Who thought this was a good idea?! Signal is adding support for a blockchain-based, "privacy-focused" payment system?! Let's talk about the concerns, here (threading)
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: signal.org/blog/help-us-test…
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(n.b. my outraged question is not an invitation to mansplain cryptocurrency or encryption to me, please and thank)
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First of all, anytime someone tells you transactions on a public blockchain are "privacy-protecting," be very skeptical. If it's in public, there are ways to observe who is sending money to whom, and that could make it possible to triangulate connections.

5:55 PM · Apr 6, 2021

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Secondly, I challenge anyone at @signalapp to make a convincing argument that there's a use case for protection of financial transactions *beyond what banks already do,* *that does not enable money laundering and other kinds of financial fraud.*
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I forget who said that cryptocurrencies are making a speed run through all bad decisions ever made in the financial system. "Privacy protecting" payments stands to crash headlong into the protections against fraud and abuse. Protections we *like*! Right, @OCCRP?
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@signalapp is already being used by hate groups to organize without being surveilled. That's problematic, sure. But what's being protected there is their speech and rights to organize. By adding "anonymous" payments, what is Signal adding?
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Is this an argument that money is also speech, and should be protected as such? Let's be clear that's a libertarian argument. It's also the argument that enables undue corporate influence on politics worldwide. Is that the stance you're taking, @moxie? I'm not down with that.
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This is starting to make me extremely uncomfortable recommending @signalapp to the human rights defenders I work with, who may be fighting undue corporate influence.
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And we need to ask whether @mobilecoin is proof-of-work or proof-of-stake. Proof-of-work cryptocurrencies are the ones that burn tremendous amounts of energy. Is that something environmental defenders want? We need to ask these questions *now* before the hype cycle takes over.
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Again, @signalapp, I challenge you to demonstrate there's a need for your cryptocurrency-based payment solutions, one that outweighs the harms to societies and the planet.
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I did product work on a cryptocurrency. I saw all of one narrow use case for them in the international development sphere: supporting users in unbanked areas if they needed to get funds across borders with low fees. *One* use case. Not one that had anything to do with privacy.
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In case it's not clear, I'm pissed. This is yet another betrayal by "anarchist" tech bros selling us a solution on the strength of being smarter than the rest of us and "getting" crypto. The decision @signalapp made has consequences. We must be clear about what they are.
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and yeah, this thread is likely to blow up some, check out my book about privacy/security/tech empowerment for the rest of us keepcalmlogon.com/ I'm not going to threadsit, I have work to do, please be kind to each other, there's humans on the other end of twitter. peace out
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