MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency from the creator of Signal, just raised 30 million for mobile payments

  • Posted on: 24 April 2018
  • By: thecollective


A new privacy-centric cryptocurrency project with some big names on board just raised a round worth noting. On Tuesday, the team at MobileCoin announced that Binance Labs, the major blockchain incubator associated with the Binance exchange, led a $30 million round denominated in bitcoin and ether for the new cryptocurrency. MobileCoin will enjoy “priority consideration” for being listed on Binance as part of the relationship.

New cryptocurrency projects are a dime (or less) a dozen, but the legitimacy of an established name can make all the difference. Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of end-to-end encryption messaging app Signal and Open Whisper Systems, is one such name. As Wired reported in December, Marlinspike began working with MobileCoin as a technical advisor in August of 2017.

Marlinspike is joined by Joshua Goldbard, a general partner at hedge fund Crypto Lotus and MobileCoin technologist, and Shane Glynn, legal counsel, to help the company navigate the choppy waters of cryptocurrency regulation. Glynn has served since 2010 as senior product counsel at Google, though it’s not clear if he is leaving his longtime role for the new project.

In the MobileCoin whitepaper, published in December, the project’s creators describe its mission:

…Most attempts at building a compelling crypto-currency user experience unfortunately resort to trusting a third party service to manage keys and validate transactions. This largely sacrifices the primary benefits offered by crypto-currency to begin with.

MobileCoin is an effort to develop a fast, private, and easy-to-use cryptocurrency that can be deployed in resource constrained environments to users who aren’t equipped to reliably maintain secret keys over a long period of time, all without giving up control of funds to a payment processing service.

MobileCoin transactions will synchronize to the coin’s network using the Stellar Consensus Protocol for scalability and speed. The end product will emphasize user privacy and integration into mobile messaging apps, including WhatsApp and Signal — two apps that use Marlinspike’s end-to-end encrypted Signal Protocol.

“MobileCoin is designed so that a mobile messaging application like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Signal could integrate with a MobileCoin wallet,” the team described in its whitepaper.

Marlinspike is a rare sort of reverse tech celebrity, a figure who eschews both spotlight and Silicon Valley-style excess and has instead cultivated quiet respect in digital privacy and cryptography circles. That makes him an odd fit for the fraud-laden universe of empty multi-million-dollar ICOs with no product to speak of, but it also means that MobileCoin is probably worth paying attention to. At the very least, the prominent cryptographer’s new project should amuse anyone who’s complained about the digital currency world’s habit of using the term “crypto” as shorthand for “cryptocurrency.”

MobileCoin has funding and talent, but it’s still very early days for the nascent cryptocurrency. As an incubator, Binance Labs concentrates on pre-ICO projects and MobileCoin will use the funding to “build out [its] team and processes” as it develops its product.

“A mobile-first, user-friendly cryptocurrency, like MobileCoin, plays a critical role in driving mainstream cryptocurrency adoption,” Binance Labs said of the funding. “The MobileCoin team and Binance Labs share a common vision and we are proud to be a supporter of what they are doing.”

Along with the news, MobileCoin announced that it is recruiting a “core team” of engineers:

“Specifically, we are looking for those who have worked on large systems (greater than 10,000,000 daily active users) in a senior role who enjoy working on low-level code. Direct memory access is a critical part of our problem set.”

Given the legitimacy of Marlinspike’s best-known project and his reticence to attach his name to things, it’s not unreasonable to give MobileCoin the benefit of the doubt, even if aspects of its raison d’être remain unarticulated. Beyond the core question of why a new cryptocurrency needs to exist at all, MobileCoin will need to position itself as a compelling alternative to existing mainstream mobile payment services like Venmo and PayPal for normal users.

MobileCoin will also face the full slate of regulatory challenges, including fraud prevention, that plague other digital currency projects, though given its stealthy behavior and the fact that one-third of the three-member team listed on its website represents legal counsel, its founders are don’t appear to be charging in recklessly.

“This is a journey and we are excited to build a simple system for trusted payments,” Goldbard wrote in the announcement.

