XChat looks to answer that need in an easy, secure and decentralized way. The best part is XChat isn’t just a service, but also a product. You can easily buy the new Tor Stick, and the power is in your hands.
[divider] CCN [/divider]
Tor is an anonymous browser service that allows users to surf the web while hiding their identity. While it has given way to many black marks on Bitcoin’s history, like the Silk Road, it has also provided some freedom from NSA and other peeping onlookers. XCurrency contacted CCN with the unveiling of their new product that uses the Tor technology at its core.
“XChat complements XCurrency, XC’s existing app for flexible private payments, and is founded upon on the Xnode communication protocol, a Bitcoin 2.0 technology at the core of XC’s network,” XCurrency said, “It is completely decentralised, involves trusting no third parties, and is end-to-end encrypted. As such, it represents the highest level of privacy currently available.”
XChat seems incredibly easy to use. To send an instant message, all one has to do is enter the recipient’s address, which is similar to a phone number, and his or her public key. In two steps, users will be able to chat away on the Tor network.
“Unlike traditional messaging apps, XChat uses no central servers, and so only the people conversing have control over the information exchanged,” XCurrency told CCN.
XChat also claims to be more secure and decentralized than both Protonmail and BitTorrent, both of which rely on servers. The issue with the servers would be if those servers were seized by a governmental entity, people using those services would be at risk. XChat does not operate this way, providing a more secure experience through their service.
Not only does the service not run on servers and store personal information, it also claims to have some cutting-edge security measuring providing total anonymity to their users.
XChat communication is encrypted from end to end with AES256 so that no third party can decipher your message. In fact, you’d need more processing power than the entire internet to break XChat’s encryption! This makes it impossible (i.e. computationally infeasible) for anyone to snoop on your messages, so your privacy is assured.
IP ADDRESSES KEPT SECRET
For anyone who does not want to reveal their location, XChat can be run from the XC TOR Stick, which incorporates a TOR node that obfuscates your IP address. In addition, the TOR Stick runs inside the TOR network so that it does not use exit nodes. This means that packet sniffers are useless against XChat as there are no incoming and outgoing packets to be matched. Even if a message is sent to a recipient outside TOR, the message originates inside the network and so there is only an outgoing packet, again flouting packet sniffers. In this way, XChat avoids common vulnerabilities of TOR.
RECEIVING ADDRESSES OBFUSCATED
If this is not enough, soon XC will add yet another layer of privacy. XChat addresses are soon to be implemented as “stealth addresses”. Someone can send a payment to your XC address, but you will receive it on a different address that not even the sender knows. As such, you can publicly display your XChat address as a kind of cryptographic “business card” for both payments and messages, without any link to it existing on the blockchain.
Finally, combining this with XCurrency’s Privacy Mode will conceal the amounts sent to this address and the address itself. The result is that neither the sender, receiver, nor the amount paid is revealed, resulting in 100% privacy for XC users.
XCurrency also told CCN that XChat is soon to come to the mobile device platform, allowing users to group chat, voice call and video call.
It seems as though the NSA has been putting anyone involved in Tor, or even curious about Tor, on a list. While the list is most likely targeted at developers and people of higher concern, there does seem to be some risk of being watched.
Tor does the upmost to hide your identity in a legal way, but the reach of the NSA is still questioned not only on a national scale, but a global scale as well. Using XChat, it looks as though there is reasonable security and safety. However, in times of uncertainty, it’s always best to make sure you’re protected personally, any way you see fit.