Why We’re Making Signal Web3 Native

We love Signal. It is the most trusted end-to-end encrypted messaging platform available, with over 40 million users. We believe that the future of communication is end-to-end encrypted, and the Signal protocol is the clear choice for ensuring that reality. But, as equal enthusiasts of both Signal’s encrypted messaging protocol and Web3, we think there is an opportunity for these two to intersect and create an even better experience than we currently have. For this reason we are investing our time into making Signal Web3 native.

Why make Signal Web3 Native?

1. It will make Signal even more secure than it already is
2. It will add new functionality that Web3 enthusiasts will routinely use and leverage, further increasing Signal’s clear competitive advantages.

What Are We Doing?

Because Signal is open source, we are able to build Web3 features and submit them as pull requests to integrate directly into the Signal platform. We know some of these pull requests will not be accepted by the Signal Foundation (for example, this one), so we will maintain a fork of Signal with Web3 functionality that fully interoperates with the existing Signal ecosystem.

Scope Of Our Development Efforts

1. Web3 Names and Addresses:

We have built and released the ability for users to look up and message one another with their ENS name in Signal. We will continue adding support for leading blockchain name providers, including Avvy, Unstoppable Domains and Bonfida (Solana), so users can look up and message one another knowing only their blockchain-registered web3 name. In addition to web3 name lookups, we will build and support this same functionality for wallet addresses. The ENS lookup service we built was the first pull request submitted to the Signal Foundation, and it was not accepted, prompting us to create and maintain a Web3 fork of Signal.

2. Expand Identifiers Used for Account Verification

Signal currently relies on a user’s phone number to identify their “account” within Signal. Unfortunately, this dependency leaves users vulnerable to SIM swap attacks. We believe this is problematic, and thus we will build the ability to identify a user’s Signal account with a Web3 native identifier, secured by their private keys, rather than a traditional phone number, adding additional security for existing Signal users.

3. Wallet Support

In addition to identifying users with a Web3 address, we will also add native wallet support. This feature greatly expands our ability to build extended user functionality, including wallet messaging and payments all within the same application. We will build integrations with existing APIs so users can do peer to peer payments with popular cryptocurrencies like ZCash.

4. More to come

While we have plans to enhance Signal beyond these feature sets, the scoped work listed above will take the majority of our time for the foreseeable future.

What’s Next?

Our development team will continue building out these features and submitting them as pull requests to the Signal Foundation in order to make Signal Web3 native. It is important to point out that users on our maintained Web3 version of Signal will be able to communicate seamlessly with the 40 million users on the existing Signal platform.

We are committed to ensuring that our maintained version of Web3 Signal is fully open sourced and public. You can stay current with our development efforts by joining our Discord channel or by viewing our public Github repo.

Join our Discord Server here: https://discord.gg/cxFU8NvCYV

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