In the digital currency realm, too much style — think celeb-endorsed ICOs and endless press release hype cycles — can signal a lack of substance. The reverse can be true too, and in MobileCoin’s case, a modest mission could be a strong signal for a compelling product a bit further down the blockchain.



This seems pretty cool, but I'm not sure what the difference would be between using a cryptographic currency tied to your Signal account on your phone, and just having a Litecoin/Monero/Peercoin/Faircoin/whatevercoin wallet app on your phone.

I thought this had been thrashed out before, that currencies no matter if they are digital or carved out of pearl shell are still the same, what's important is the values which are attributed to them, and whether they can be monopolized and controlled by an authority, thus becoming a capitalist tool.

" whether they can be monopolized and controlled by an authority, thus becoming a capitalist tool."

do you honestly believe that a currency being traded on financial markets are not a capitalist tool - regardless of whether they are "controlled by an authority"?

In and around Uganda, some proles have already developed an app that turns cell phone charge credits into a p2p currency, to be exchanged from phone to phone, either through the network or by bluetooth/IR. It went immensely popular in Africa.

can anyone tell me how this article is not pure capitalist crap? does technology somehow remove the capitalist essence of currency markets?

(maybe the collective will not DELETE this comment, as they did a previous one asking why a capitalist technology article is posted on an anarchist site)

the article's up cuz it's a about moxie. i'm not disputing your assertion but he has done shit that makes it extremely practical to have secure comms.

i was just thinking the other day that i've known two dready anarchists tech dudes who are really really good at what they do - moxie marlinspike and jeremy hammond. man they both ended up in the news but for really really different reasons.

A couple answers:
1. The primary developer, Moxie, is a long-time anarchist, which certainly plays into his motivations and interests in the projects he works on.

2. The project, broadly, seeks to reintroduce the anonymity of cash into the increasingly surveilled and all-encompassing digitization of finance, except now you can exchange it globally and it looks like the long-term idea is for it to be integrated right into Signal, using Signal's already incredibly strong privacy protections. So you can raise money without surveillance for your anarchist militia group or pay for your next shipment of 50 kilos of cocaine (depending on your interests). I would say that the project this article is about doesn't challenge capital as much as it does the state's role in it. So is it anarcho-capitalist? We know for sure that Moxie is nothing of the sort so that's not where the motivation is coming from. I think the motivation is much more on the side of fighting state surveillance from another position and continue the project which Signal started: making the internet go dark and blinding the state's all-seeing eye as much as possible. That's not an inherently revolutionary project, but one that creates favorable conditions for anarchists to operate in.

Furthermore on the last point, anyone who's tried to get any kind of funding over time for an anarchist project knows all the challenges involved which make us vulnerable. You need a bank account, an account with a credit card processing company (or "donation" company), taxes, etc. We've seen in the past year how there is a constant cyberwar between anarchists and neo-nazis where the companies involved in the above services are easily horrified by both groups, so it wasn't too hard for It's Going Down to have their patreon account taken away, for example. And even if you have a "stable" way of receiving funds, somebody has to be responsible with their name, address, tax ID. And that person can experience challenges associated with that obviously. So anarchist would benefit greatly from an easy to use anonymous payment system that couldn't be shut down by anyone. This would also help some of our enemies, but so does encryption so what can you do?

Terrorist groups and networks have been able to exchange vast sums of funds through a very secure exchange system called "Hawala" for decades, an exchange system that dates back to the 8th century A.D at least. Some claim it was developed by the Templars but due to the connection to Silk Road trade and the poor trade culture in Medieval Europe back then (outside of the Venetian republic of course), it's more likely the Muslims invented it.

The Swiss-based Al-Taqwa bank was frozen and put under investation for nealy 10 years by the U.S. government in order to find evidence of the financial networks behind Al Qaida. Surprisingly, dunno if there's a connection, but the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war happened folowing the unfreezing of this bank by the Obama admin. This bank was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a record of supporting many kinds of Islamist groups and organizations, but the United Stakes were never able to find a proper financial trace connecting the MB to terrorist groups, and with their weathy contributors, as Al-Taqwa was acting as a kind proxy hub between several Saudi, Egyptian and Qatari banks, and all it held was about 5 millions USD if I'm correct (prolly just a symbolic reserve to legally justify its existence).

