Okay the title is a little bit of click bait, but Mob Coin is a thing. This article is a slightly cleaned up version of a post I put out about it on MeWe, Flote and Gab today. Also please do read the authors note at the end of this piece, as it is important to the context.
So Signal has a new privacy coin. The ticker symbol is MOB, yea, yea really, a privacy coin known as “mob coin“. It is like they are showing their ass directly to the regulators. I also wonder though how private is it?
Perfectly Good Reasons to “Roll Your Own Crypto”
Well for one reason if you make your own coin, you have a lot less friction with integration to your platform. Since the guys that code it are the same guys who code your platform or they at least work directly together, it is very utilitarian. Think LBC and LBRY/Odysee. LBRY built their own blockchain and created their own crypto and that is a big part of the reason you set up an account and it just works. You have a wallet, you can send and receive it is all linked to your channel, etc. Many other platforms are complex to set up and require multiple steps in multiple locations. This slows or even kills mass adoption.
The other reason is money printing. So many ways but just pre mining alone can fund a company or a division. This is greed but greed works. In this case it often isn’t even really “greed” the way we think of it. Just honestly if you can drop in millions of funding and pay for work and development with your own currency, why wouldn’t you?
The Other Possibility
The last is more nefarious and my gut is this is the real reason. Say you use the most private coin we have in this case Pirate Chain (ARRR). Honestly I think the NSA could pound on the ARRR blockchain for a year and get the square root of fuck all for their trouble. Yet, all can still be revealed with any ARRR wallet. The Pirate Chain team understood that some times you may want to grant another party visibility into a wallet, say to verify a payment. So they created something called a viewing key. That means you can provide visibility into your wallet if you want with a key. Unlike the private key this just makes it visible it does not give access to the funds or the other side of any transaction.
Now for Pure Speculation
My guess is mob coin has a viewing key (or something like it) as well, but Signal controls it. If so then they can say to the Feds, if you think X address is doing bad shit, get the warrant and bring it to us. This would duck a lot of the claims the dot gov makes about XMR, ARRR or other privacy coins. It is also in my opinion a huge security risk.
Let me explain. With your ARRR wallet your viewing key is yours, it is as secure as your private key. If anyone gets their hands on it, you did something wrong. There is no database sitting where one can get them all. With signal I am sure it would have encryption but there would be (if I am right, remember I can be wrong) dozens or even a hundred employees with conceivable access.
Further the Fed could go after it all at some point, like they did with CoinBase. And with CoinBase we have precedent as to what would likely happen. The judge would likely say asking for everything is, “too broad” but if they were to narrow the warrant as with CoinBase they would likely get a yes from the court. This is something like, x number of transactions exceeding Y value, over Z time, etc.
Even if I am Right it Does Not Make Signal Wrong Here
Signal is a privacy advocate, I am not putting them down here and honestly I hope to be proven wrong in this speculation. The reality though is companies always tend to do what is best for their bottom line, in fact they are in many ways required by law to do so. Signal is not a pure blockchain project. If the government wants to shut down Bitcoin, all I can say is good luck. There is no building with a big B on it to take a goons squad to and kick in the doors. No place to raid, to shut off the power to it, etc.
Sure MOB likey runs on a private block chain, I am almost certain it does. The fact it can be mined by anyone pretty much guarantees it. But Signal itself can be taken down, or sued (just like Ripple and LBRY are dealing with right now) or sanctioned in other ways.
The bigger issue is many of the large exchanges are delisting or just not listing privacy coins and specifically non-optional privacy coins. Meaning say Z-Cash and DASH (in some instances) are fine but not ARRR or XMR.
Now please consider that two things that really makes a new crypto fly are availability and liquidity. Getting on big exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, etc. is key to a lot of this. If Signal can say, “hey look, we are protecting privacy but have a mechanism to comply with legitimate warrants”, they may very well be for some period of time, the only true “privacy coin” on some of the top exchanges.
Further if legal precedent holds and Signal continues to be the advocate it has been, the average person would have very little to be concerned with short of a data breech. Still for me, for now, until I know more, I am not jumping in with “the mob” on this one! I will wait, see and learn more.
Even if it is a Winner, Now is not the Time to Buy
Let me say even if you already know you want to get in on MOB Coin, wait. It is was just released and it is having the initial surge in price all such new coins have, especially with a big name behind them. So before you go parting with 45 bucks a coin or more on this new crypto, give it a bit of time. While you are waiting pull up a half dozen or so alt coins that launched with similar hype, even ones that did well long term. Look at what happens to them when they are released, then what comes soon after that. After doing so if you don’t see why you should wait, I will just say a fool and his crypto are soon parted.
Author’s Note – I am not a crypto expert but I have been investing and watching the space since 2014. Honestly I could have looked at the MOB Whitepaper and likely would not have had to speculate here. Again I hope I am wrong about Signal having a way to reveal transactions but my gut is telling me otherwise here.
So why the speculation? Because speculation is fun, it hones your instincts, right or wrong. I also believe in transparency and going on the record. I make this guess and that is what it is, a guess, simply by looking at the landscape and saying…
“What would I do if I were a company in this space right now and wanted the greatest chance to succeed in the current regulatory environment”.
Finally if/when I am proven wrong on this, I will add and editors not admitting it. Now if you are a Signal Fan boy and none of that is good enough to sooth your currently raging butt hurt, I’m just going to say this site and the podcast that goes with it, likely isn’t for you. LOL
And HERE YOU GO – Jack was wrong, it at least looks that way. See 3.1 and 3.2 of the white paper! https://mixin.one/assets/MobileCoin-Whitepaper-EN_FINAL.pdf – I would say based on that MOB is somewhat more secure than XMR and not quite as secure as ARRR. Translation really damn good! Being wrong this time makes me happy!