime fighting and intelligence gathering tool."

          2 votes
  2. [6]
    ainar-g
    Link
    I was hoping that the publishing date of the article is 2021-04-01. If Telegram, with its hundreds of millions of dollars, couldn't get their TON thingy off the ground, what makes the people from...

    I was hoping that the publishing date of the article is 2021-04-01. If Telegram, with its hundreds of millions of dollars, couldn't get their TON thingy off the ground, what makes the people from Signal think that they can?

    And also, why? Surely launching your own cryptocoin isn't the most direct way to gather funds, is it?

    14 votes
    1. Greg
      Link Parent
      If nothing else, just announcing this has made some people a fuckton of money. MobileCoin has gone up 10x in a week, with $90m traded today.

      If nothing else, just announcing this has made some people a fuckton of money. MobileCoin has gone up 10x in a week, with $90m traded today.

      9 votes
    2. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Based on discussion on Hacker News, they think they’ve fixed some technical problems? But I am still wary. It seems like everything cryptocurrency touches attracts the worst sort of attention from...

      Based on discussion on Hacker News, they think they’ve fixed some technical problems?

      But I am still wary. It seems like everything cryptocurrency touches attracts the worst sort of attention from criminals and I very much doubt they will withstand this. Signal is playing with fire.

      If they do manage to pull it off, it could be big, though.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        helloworld
        Link Parent
        I checked HN thread and I don't see CEO answering actual real questions regarding 51% attack, energy usage or other concerns. All I see is hand-wavy check our github for more info stuff.

        I checked HN thread and I don't see CEO answering actual real questions regarding 51% attack, energy usage or other concerns. All I see is hand-wavy check our github for more info stuff.

        5 votes
        1. pallas
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          As far as I can tell, those aren't real concerns here, because the currency appears to lack most of the features of legitimate attempts at cryptocurrencies that result in those concerns in the...

          actual real questions regarding 51% attack, energy usage or other concern

          As far as I can tell, those aren't real concerns here, because the currency appears to lack most of the features of legitimate attempts at cryptocurrencies that result in those concerns in the first place.

          There are no real energy use concerns, because MobileCoin isn't proof of work; it's somewhat proof of stake, but where the creators have all the stakes and other stakeholders have no incentives to participate at all (but do have disincentives, costs, and required payments to Amazon), and thus one wouldn't expect much duplication of effort. There doesn't appear to be a possibility of a 51% attack by a party other than the creators of the coin, because the creators of the coin hold significantly more than 51% of the total coins, and can run one at any time. There's no problematic incentive structure for mining, because there is no mining, or incentive: fees go to the creators of the currency.

          This is wrapped in extremely dubious language of being non-profit, when I expect the more likely scenario is that this is a construction using ideas that US nonprofit law hasn't been updated to deal with yet in order to allow involved individuals to make a significant profit through the activities of their nonprofit organizations.

          4 votes
    3. rmgr
      Link Parent
      I checked the date too, this seems like a terrible idea but it seems to be moving some of my friends towards Matrix so I'm counting it as a win

      I checked the date too, this seems like a terrible idea but it seems to be moving some of my friends towards Matrix so I'm counting it as a win

      4 votes
  3. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Et tu, Signal? Some of the best criticism I've read of this move.

    Et tu, Signal?

    Some of the best criticism I've read of this move.

    I think I speak for many technologists when I say that any bolted-on cryptocurrency monetization scheme smells like a giant pile of rubbish and feels enormously user-exploitative. We’ve seen this before, after all Telegram tried the same thing in an ICO that imploded when SEC shut them down, and Facebook famously tried and failed to monetize WhatsApp through their decentralized-but-not-really digital money market fund project.

    Signal is a still a great piece of software. Just do one thing and do it well, be the trusted de facto platform for private messaging that empowers dissidents, journalists and grandma all to communicate freely with the same guarantees of privacy. Don’t become a dodgy money transmitter business. This is not the way.

    14 votes
  4. [3]
    guts
    Link
    I am more surprised Signal (Moxie) prefers and unknown altcoin instead of a private coin as Monero.

    I am more surprised Signal (Moxie) prefers and unknown altcoin instead of a private coin as Monero.

    5 votes
  5. [2]
    Bauke
    Link
    Posted today: Update on beta testing payments in Signal
    5 votes
    1. sron
      Link Parent
      Interesting they still mention Giphy integration... Didn't Facebook buy them? I see that they have some form of "privacy preserving proxy" but it still doesn't fit well for me.

      Interesting they still mention Giphy integration... Didn't Facebook buy them? I see that they have some form of "privacy preserving proxy" but it still doesn't fit well for me.

  6. sron
    Link
    I get that some people don't like this, but this doesn't change my view that Signal is still the most accessible private messenger out there. Mainly because its SMS integration means it can sit as...

    I get that some people don't like this, but this doesn't change my view that Signal is still the most accessible private messenger out there. Mainly because its SMS integration means it can sit as a replacement for the stock app on people's phones, and functionally to less technically inclined people it is functionally the same even for Signal contacts.

    The alternatives can't match that for me. Telegram doesn't have the privacy by default, and Matrix just isn't user friendly enough for personal communication (and might never be, there will always be lots of new concepts to understand with it like homeservers - it might work as a replacement for Discord for some though, which I'd like to see).

    In the end, I don't have to see Signal Payments unless I want to, and I won't because it's so difficult to get money into and out of it I don't see how it helps normal people in any meaningful way.

    5 votes