Why is this relevant? There's already plenty of nonprofits and associations that anarchists could be using as proxies for tranferring money through two or more degrees of separation. Because basically where it takes near-absolutely a degree in IT to fully comprehend and more importantly test the security strenght and subroutines of encryption systems -where really the only way to make sure you're safe is by being a hacker yourself- analog systems of secure exchage allows for direct need for reliability on behalf of the finantial proxies involved, as there can be direct repercussions if they do not honor their duties and protection of their clients. Ergo, if you go through two proxies to transfer money and a transaction's busted, this means that somewhere down the chain there was a spy or a traitor. Those proxy banks will be forced to shut down, or their managers get beheaded, or some other James Bond flick action; so the managers would be under extreme pressure to be reliable towards their clients.

Of course this pattern would prolly just work in the case of dangerous organizations, instead of fancy ass academics and activists with disdain for violence. So maybe the digital solution is again the one demanding the less IRL traction and organizing, but on the other hand, there's always that insecure part where a code can be exploited due to its technical complexity, and since Signal is related to a valid phone number with telecom providers, there's still this slight chance of traceabiity, no? Not giving away your real name, and/or adress, and/or phone number was the golden rule of any internet use before the dumb social media age... How does it fly through Signal and MobileCoin?

Call me a paranoid idiot (I know a few of you will gladly jump in! Jes have it your way lol), but I still ain't totally sure that my comms through Signal aren't 100% UNtraceable. It is end--to-end encryption, and in this case it avoids CA authorities, which is an awesome feat. Yet still, my Signal key is associated to a phone number that is traceable. It's not like an email address I've set up behind seven proxies at a café. Can I be worried by only this single detail, please please please?

You are right that Signal is not the best set-up for anonymity. They have been dragging their feet on a feature for years now that would allow registration with an e-mail address instead of just a phone number, which would make it easier to be more anonymous. This is relevant because when you send a Signal message (or call), the content is encrypted, but the metadata (who's messaging who) is not. The only way to see this metadata without access to any of the phones involved is to compromise the Signal server and monitor in real-time the messages as they are passing through. Then, at least while you have access to the server, you could log who's messaging who, but not what they're saying. This access probably wouldn't last though and you'd be detected so it would be a likely short-lived snooping session if you could even get in in the first place. Outside of the example I'm describing, no one can see anything about your Signal traffic. All your telecom company can see is that you're making occasional connections to the Signal server and nothing else beyond that.

I agree with your general sentiment (Signal protects confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity, not anonymity) but disagree with some of the details.

>The only way to see this metadata without access to any of the phones involved is to compromise the Signal server and monitor in real-time the messages as they are passing through.
>All your telecom company can see is that you're making occasional connections to the Signal server and nothing else beyond that.

This is not quite true. (Technical details will go in parens, readers don't need to understand them to get the important parts.) The literal destination fields are protected, yes (IIRC, via Trevor Perin's "Noise" scheme, rather than TLS as you would typically expect), but basically all other metadata is not. In particular, size and timing information has almost no protection (I haven't read this part of the code, but my understanding of the spec is that messages aren't padded beyond the 128 bit AES block size, I'm guessing to save overhead. That's enough for a bit of entropy on very small messages, but not very useful for anything beyond, say, 32 characters, and practically useless for anything other than text. Messages are supposed to be close to instant, so timing just has normal TCP latencies, which are negligible). This means in practice, if someone were able to sit on Signal's ISP, or AWS, they could figure out with just a little bit of work who is talking to who (or rather, if person A is talking to person B when both of their local servers use routing paths with a compromise somewhere on them). Similarly, if someone were listening on your cell phone's cell tower, and the person you're talking to's cell phone tower, they could figure out the two of you were talking pretty easily. Though again, not what you were saying.

