Privacy-focused messaging app Signal is reportedly devoting resources toward the development of a cryptocurrency payments service for its users.
According to a report by Casey Newton, the founder of the technology newsletter service Platformer, Signal is mulling crypto payments integration in the app.
The report claims that Signal reportedly ran pilot tests for such a token on the Binance-backed, Stellar-based privacy cryptocurrency platform MobileCoin. Moxie Marlinspike, CEO of Signal, serves as an adviser on the MobileCoin project, heightening speculation that the test could be a trial run for subsequent deployment in the messaging app.
The Platformer report also notes that Marlinspike has downplayed these speculations, describing the tests as “design explorations” and adding, “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.”
However, according to Newton, former Signal employees said the company is actively pursuing the necessary protocols for integrating MobileCoin on the messaging platform. Earlier in January, MobileCoin attempted to clarify its relationship with Signal:
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.— MobileCoin (@mobilecoin) January 16, 2021
If the reports turn out to be true, Signal would become the latest messaging service to enter the crypto and digital payments arena.
Facebook has made multiple amendments to its planned Diem project after intense regulatory backlash.
Indeed, the integration of a privacy coin on the Signal platform could put the company in danger of serious regulatory scrutiny. According to Financial News, financial services firms are already worried about the emerging regulatory blind spot occasioned by the migration of traders from WhatsApp to Signal.
The privacy-focused messaging service has already seen its user base jump over 100% following recent policy changes by WhatsApp. There are, however, concerns that the addition of anonymous payments and other rumored features could see the platform becoming a home for illegal activities.
Signal did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph's request for comment.