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Messenger app that prioritises privacy Signal has published early consumer reviews from its payments integration of Mobilecoin’s MOB token, which was beta-launched in the United Kingdom.
According to a blog post by Signal’s head of development and collaboration Jun Harada, the top four customer reservations about the recent cryptocurrency integration so far, with many users complaining about the whole definition itself because “cryptocurrency is the worst.” He told them that it was an optional feature.
Signal revealed on April 6 that it intends to apply its privacy security capabilities to payments in an effort to emulate the popularity of Paypal-owned Venmo — a successful peer-to-peer payment service in the United States.
The most common MOB-related consumer concern was that the “fees are too high,” with MobileCoin transaction fees reportedly hovering about 50p or $0.60. Haranda admitted that the cost was “kind of a lot to pay your friend for a slice of pizza,” but added that Signal was trying to reduce transaction fees.
Another issue raised was the challenge of bringing funds in and out. Currently, UK-based users must wire money to exchanges that sponsor MobileCoin, which incurs additional funding, deposit, and withdrawal costs on top of Signlal’s fees.
Finally, the company stated that the market uncertainty of MOB was a major problem for consumers. The token is actually unknown in the cryptocurrency sector. MOB went live in December 2020, with 250 million coins minted at the time of genesis, and it primarily trades on FTX, with a daily turnover of about $20 million. On CoinGecko, the token has a price but no market cap.
According to Haranda, the firm found alternatives such as Zcash or Lightning. In the case of Zcash, although it was extremely private, it was not fast or mobile-friendly enough. Meanwhile, Lightning lacks “very strong privacy guarantees.” He did, however, add:
These projects are all constantly improving, and we hope are focused on getting closer to being integratable by an app like Signal so that it would be possible in the future.
Signal’s integration with MOB does not seem to have went as well as planned, with some members of the group naming the token as “shitcoin” and challenging Signal’s affiliation to Mobilecoin with Signal Founder Moxie Marlinspike, after he allegedly served as MobileCoin’s Chief Technology Officer on an early draught of MobileCoin’s white paper.
On April 8, MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard told the group in a Reddit post that Marlinspike just worked as a “technical advisor” and was never an executive on the project.
Translation, Signal isn’t integrating just any random shitcoin, it is integrating Moxie Marlinspike’s random shitcoin. Gee, what a coinkidink. I wonder how much he’s unloaded on suckers already as a result of this pump & dump? https://t.co/bbEpzidw68
— Nicholas Weaver (@ncweaver) April 7, 2021
Others have called attention to a suspicious spike in the coin’s worth. According to CoinGecko, the price increased from $7 on March 28 to about $65 on April 6, before Signal announced its merger with MobileCoin. MOB reached an all-time high of $69 on April 7, before plummeting to $40 the next day. MOB is now trading at $53.