The new app, yet to be publicly released, leverages Hexum, a proprietary multilayer encryption method also created by the team behind BLIP, which promises more secure communication than popular end-to-end (E2E) encrypted apps.
“WhatsApp and Signal use a static private key. The Hexum encryption method provides one private key per message or per interaction. So hacking is very difficult,” Alejandro Muyshondt, El Salvador’s National Security Advisor and co-founder of BLIP’s parent company High Voltage, told Bitcoin Magazine.
Hexum’s multi-layered encryption approach leverages base64, AES, SHA256, and the addition of randomly generated words.
Muyshondt explained two other key differences between BLIP and the now popular E2E app setup: Everything goes through Lightning, and a phone number isn’t required.
A new user can start using BLIP with an email address and password. At the end of BLIP, Lightning nodes are tapped, and each new user receives an address, along with a hash file that serves as the account’s backup file.
“Like this [text] it goes from your phone with Hexum encryption to the Lightning Network, then to a Hexum decryption method, and then to your phone,” Muyhondt explained.
The first stage of BLIP is plain text like this “peer to lightning to peer”. Phase two includes video calls and voice messages, for which the connection handshake takes place over Lightning and the rest goes through the Tor network, using BitTorrent technology.
The creators of BLIP explained that the idea behind the project is not only to provide antifragile means for unstoppable communication, but also to serve as a driving force for the adoption of bitcoin.
“We talk about bitcoin adoption and for the most part 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,” said the co-founder by High Voltage Rick Fisher. he told Bitcoin Magazine. “We may have two, three, or four percent of the world that has adopted bitcoin, but right now there is a much larger majority that can throw their arms around to protect their speech and the privacy of their speech.” .
The need for free speech will drive the need for Bitcoin, he continued. “And because a user has to feed the app with sats, there’s an inherent need to take that step to go buy a couple bucks worth of bitcoin. And, for 50 cents or a dollar, you can activate the BLIP app and have absolutely encrypted communications.
To understand these use cases, the team behind BLIP also announced other applications at the conference, including BLIP Freedom and a Lightning wallet, which also leverage Hexum.
BLIP Freedom is a bot-administered app that allows for the creation of large-scale information dissemination movements. Focused on freedom of assembly, it protects the privacy of like-minded people who want to communicate freely in the digital world.
“To get from where we are today to a bitcoin standard, there is a huge chasm in there that will require that we can come together, come together, create movement, create revolution, and that will happen across communication protocols,” Fisher said.
On BLIP Freedom, the only task of the organization is to kick off and open a channel for people to join and crowdfund it. A user can only be kicked from a channel by a majority vote (75%) of the channel’s users, a process administered by the bot.
“Assembly begins in the digital domain,” Fisher said. “If you want to start a movement, create a revolution, you’ll start with a phone. And if the gentlemen don’t like it, they just close it. They did it in Canada, they did it in Iran.”
“So really, if you can’t organize at that first-level level and you can be flattened and it can be deactivated, then it becomes really difficult to assemble and create a movement,” he continued. “BLIP Freedom is truly a movement-oriented app where people can fund it, you can receive donations, and we can build, for every possible or potential movement, a messaging platform where we can disseminate large amounts of data to people without it shutting down .”
Hexsum and BLIP actually stem from the development of 2Wallet, a bitcoin and Lightning custody wallet aimed at funding the unbanked in developing countries around the world. Fisher told Bitcoin Magazine that the idea came about after meeting Muyshondt at Adopting Bitcoin 2021, who has been closely following El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.
“We talked about future challenges for El Salvador and bitcoin adoption, and at that time Chivo had just launched,” Fisher said, referring to the state-owned Chivo Wallet. “There wasn’t a lot of information, but we knew adoption would be difficult because Chivo was implemented without Lightning. And so for merchant adoption, these things were going to be pretty tough. The wallet itself was also a pretty big download.
The two partners then came up with the idea of creating a wallet for small downloads that was simple, fast and secure, Fisher said.
BLIP and 2Wallet will be made available for download within a few weeks, but a waiting list is already available.