BLIP, a new encrypted chat platform based on Bitcoin, was announced at the adopting Bitcoin conference.
The new app, which has yet to be released to the public, also uses Hexum, a proprietary multi-layer encryption method created by the team behind BLIP that promises more secure communications than popular end-to-end (E2E) encrypted apps.
“WhatsApp and Signal use a static private key. The Hexum encryption method gives you a private key for each message or interaction. So it’s very difficult to hack,” Alejandro Muyshundt, El Salvador’s national security adviser and co-founder of BLIP founder High Voltage, told Bitcoin Magazine.
Hexum’s multi-layered encryption approach uses base64, AES, SHA256, and the addition of randomly generated words.
Muyshondt explained two other key differences between BLIP and the now-popular E2E apps setup: everything goes through Lightning, and no phone number is required.
A new user can start using BLIP with an email address and password. At the end of BLIP, Lightning nodes are used and each new user gets an address along with a hash file that serves as a backup file of the account.
“So that [text] With Hexum encryption, it goes from your phone to the Lightning network, then to the Hexum decryption method, and then to your phone,” Muyshundt elaborated.
The first phase of BLIP is text-only in this peer-to-peer fashion. The second phase includes video calls and voice messages, for which the connection handshake takes place in Lightning, and the rest goes through the Tor network using BitTorrent technology.
The BLIP creators explained that the idea behind the project is not only to provide anti-fragility tools for sustainable communication, but also to act as a driving force in bitcoin adoption.
“We talk about bitcoin adoption and most people talk about price, whether it’s a store of value or a medium of exchange, but there’s not enough discussion about the power of the network itself,” High Voltage co-founder Rick Fisher told Bitcoin Magazine. “We may have two, three or four percent of the world adopting bitcoin, but there’s a much larger majority right now that can wrap their hands around protecting their speech and the privacy of their speech.”
The need for free speech will drive the need for Bitcoin, he said. “Since the user needs to power the app with sats, there is a natural need to take this step to buy a few dollars worth of bitcoins. And for 50 cents or a dollar, you can power BLIP and get absolutely encrypted communications.”
To cover these use cases, the team behind BLIP also announced other apps at the conference, including BLIP Freedom and the Lightning wallet — all of which use Hexum.
BLIP Freedom is a bot-driven program that allows you to create actions with large-scale dissemination of information. By focusing on freedom of assembly, it protects the privacy of like-minded individuals who want to freely communicate in the digital world.
“There’s a huge chasm there to get from where we are today to a bitcoin standard where we can gather, gather, create movements, create a revolution, and that’s going to happen through communication protocols,” Fisher said.
In BLIP Freedom, the sole responsibility of the organization is to launch and open the channel for people to join and crowdfund. A user can be removed from the channel only by a majority vote of channel users (75%), this process is controlled by a bot.
“Assembly begins in the digital domain,” Fisher said. “If you want to start a movement, create a revolution, it will start from the phone. If the masters don’t like it, they just shut it down. They did it in Canada, they did it in Iran.”
“So really, if you can’t organize at a level one level and you can be deplatformed and shut down, it makes it really hard to rally and create a movement,” he said. “BLIP Freedom is really an action-oriented program where people can fund it, you can get donations, and we can create a messaging platform where we can spread massive amounts of information to people without being tied to every possible or potential action. .”
Hexsum and BLIP actually stem from the development of 2Wallet, a storage bitcoin and Lightning wallet aimed at banking the unbanked in the developing world. Fisher told Bitcoin Magazine that the idea came about after meeting Muyshundt at Bitcoin Adoption 2021, which is closely monitoring El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.
“We talked about the challenges ahead for El Salvador and the adoption of bitcoin, and at the time Chivo had just launched,” Fisher said, referring to the state-owned Chivo Wallet. “There wasn’t a lot of information, but we knew that adoption would be difficult because Chivo was released without lightning. And so these would be quite difficult for a merchant to adopt. The wallet itself was quite a load.”
The two partners then had the idea to create a small-load wallet that was simple, fast and secure, Fisher said.
BLIP and 2Wallet will be available for download in a few weeks, but there is already a waiting list.