“Whatsat”, a version of the Lightning Network, could integrate an instant messaging service to payment networks, without the need to have a central entity that controls or manages messages between users

One of the most important networks in terms of payment processing and transaction scalability, Lightning Network (LN), could use its network to enable a private and decentralized instant messaging service.

This is according to Joot Jager’s announcement, who is one of the developers of Lightning Lab. In that way, Jager revealed that they are in a test phase for the tool, called “Whatsat” (no WhatsApp), which is an alternative version designed for the network of LN. It can be adapted for a private courier service.

Similarly, this messaging platform could be backed by processes similar to the Bitcoin network security standards. And that unlike other messaging services that distort the text of the messages so that they are illegible, in this service there will not be an entity that limits its users, so they can use the service in the best way for the person who uses the tool.

Regarding this aspect, Jager commented, during an interview, that this platform can be used by anyone who is interested. “Lightning is a peer-to-peer network in which anyone can participate. There is no central entity that has the ultimate power to decide which users are allowed to communicate”, he argued.

The issue of messaging can be one of the most complex issues of the new digital era since anyone with computer skills can intercept unencrypted messages to be used for negative or illegal purposes. It is for this reason that there are many companies that offer high levels of security for their users, among which stands out Wire and Signal.

Jager added that he recognizes the privacy of communications as one of the most important issues that should be reserved in this new era.

“I like to compare private messaging with talking face-to-face with someone, we can do this without having to ask permission (…) this is a freedom that is so natural, that we hardly realize how important it is since we are humans but continue to digitize ourselves a little more every day, I think it makes sense that we extend this freedom to the digital domains”.

Although the application is still in a phase of “birth”, for Jager it represents a passionate project without doubts. It is not yet known with certainty if it can be used with Bitcoins.

In the end, Jager commented that the LN platform has always been able to include extra information, which is the one that can currently be developed to be used as a messaging service. Without having to modify the network software, this extra space can be standardized and used as instant messaging.

Users of cryptocurrencies now would count on a platform not only to make payments but also to send messages safely and maintaining the privacy they need.

By María Rodríguez


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