Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology is a cause of many amazing technological breakthroughs, most of which we have yet to discover. But while the search for the “next big thing” is underway, several companies have tried their hand at combining Bitcoin and social messaging. However, most of these platforms are built on top of pre-existing platforms. BitMessage is one of the very few exceptions to that rule.
Bitcoin & Existing Social Messaging Platforms
In recent months, several social messaging applications have arisen in the world of Bitcoin and digital currency. Two of those platforms are GetGems Messenger and SendChat, both of which tried a slightly similar approach, even though the end results are vastly different.
Both social messaging applications used the Telegram source code in order to further develop their own code. In doing so, both GetGems Messenger and SendChat developers would ensure their app is compatible with existing Telegram users, and theoretically bring Bitcoin and digital currency to over 50 million users worldwide.
However, these great ideas have a way of turning out different from how they were originally envisioned, and for both GetGems Messenger and SendChat, that story is no different. SendChat has tried two different crowdfunding campaigns in order to get enough funds for future development, but people hardly showed any interest in backing the project.
That string of bad luck came to an abrupt halt when BlockTrail – a Bitcoin API provider – announced the acquisition of SendChat a few weeks ago. Furthermore, SendChat Founder Alejandro De La Torre became a full-time member of BlockTrail, putting his entrepreneurial and social skills to good use.
GetGems Messenger, on the other hand, completed a rather successful round of crowdfunding, raising over 1,500 BTC in total. All of this funds came from their platforms’ token sale, which would be the secondary currency supported by GetGems Messenger [next to Bitcoin].
But even a positive outcome of a crowdfunding campaign is not a guarantee of success, unfortunately. To this very date, GetGems Messenger has been installed less than 5,000 times, which is quite a disappointment considering it uses the pre-existing Telegram source code as well. And the associated token – called GEMZ – has been on a steady decline in value ever since the crowd sale tokens have been distributed, with no noteworthy trading volume to speak of.
BitMessage – A New Breed of Bitcoin-related Social Messaging
BitMessage is a social messaging client that does things slightly different. Rather than relying on an existing centralized platform such as Telegram, BitMessage is a true peer-to-peer communication protocol used to send encrypted messages. In a nutshell, BitMessage is fully embracing the decentralized peer-to-peer aspect that has made Bitcoin such an attractive digital currency for many believers and enthusiasts.
The blockchain technology is aimed at making everything decentralized and fully trustless, rather than relying on some form of authority or middlemen. BitMessage uses strong authentication, prevent the spoofing of a sender, plus the platform aims to hide “non-content” data. This data includes but is not limited to, the sender and recipient of each message. More details can be found in the project’s whitepaper.
What makes BitMessage so interesting is that it is not just a mobile social messaging application, but it works quite well on Windows, OS X, and Linux as well. However, this platform is still under public beta for the time being, and improvements are made on a regular basis. According to the BitMessage wiki, an independent audit to verify the platform’s security is really needed, even though no major bugs or weaknesses are present in the software right now.
BitSeal – BitMessage for Android
Officially speaking, there is no BitMessage client available for mobile operating systems just yet. However, an Android client – called BitSeal – has surfaced in September of last year, and is being constantly updated . Similar to BitMessage, BitSeal is still under beta, and most features are working at this time.
The developer is working on bringing additional features to BitSeal in the near future though. Reworking the entire User Interface is one of the many things on the to-do list, even though the current UI is not that difficult to navigate. Another major improvement on the to-do list is local database encryption, by using SQLCipher.
What are your thoughts on projects such as BitMessage? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of BitSeal and Shutterstock