The latest beta version of the privacy-oriented instant messaging platform Signal has introduced a new cryptocurrency payment feature, called Signal Payments, allowing its users to send and receive MobileCoin tokens directly from the Signal app.
Initially, the cryptocurrency payment feature will be available only to Signal users living in the United Kingdom, but support for more regions is planned for the future.
“Signal Payments makes it easy to link a MobileCoin wallet to Signal so you can start sending funds to friends and family, receive funds from them, keep track of your balance, and review your transaction history with a simple interface,” explains Signal in the official announcement. “As always, our goal is to keep your data in your hands rather than ours; MobileCoin’s design means Signal does not have access to your balance, full transaction history, or funds.”
Following the launch of the beta integration of MobileCoin, the value of a single MOB token jumped from $7 to over $60.
It’s no coincidence that MobileCoin was picked as the first cryptocurrency supported by the messaging app. The platform’s founder, Moxie Marlinspike, is listed as MobileCoin’s technical adviser, and some keen observers have pointed out that his involvement could be much deeper than both he and MobileCoin admit.
According to an early version of the MobileCoin whitepaper, Marlinspike was the project’s original CTO. If this information is true, then the decision to integrate MobileCoin should raise some serious questions among users, questions some members of the crypto community have already voiced their opinions.
“Signal sold out their user base by creating and marketing a cryptocurrency based solely on their ability to sell the future tokens to a captive audience,” said Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo, who also used to be a contributor.
MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard disputed the authenticity of the whitepaper, claiming that it wasn’t written by anyone at MobileCoin even though the project’s current whitepaper is almost identical to it. Marlinspike refused to say anything about his professional relationship with MobileCoin.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.