Signal Mentions Zcash, Lightning As Possible Options

The project's latest update suggests alternative cryptocurrencies could be integrated if they improve.

Shutterstock photo by Artshastra

Key Takeaways

  • Signal has published an update on its efforts to implement MobileCoin (MOBI) cryptocurrency payments.
  • It addressed some of the criticism that the cryptocurrency has received, such as high fees and price volatility.
  • It also discussed the possibility of future crypto integrations such as Zcash and Bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

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Signal announced last week that it plans to introduce cryptocurrency payments. Now, it has published further details on those plans.

More Than Just MobileCoin?

Last week, Signal announced support for MobileCoin (MOBI) payments. That cryptocurrency was chosen for its privacy and speed, and because of Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike’s involvement in it.

Today’s post makes it clear that Signal intends to support more than just MobileCoin. Jun Harada, Head of Growth and Communcation, noted that the Signal development team can “include linked support for existing separately built and maintained cryptocurrency wallets.”

Harada first drew attention to the privacy coin Zcash, nothing that though it “initially seem[s] like a great fit,” the blockchain is not fast enough to handle Signal’s high traffic load in its current state.

He also drew attention to the Lightning Network, a second layer network designed to handle Bitcoin payments with greater speed. Unfortunately, Harada says that setup costs and weak privacy guarantees mean that Lightning is an impractical choice for Signal.

Despite those complaints, Signal remains open to new developments. “These projects are all constantly improving, and we hope [they] are focused on getting closer to being integratable,” Harada concluded.

MobileCoin Faces Criticism

Though Signal’s decision to introduce cryptocurrency support was well received, its choice of MobileCoin has been met with criticism.

Harada outlined some of those criticisms in today’s post. He noted that users have complained about high fees ($0.60 per transaction), a lack of simple on- and off-ramps, and MobileCoin’s price volatility. He did not address complaints concerning centralization and alleged code-borrowing that were raised last week.

Regardless of those controversies, it appears that Signal will integrate MobileCoin and address its issues before it moves on to integrating other popular coins with its app.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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