Thankfully, we know that Signal has been subpoenaed in the past for user metadata in an FBI investigation, to which they basically replied "we have practically none" --- they publicly released what they provided to the FBI. So this would imply law enforcement isn't actually doing these attacks, at least not in a dragnet fashion. But that said...

>This access probably wouldn't last though and you'd be detected so it would be a likely short-lived snooping session if you could even get in in the first place.

The nasty thing is that you actually *can't* really detect these attacks, at least not easily. For one, the metadata attacks can happen almost anywhere between your cellphone and Signal's servers, using only passive listening. And two, even in the case of the attack you were talking about, Signal doesn't run their own physical servers (for at least part of the message-delivery infrastructure. We know this because every time there's an AWS outage, there is also a Signal outage in that region.) So Amazon, or anyone with leverage over Amazon, could presumably also access this raw metadata information (by just reading the memory of the guest from the hypervisor), and there would be no way for us or the people at Signal to know. We would have to rely on social factors, so someone whistleblowing this information like they did with the AT&T tap, or documents from a FOIA or court record. Unfortunately, with the advent of "parallel construction" as an acceptable technique in law enforcement, where law enforcement says they got information one way, but in reality are just lying about the real source with legal protection to keep their secrets, we can't even really rely on the latter.

Also, mostly unrelated side note: it might be worth mentioning that Signal conversations are NOT deniable any more. It used to be that transcripts could be forged, the way emails or SMS text messages can, so you could say "I never sent that, they're lying." But they changed the protocol in a way that makes that impossible now. Honestly it doesn't matter much, since courts and basically all normal people treat emails and text messages as unforgable anyway, so the only difference now is that there's mathematical proof of you saying those things, not just overwhelming social proof. Just a side note in case anyone cares.

So basically, use Signal if you want your conversations to be private and secure, but not anonymous or metadata-resistant. If you need your conversations to be anonymous or protect metadata too, you pretty much need to talk to someone who does this professionally, since while there are *technically* solutions, they're unfortunately horrible and require working out details that hobbyists will invariably fuck up. This barrier to entry of course also limits how anonymous they are. :(

Actually, I take back what I said about size information. Clearly there is some size information being leaked, but 128 bits is way too small, they must just not be documenting their padding anywhere. The timing information leak is definitely true though.

I disagree that we know they don't use physical servers. Firstly, Amazon provides dedicated servers so using Amazon doesn't mean you're not using a dedicated server. And Signal does not go down every time there's an AWS outage. In fact, I can't recall a single AWS outage where the whole service was down but they have during some Amazon S3 outages experienced issues with attachments working properly, which does sorta prove they are using Amazon S3 for attachments at least but they may still be using dedicated servers for everything else. I share your concerns about this and very much hope they are using only dedicated servers. Given that they have a lot of funding now and I would expect them to be aware of the spying concerns within the cloud, I would say there's a pretty good chance they are using dedicated servers mostly but we don't know at this point.

Jihadist networks still safely exchanging vast sums of money completely under the radar from the biggest intel agencies of the world, as anarcho-techies in NA are still arguing the intricacies surrounding the actual confidentiality (or lack thereof) of a messaging app they've been already using.

There have been several comments like this at this point so I'd like to comment on this sentiment specifically. The anarchist movement (on the whole) is not operating in a purely underground network with criminal underworld connections. Much of what anarchists do "legally" ends up being surveilled and used later as evidence of guilt in criminal acts. Technically, on paper, there is nothing illegal about raising unlimited sums of money for literally any person or organization that is not on the list of designated terrorist organizations. But we all know there's real heat that comes from the state, tax obligations, and heat from the right-wing (as we've seen with IGD and Submedia). It is unquestionably useful if there's an easy way for people to contribute to those projects without every step being surveilled and subject to removal by some tech shithead company. We are controversial, but not so controversial that we've been driven completely underground and have to hand off money in manila envelopes behind a pool hall. The pool hall exchange certainly works for many purposes, including anarchist ones, but can you honestly tell me how all your jihadis, hawala exchanges, and pool hall antics are supposed to relate to the very real examples I'm talking about? How can IGD, Submedia, Antifa groups, etc. fundraise online using the types of methods you're glorifying? It doesn't have to be online just because of laziness or capitulation to modern technological progress but because these projects want to cast a wide net and pull in money from as many global sympathizers as possible. Furthermore, people are already doing plenty of unsafe things with money that will get them in trouble later including in your example underground groups. People are using Venmo to sell drugs. Why? Because it's easy, not because it's smart or safe.

