As previously reported, BTC developers, Joost Jager and Paul Itoi, continue to expand the capabilities of Bitcoin via the Lightning Network. These two developers raised eyebrows across the cryptocommunity when they announced the release of their encrypted messaging systems Sphinx Chat and Whatsat. While both of the projects are separate, they do show a desire by the cryptocommunity to establish more online sovereignty.
The main goal behind the projects is to architect a permissionless and censorship-resistant means of communication to ensure your privacy. As such, both developers have created slightly different, but equally useful tools to accomplish this goal. To better understand why these tools are important, you need to get a feel for the options currently dominating the market.
Encrypted Messaging – Are They Safe?
Today, the main platforms utilized for sending and receiving encrypted messages include WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. While all of these platforms utilize end-to-end encryption methods, they are by no means equally secure. Both WhatsApp and Telegram don’t provide open-source coding for their projects to the public. Consequently, you are left to rely on these mega-tech firms to keep your messages secure.
The problem with this approach is that increasingly governments put pressure on these platforms to provide them with some form of backdoor to access your data. Since Telegram and WhatsApp keep their source code private, you have no way of telling when alterations to this coding occur. Basically, you’re only as secure as the app developers promise.
Opposingly, only Signal provides users proof that no code changes occurred. This guarantee is a nice feature for Signal but it stops short of providing you with full anonymity. Authorities or nefarious actors can still utilize your cellular data to help track down your identity.
Lightning Network Messaging Takes Security to the Next-Level
Importantly, these Lighting Network messaging apps remove the point of failure from the equation. For one, messages sent through these protocols experience a Tor-like onion network-routing protocol. In this way, the messages are bounced through many of the 11,000 nodes currently in operation across the Lighting Network. You can even open a direct channel with your recipient when you want your messages to go through no intermediary nodes.
Different Approaches to Encrypted Messaging
Both Sphinx Chat and Whatsat utilize the Lightning Network’s unique capabilities to ensure your privacy. Interestingly, both developers choose a different approach to the market. For example, Shinx Chat just launched its closed Beta version to the public, whereas, Whatsat released its open-source code via Github.
Privacy is King
As technology continues to become more intrusive in our personal lives, it’s nice to see that developers continue to leverage the power of blockchain technology for our protection. Privacy concerns continue to be a debated subject across the globe. Consequently, any technology that can provide individuals, governments, and businesses protection during communications has a place in the market. For now, you can start using both of these messengers today.