Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to another person or to many subscribers, which also supports decentralized mailing lists (DML, or “chans.”). The concept for Bitmessage was conceived by software developer Jonathan Warren, who based its design on Bitcoin. The open source Bitmessage software was released in November 2012 under the MIT license.
There is also a Bitmessage Mail Gateway at bitmessage.ch, but it’s not accepting new user registrations at the moment.
Bitmessage is decentralized and trustless, meaning that you need not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. Bitmessage encrypts each users’ message inbox using strong encryption and replicates it inside its P2P network mixing it with inboxes of other users in order to conceal user’s identity, prevent eavesdropping and protect the network from any control.
Bitmessage seems a good solution to the growing need for private, secure and anonymous communication systems. Such systems aren’t easy to develop, and it’s good practice to have them fully audited by external experts before public release. The Bitmessage website has included, for months, the following line:
Bitmessage is in need of an independent audit to verify its security. If you are a researcher capable of reviewing the source code, please email the lead developer. You will be helping to create a great privacy option for people everywhere!
A Kickstarter Fundraiser to Cover the Audit Costs
Now Kristov Atlas, a network security and privacy researcher who studies crypto-currencies, has agreed to thoroughly audit Bitmessage. Kristov Atlas is the author of “Anonymous Bitcoin: How to Keep Your Ƀ All to Yourself,” a practical guide to maximizing financial privacy with Bitcoin. Kristov is also a correspondent for the World Crypto Network, appearing regularly on the weekly roundtable show “The Bitcoin Group,” and host of “Dark News,” a show about un-censorship technologies.
Of course, a full audit of a complex cryptography software suite costs money, and therefore the CryptOpinion team will soon launch a Kickstarter fundraiser to cover the audit costs (US$ 6,600). I will certainly contribute because I think online privacy and anonymity are important.
What do you think of Bitmessage and the need for private, secure and anonymous communication systems? Comment below!
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