There was always black money. It's not about enabling black money to exist. It's about making all money black money to counter the modern networks of surveillance built up around digital finance. It's the same thing with encrypted communication. It was always possible to easily speak to someone safely. This still is the best option if you're able to see someone in person. But you're not always with someone in person, which is why the governments of the world since at least the 1980's have been using encrypted phone calls using specialized phone systems that cost thousands of dollars. Then that technology was adapted by the creator of PGP to be used on the computer with VOIP technology. Then, everyone had a smartphone and brought the internet with them everywhere, so Signal introduced that same technology, improved, to smartphones and for the first time it became not only possible to have at least the same digital phone security as two heads of state talking, but actually better because it could be done from any phone anywhere with no cost to the user. I dunno about you, but I think that's one of the best technological evolution stories I've heard and the more that similar trend could be applied to other spheres of our increasingly digital lives, the better. The internet was an experiment created by the military and today is overall the biggest help to state surveillance efforts. But there is also a threat to that, which is that everything and everyone the state might want to surveill might increasingly give off little data to be monitored and the state's most hated actors may have unwittingly been given the most advanced privacy protection technologies that have ever existed. And if you think the coming quantum computer will render all this useless, you're wrong, as post-quantum algorithms are being worked on as we speak and will be ready and implemented into all these tools in the next few years.

For a dark internet and a world blackened by our banner!

this is a cool comment. no sarcasm. more of this.

cause everyone likes moxie.

It's a very U.S.-centric thing. Here we got canada dry anarchos, and yeah they're dry.

I didnt know only US anarchsits were allowed to know who he was. Hes like the anarchist steve jobs.

It's not US anarchists, it's anarchists who are into tech or were around when was still the shit. He's known of by almost everyone in my field (computer security/privacy research), anarchist or no; he even won an award at a mostly academic conference about a year ago (Real World Crypto). Honestly, his relevance to anarchy these days is pretty much nil. Some of his older essays are maybe still worth reading, e.g. his critique of democracy, but at this point he's disappeared completely up his own asshole with projects like this. He gets hired as a consultant for the world's biggest messaging clients, and makes a secure messaging app with ~5% of the installs Firefox Mobile has (the 7th most popular mobile browser, just behind hits like Opera, and Android Browser, boy howdy!), and suddenly he thinks he knows what he's talking about when it comes to community development and the future of technology --- what everyone else in any community is telling him be damned (e.g., oh, certain marginalized groups can't just hand out their phone numbers to people they meet? well FUCK YOU LOL Signal still uses phone numbers for everything). Once he gets hit by a bus or eaten by a shark or something, all of his projects will either turn into independent, self-sufficient communities they should have been since the beginning, or they will collapse in on themselves and are forgotten within a year. Either way, he's not helping, and this bs is just the latest example of that.

He's the anarchist Steve Jobs. lol

someone got it.

no one seems to have mentioned how moxie and signal are funded almost entirely thru US government channels. this probably is too. very anarchistic.

Government money goes all over the place. The same fund you're talking about which received government funding also funded Tor and pretty much ever privacy project you've ever heard of. Doesn't mean anything though. If the money's there, people should take it, no different than taking welfare or a tax refund. Doesn't mean they control what you do with it.

Assuming you're the poster I replied to about metadata, I'm going to have to slightly disagree again... X)

Again, I agree with the main point you're making: government money doesn't mean free and open source software is broken or insecure. But it's not true that it's irrelevant. The Tor Project itself acknowledges that it's a problem. Why? One word: Incentives. I'll talk about the Tor Project, since I know its politics and funding better than Signal's, but the same principles apply.

