Signal, the Privacy-focused messaging service that has lately surged in popularity following the WhatsApp privacy controversy – is dipping its toes into the domain of peer-to-pay digital payments. The company has today announced Signal Payments, a new feature that allows users to send and money – in the form of cryptocurrencies. Actually, it’s just one cryptocurrency that is supported at the moment.
“Signal Payments is a new feature that enables you to send and receive privacy focused payments as easily as sending or receiving a message.”
The latest Signal betas are rolling out today! If you’re a beta tester in the UK, you can also help us test payments in Signal: https://t.co/mwKOCkm8yn pic.twitter.com/XuLtqThQ38
— Signal (@signalapp) April 6, 2021
Right now, the testing of Signal Payments is limited to users in the UK. As for the transactions itself, Signal currently supports only one cryptocurrency called MobileCoin (MOB) and relies on the eponymous blockchain-based payments system. However, the company has plans to add support for more cryptocurrency exchange platforms, with FTX being one of them. Once that happens, users will be able to convert their MOB crypto money into FTX and other cryptocurrencies.
Staying close to its privacy-focused appeal, Signal assures that its peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transfer feature will be secure, fast, and reliable. Going a step ahead, the company claims that it won’t have access to the account balance of users, and will allow them to make the switch to another app whenever they want. Aside from facilitating transactions, the service will allow users to check details such as transaction history in a clean and easy-to-use interface.
Signal is following in the footsteps of WhatsApp Pay which received the Brazilian Central Bank’s nod just over a week ago after lengthy scrutiny. The service has also been under testing in India for a while now, and after having a wider rollout blocked by regulatory hurdles, the service finally got the necessary approvals in November last year to commence a wider release. While WhatsApp Pay will allow transactions in local currency, Signal is going the cryptocurrency way and has plans of expanding the test circle in more markets beyond the UK.