MobileCoin, An Open Discussion

TLDR: How easy is it to use the crypto features on Signal, and how stable/secure is it compared to something like LTC or ETH?

Would prefer feedback from those who actively use MobileCoin, or have given it a serious try.

For context, it’s the navigation around KYC and the complexity of conversion rates that prevent me from relying on apps like Monero GUI Wallet, LocalMonero, and CakeWallet.

I started to take my privacy journey seriously back when I was a teenager, but I’m recently learning that I was barely scratching the surface beyond deleting my Facebook Meta account back in middle school and deferring to Big Tech alternatives such as the Apache OpenOffice as an office suite or something like DuckDuckGo as a search engine.

Techlore isn’t perfect, but in the few months I’ve known about its existence, I’ve found great insight and value in what it had to offer for someone like myself. When I came into some disposable income, I took it upon myself to try CakeWallet and send Monero. Things did not go as planned, and a great deal of hesitation and confusion still remain; I ended up using a gift card and making an ‘anonymous’ donation through Kofi.

The thing is I would still very much like to get into Crypto (preferrably Monero). And until Arculus supports XMR (the only reason I haven’t bothered paying for their service(s) yet), my only other options are Cake Wallet and LocalMonero for mobile and something like Monero GUI Wallet for desktop. All of which I’ve had tremendous problems with in the past. I know Signal supports P2P transactions via MobileCoin—and I know many are against this progression. For all intents and purposes, I have an adequate amount of trust in Signal, and their MobileCoin integration might very well be the kiddie pool I can dip my toe into crypto-wise before I jump into the wave pool that is Monero.

Thank you in advance to any interested additions to the discussion.


Just trying to set a positive tone for the discussion—let’s remember that the forum is designed to help each other, and we can still discuss topics even if we don’t opt to use them ourselves. Let’s keep this productive so @nsmnc can get some good support :heart:

Your question has made me realize I’ve never even bothered to try it out to see how well it works. Maybe I’ll bug @Jonah to do a demo with me so we can do a video covering its usability.


I’ll admit I’ve done all of fifteen minutes worth of research on MobileCoin back when I first became aware of it as a Signal user. I mostly came across articles and videos that expressed wariness of Moxie, or I would see comments like, ‘Time to go back to Session’.

I distinctly remember Nate saying once that he thought it was great that features can be easily integrated in an app or website (i.e. E2EE) without users necessarily having to understand how said feature works. I feel like Signal shares that sentiment. Also, it’s my understanding that the P2P money transfer portion of the app is entirely opt-in.

I would greatly appreciate more insight into why it’s so stigmatized, especially if it can lead to a natural progression to bigger and better things for those who just aren’t as quick as everyone else.

I still don’t get what problem MobileCoin solves that Monero doesn;t.

I think the only crypto that actually makes sense for payments is Monero as it’s the only private coin, has very low transfer fees, and has been around for a long time.

Add Bitcoin or Litecoin for on/offramping (as many exchanges don’t list Monero due to regulatory pressure) and that’s all I’d ever need.

Cake Wallet is nice and supports these three coins although you can’t directly buy Monero, you have to buy e.g. Litecoin and then exchange it to Monero (all can be done in the app)

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The problem, though, is that using Monero friendly services I’ve tried both buying Monero directly and buying something like Ethereum or Litecoin for converting to Monero. I’ve used multiple apps and have experienced problems with each, as described in the original post. And the “cold storage” wallet I would like to use doesn’t support XMR as of yet.

While I would certainly love to fully migrate to XMR when I have a firmer grasp on the whole crypto concept, I’m not particularly concerned with private payments at the moment.

I just want to know about MobileCoin usability per the Signal app.

Talking about Signal Foundation (and the signal app) more than Mobile coin.

I think this is an incredibly bad idea for the Signal Foundation to add MobileCoin or any Payment Service into their app. It’s not just bloating of what was a clean secure communications app. It’s not even that Signal is choosing to tie itself to a specific blockchain currency.

Adding a cryptocurrency to and end-to-end encrypted communications app muddies the morality of the Service, and invites all sorts of government investigative and regulatory meddling; by the IRS, SEC, and probably the FBI.

I see no good reason to do this. Secure communications and secure transactions should be separate apps.

I personally don’t use MobileCoin for this reason.

Also, in one point of the History of MobileCoin if you were U.S. Citizen. You weren’t allowed to use MobileCoin in their terms of service. I don’t know if this true today, I haven’t looked.

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While I can respect your opinion on the subject, I would like to point out that the reality is that Signal is already using this crypto coin on their app.

Signal has had several updates since the decision to implement crypto coin transfers in-app, and the option is still there. I take this to mean at least some Signal users must be using this feature.

I would also like to point out (again) that it is entirely opt-in and users can decide for themselves if they would like to chance the risks associated with the service.

I understand you have a strong opinion here, but unless you can offer a review of the service itself, I don’t see how you are adding to the discussion at hand.


I appreciate your perspective, and I apologize if my previous response veered off the main topic. Let’s bring the focus back to the practical aspects of Signal’s crypto features and MobileCoin.

In the crypto space, the network effect plays a crucial role, and widespread adoption by merchants enhances the utility of a cryptocurrency. It might be beneficial for MobileCoin/Signal to work on expanding its ecosystem, collaborating with more merchants, or integrating with popular gift card marketplaces to address these usability concerns.

As I personally have not found a good way to acquire MobileCoin and to spend the mobile coin. In contrast. I have found ways to acquire Monero and spend Monero on VPN Services or on gift cards.

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That’s my biggest question right now too (and the issue with a lot of these cryptocurrencies that aren’t big names)

They probably work great within their ecosystems, but actually withdrawing and using it for anything is the big question. (Though I do see it’s supported on Binance)

Given how long this post has been up, it seems no one has had any actual real-world experience with it that’s chimed in so far. Now I’m very curious to give it a shot to see what it’s like to use, I think many of us just instantly disliked it and never gave it a shot

Perhaps in the next few days, I can give Cake Wallet or Monero GUI Wallet another whirl. Other cryptos that intrigue me are Ethereum and Litecoin. A rather thought provoking video from NBTV has added to my reservations of Bitcoin.

My biggest goal with Monero would be to simply store. As per my threat model, I’m perfectly fine with using cash, cash purchased gift cards, or virtual credit cards for every day expenses.

Cake Wallet is great. Really user friendly. And if you have a question, their support emails you back within a day.

:shushing_face: spoiler alerts