Until last year (or maybe the year before? fucking time yo), essentially all of the money for the Tor Project came from the US government from three sources: The Naval Research Lab (NRL), the Open Technology Fund (OTF), or general Department of Defense funding (DoD).

I won't bother explaining what the DoD is, it's the military, everyone gets it.

The NRL is also part of the military, and is basically the research lab that invented Tor. You can think of it being similar to an academic institution, only without any students or professors etc., just employees who do research for the military. Why does the NRL bother funding Tor? Because its primary purpose (for them) is to allow covert assets in foreign nations to communicate to their handlers without blowing their cover. I.e., it was built for spies. Obviously this isn't who the members of the Tor Project itself, like Roger Dingledine, want Tor to be used by, but that was the original way they got funding for researching it.

The OTF is a huge funder of Tor, and is also one of, if not the, major funder of Signal. They fund a lot of projects in this space, you can check their website for which projects and what amounts. What a lot of people don't realize, however, is that the OTF is not an independent non-profit or anything like that, it's a branch of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The BBG is a nominally independent agency of the US government, but everyone knows it's a CIA front org. I realize that sounds like a conspiracy theory, but no, that's literally what it was founded as. The BBG was a tool created during the Cold War by US congress to spread western propaganda in Soviet Bloc countries with the hopes of fostering uprisings in countries who don't align with US interests. The Cold War is over now, so what do they do today? Their most visible activities are in places like China, Iran and Syria, where they help groups in opposition to the respective regimes. So the reason the OTF funds tools like Tor and Signal is, at the end of the day, to help US foreign policy.

Now, to emphasize again, none of this implies in any way that there's a "backdoor" or security vulnerabilities in any of these tools. That's not how that works, and people who say otherwise need to put up or shut up. But it does mean that certain users are given less attention in the development process. For example, now that Tor did a huge push for independent funding from donation drives, they've been able to hire some people to look at the user interface and layout of Tor Browser. The responses so far have been along the lines of "holy shit have none of you ever read a book on design, how can anyone use this". And the reason for that is there is no government funding for user interfaces in Tor. Because the OTF doesn't care about protecting people with abusive spouses, or anarchists posting communiques, they care about dissident groups overseas who can receive training from CIA assets. Similarly, none of these groups will demand that Signal stop using telephone numbers as identifiers, because none of the uses they care about need to keep their phone numbers hidden. So we anarchists, who often DO have threats which involve keeping our phone numbers secret and don't usually receive formal training, are just stuck with whatever leftovers we get.

And just to emphasize for the people skimming: Use Signal! Use Tor! These tools are important and they do help! The point here is that they were not really built with us in mind at the end of the day.

Oh, and for an analysis on a similar problem, someone posted in the forums an article on Noam Chomsky's position in academia, and his funding sources:

I agree these are legitimate concerns which is why it's good that Signal and Tor have been weened off the government tit a bit with all this extra funding. I don't know much about the people behind Tor but just because they didn't make the project to help drug traffickers and child porn sites, they absolutely have. And that's not a jab, I understand there's a light and dark side to everything privacy related. So they also have made it safer for anarchist to post communiques, regardless of whether that was the users they had in mind. So yeah I can see what you're saying about design where maybe design isn't so important if American-supported dissidents in other countries are given computers with Tor already set up and instructed personally on how to use it. Anyone can use something badly designed with training (training an anarchist likely won't get and I would add shouldn't need, it should be easy!).

