New decentralized, privacy driven messaging service and a whole lot more.......
In the final installment of our quick look at available encrypted messaging service, we turn to Status.....never heard of them, well, don't worry....we have a feeling that you will.
They have set themselves some fairly lofty ideals in their pursuit of privacy, let's let them lay it out in their own words:
"Status strives to be a secure communication tool that upholds human rights. We enable community money, community law and through privacy, preserve culture."Status official website
So what exactly does it aim to provide? Again, in their own words:
"Status is a multi-purpose communication tool that combines a peer-to-peer messenger, decentralized crypto-wallet, and Web3 browser."Status official website
All sounds very good but as the project is still in it's early development stages, it's actually quite difficult to evaluate, so what we will do is give a 'status' on Status and it's potential and possible red flags!
First issue is installation.
The mobile app is only in Beta so you have to install via their Test Flight app. Not a horrible process but not as simple and straight forward as other services but in fairness they are still in startup.
Available in iOS and Android, it covers all the bases as a messaging service, fully encrypted so no surveillance or copy/storing of data.
In terms of functionality, we liked their inclusion of a crypto-wallet for the serverless storage of digital assets. It is unclear which cryptos will be compatible or storable but the declared 'fave is already Etherium (ERC 20 & 21).
Lastly, on the mobile is the Web3 browser allowing you access to a whole world of dapps and beyond.....cool feature and sure to have legs over the longer term.
Status will also have a desktop version, however, only presently available in Alpha.....comes in macOS, Linux and Windows variants......not much to report here we're afraid but download and play around with it and see for yourself, we'll probably leave it for a while!
With the feedback the devs will receive it is likely there will be further iterations, changes and presumably improvements so we don't suggest you get too attached right now! (Or feedback yourself!).
Once in, as a general observation, we have to say we liked the overall graphics and navigability.
So we're seeing bags of potential
A quick look through the strategic drivers and guiding principles of the startup show that it has not only set a high bar for functionality and an outstanding UI/UE but also for privacy and respect for the individual..
1. Status considers liberty to be a sovereign right of all people, they believe that the individual can operate with anonymity and make the decision to selectively reveal themselves as, when and if they so chose to do so.
2. The project is driven by a 'no compromise' stance on security and being surveillance-free ensures that it remains censorship resistant.
3. Likewise, Status embraces absolute decentralization with the working mantra of 'maximum units, maximum users'. Allied to this latter point is the open invitation to one and all with their stated intent to encourage inclusivity through permission-less participation.
4. And in the same spirit of openness, not only is Status completely open-source but they are fully transparent in all their endeavors. .
Noble ambitions indeed but the 'proof of the pudding is always in the eating'...........so what did we discover when we started to dig a little deeper in to this particular dish?
Take a look through the following images..........
Yes........exactly......we were like 'WTF?'.........the whole setup is riddled with trackers from some well-known entities and not of a good sort......Google, Cloudflare......WOW.....just WOW!!! So what happened to the commitments on privacy, security, surveillance and respect for the rights of the individual? Looking pretty shabby now.......and frankly we would love to hear back from the guys at Status to explain this away.
Interestingly, Google Outline, by the same measure, has zero trackers embedded on their app.......just saying!
The other area over which we have some concerns is the funding of the project.....not so much concerns as observations and speculation........in June 2017, as we understand it, Status raised more than $100 MM in less than 24 hours.....cool stuff, that's a lot of money.......sounds like a lot....is it enough? How will the service be monetized in future and what is the truth behind the oft-told story that Status put $20 MM into a competitor service in RIOT? They're not even on the same protocol so are completely incompatible!
We will continue to monitor this project as they move toward market ready products and a push for adoption.......it's already a crowded field so good luck to them,
Remember, you don't have to be first, just be the best! And at this stage, whilst we like what we see functionality-wise, we are seriously less impressed by the stuff they allow to invade their service.