I'll comment on Signal, being more knowledgeable about the project and the people involved. I really don't think the kinds of considerations you're talking about are in the minds of Moxie or other devs that have worked on Signal (optimizing for the CIA's use rather than us or your average joe). I don't think the reason they haven't yet made an alternative registration method other than phone numbers is because their "target market" is American-supported dissidents and they don't care. I very much believe they conceive of the primary enemy of their market being the US government, but also governments around the world. Now they might have some rhetoric about hiding from your job or your abusive ex or some snoopy peeping tom at the telecom company, but we know those cases are not what the majority of features of Signal are built for. They are built to withstand a very heavyweight adversary (governments). I honestly think the biggest reason certain features get developed slower than ideal is because they have maybe two overworked developers. Take a look at the number of open issues on GitHub and it's incredibly overwhelming to try to make sense of it all and prioritize an order of working on things. Hopefully that will change with the additional funding. But regardless of whether you disagree with the order of operations over there, Signal is built by people committed for many years to anarchism. Maybe not your particular kind of anarchism and maybe you don't like some of their life choices, personalities, or whatever but they are absolutely undeniably anarchist which is more than I can say for Tor. So if a comrade is taking money that indirectly came from the state to build something, I take it as opportunism rather than a queue to provide a direct service to the state (which may or may not overlap with our interests).

I think you're probably a great comrade and friend to the movement, but I've had a lot of exchanges like this with tech-oriented anarchists where they don't necessarily bring up bad points but I think the venue is kind of wrong. I don't like the cynicism that anarchist techies display toward Signal in the anarchist space. This could be about their registration method, their lack of federation, their government-sourced funding, the kinks in the armor of their open source purity, them extorting money out of "Wire" to use the word "Signal" (Who wouldn't? I would and who cares?). All of these critiques have varying degrees of relevance and are important to pose to the Signal project directly or within the tech culture that collectively puts pressure about these sorts of things, but when you talk about these things with this air of suspicion of motives and suspicion of safety in the general anarchist space (that is not experts in tech) all people get out of it is essentially fear-mongering. Every person I've had a discussion like this with in the anarchist space I've always countered with "But you acknowledge Signal (or Tor) is the best option available to people?" to which they always respond "....yes" begrudgingly. This isn't the best parallel because I think there is serious legitimate critique of the strategies that went into Riseup's fall from grace a year ago, but when that happened I saw so much damn fear mongering from tech oriented anarchists that all my non-tech oriented anarchist friends abandoned the service in droves and largely fell back on...wait for it...Gmail! Because that's what people do when you make them insecure about a unique technology purportedly from comrades, they fall back on completely insecure technology that already mainstream and familiar. And the same bullshit can happen with Signal where if people have enough insecurity around it put into their minds they will fall back on WhatsApp or other apps that are clearly worse. So it's important to keep these things in perspective and not get into all the overly technical details of things you think Signal could improve upon to people that won't necessarily understand what you're talking about and just take from it "I talked to X who's very knowledgeable about tech and they said Signal isn't good for a reason I didn't fully understand so maybe we should stop using it".

Sorry for this being a long rant but my main point is, if you think certain tools are still the best thing available and are mostly positive rather than negative, try to focus on getting comrades to use them rather than inserting fears they don't have necessarily the time or knowledge to deeply assess. And we tried the 15-year strategy of trying to get everyone to use GPG. Didn't work. I was on board, had my key in the key server, and I seriously used it with like one or two people because nobody could figure that shit out.

Now there's a happy Ancap if ever I've seen one!

Blue Anarchy! Not much else to add, really. It was a documentary about finding a cheap sailboat from the 50s & fixing it to travel the Bahamas. Starring Moxie. Watch it if you want.

Can he start buying houses for all us @s so we can spend more time doing the things we do? That's what I'd do if I got rich.

yep, must be a hardcore @, losing 3 boats. poor guy...

I would like to see a blue elective position relative to anarchy that is an acivilized alternative to green anarchism.

did you ever meet him? he's basically the worst. when i met him ~10 yrs ago he was a 'manarchist' white dude with dreads.

Hey... Stop looking in my direction, please, and be civilized. Furthermore yu got a lotta readings to do this summer to raise your standings to 3.5/4.3. Get to work, son.

This really seems like an advertisement for a brand spanking new internet bucks

anonymous digital capitalism is still fucking capitalism! i do not care to expand the world of capital just so some anarcho-speculators can get rich.

fuck crypto currency every bit as much as fiat cash currency!!!!! i'd rather be able to spend what little money i get my hands on in a face-to-face transaction, than to be forced to use social fucking media to order shit online. god i hate this fucking world!

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