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Loki Messenger – Taking Private Messaging to a New Level

With ever-increasing threats to our online privacy, a secure, private messaging system is a virtual necessity. Unfortunately, all of our current systems are vulnerable in one way or the other. The world needs a genuinely secure private messaging system. In this article, we look at Loki Messenger, a secure private messaging system that has huge […]

Loki Messenger – Taking Private Messaging to a New Level was originally found on Blokt – Privacy, Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.

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With ever-increasing threats to our online privacy, a secure, private messaging system is a virtual necessity. Unfortunately, all of our current systems are vulnerable in one way or the other. The world needs a genuinely secure private messaging system.

In this article, we look at Loki Messenger, a secure private messaging system that has huge privacy potential. Loki Messenger is the first service on Lokinet, a decentralized, end-to-end encrypted messaging and payments network.

Without going in too deep (Loki details get really technical, really fast), we’ll look at what makes Loki Messenger into a better private messaging service.

Once we get through that, we’ll give you a demonstration of the current beta version of Loki Messenger.route

Ready to learn about what could be the future of private messaging? Let’s start.

Introduction to Loki Messenger

So what exactly is Loki Messenger? According to the projects README file at GitHub:

“Loki Messenger allows for truly decentralized, end to end, and private encrypted chats. Loki Messenger is built to handle both online and fully Asynchronous offline messages. Loki Messenger implements the Signal protocol for message encryption. Our Client interface is a fork of Signal Messenger. All communication that passes through Loki messenger is routed through Lokinet.”
Loki Messenger

Loki Messenger

In other words, Loki Messenger takes advantage of some of the best existing private messaging technology and adds, even more privacy and security through its use of Lokinet.

Lokinet’s Service Nodes, “act as both federated servers which store messages offline, and a set of nodes which allow for onion routing functionality obfuscating users IP Addresses.”

What Makes Loki Messenger Better?

With competitors like Telegram, Viber, Signal, and WhatsApp, you might be wondering why the world needs another end-to-end encrypted, private messenger app. There are three big reasons why we think Loki Messenger has a shot at becoming the private messaging app of the future:

  • Loki Messenger is Decentralized
  • Loki Messenger is Untraceable
  • Loki Messenger is Hack Resistant

Loki Messenger is Decentralized

What do Telegram, Viber, Signal, and other leading encrypted private messaging apps have in common? They are all centralized. This means that there are central servers to hack, and even physical offices for the authorities to visit with subpoenas (and assault weapons) in hand when they want to snoop on someone.

Centralized vs. Decentralized

Centralization is a huge vulnerability. Here are some recent examples of the problem:

  • After the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, the Sri Lankan government shut down access to Viber, SnapChat, WhatsApp, and other messaging services within the country. In all, this country has shut down messaging apps at least three times.
  • In June of 2019, the CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, said they experienced a “state actor-sized” cyber attack. Without revealing details, he indicated that the attack likely came from China and was related to the protests in Hong Kong.
  • While WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, according to this story and others, messages are stored unencrypted in the mobile app. Those unencrypted messages can also be backed up on cloud servers physically located in the United States (5 eyes country), where a simple subpoena can gain access. Adding to privacy fears, the WhatsApp Privacy Policy states that it can share data about you with Facebook, which purchased WhatsApp in 2014.

A decentralized messaging app has many advantages. Withou3mt a center, the network is resistant to attempts to shut it down (Think Torrenting, Bitcoin, Tor, etc.). Additionally, there is no one to wave that subpoena at, demanding that they turn over the data on some user.

Loki Messenger relies on Lokinet’s private and decentralized messaging services. The Lokinet network uses a chain of proxy servers connected by onion routing to pass messages. The state of the network is maintained in the Lokinet blockchain, making that information available to every user. The user chooses the route their messages will follow through the network, eliminating the need for a trusted (central) authority in the system.

Loki Messenger is Untraceable

Many messenger apps use end-to-end encryption to protect the messages that flow through them. But they can be vulnerable to adversaries powerful enough to monitor when messages enter and leave the network.

Over time, such an adversary can even do statistical analysis of the messages flowing through the network. Helping them to identify which users are communicating with each other, when certain users are online, and other potentially useful information.

Loki Messenger is Untraceable

Lokinet addresses this kind of problem by functioning as a mixnet communicating through onion routing. A mixnet passes messages through one or more mixes. A mix receives messages from multiple sources, then sends them on to their destinations in random order. Doing this makes it harder to analyze the flow of messages through the mixnet.

Lokinet connects the mixes in the network using onion routing. The onion routing protocols connect multiple mixes in a chain. Each mix only knows which node in the network sent a message to it, and which node in the network it must send the message to. Thus it ensures that no single mix knows both the original sender of a message and the final recipient.

Even if one of the mixes in the chain is compromised, there is no way for it to trace the entire route of the message.

In addition, Loki Messenger does not require the user to register with a telephone number, and a user’s real IP Address is never exposed to the network. Together, these features make the Loki Messenger untraceable (In theory).

Loki Messenger is Hack Resistant

While it is likely that no network in the world is totally hack-proof, Loki Messenger comes close, thanks to the characteristics of Lokinet. Lokinet uses Service Nodes to provide much of its scalability and networking functionality. Service nodes are paid for their services using Loki, the Lokinet’s native cryptocurrency. But Service Nodes must also stake a large amount of Loki for the privilege of being a Service Node.

Loki Messenger is Impervious to Hacking

The requirement of a large stake makes the type of hack called a Sybil attack, more unlikely. The Lokinet team defines a successful Sybil attack as one that seizes control of at least 30% of the entire Lokinet. To do this, an attacker would need to stake large amounts of Loki on each of the servers it controls. This would drive up the price of Loki, making the attack progressively more expensive.

In addition to the protection provided by Lokinet, Loki Messenger itself uses several techniques to prevent attacks. Deniable Authentication (DA) protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) ensures that a new encryption key is used for each message, limiting the damage done if an attacker does somehow get access to a key. In such a case, the attacker would only be able to decode a single message.

Now we’re ready to take a look at Loki Messenger in action.

Note: Don’t forget that this is a project under active development, so what you see here reflects the state of the beta on September 25, 2019.

Creating a Loki Messenger Account

If you are familiar with cryptocurrencies, you may notice that creating a Loki Messenger account looks a lot like creating a cryptocurrency wallet:

Loki Messenger initial Registration Screen

The seed phrase is automatically generated by Loki Messenger and is necessary to recover your account if you lose access to it. Or if you move your Loki Messenger account to another device.

Once you register your seed, you create your optional username and password:

Create a Username and Password

Hit Save and you are ready to roll.

As you can see, the Loki Messenger window looks a lot like any other messenger app. It does, however, have a couple of differences.

Loki Messenger Main Window

First, notice the long random string of characters below the username on the top left. That is the user’s public key. Sharing this public key is how users connect. For maximum privacy, users would be advised to share these keys offline, preventing snoops from getting a copy of them.

Once a user has someone’s public key, they can send a friend request, which can be either accepted or declined:

Loki Friend Request

Online Messaging

If both parties are online, communication is relatively straightforward. Their messenger apps can resolve each other’s public keys and create an onion-routed path through Lokinet for live chatting. All without exposing their IP Address, telephone number, or any other personally identifiable information (PII).

Online Message

Messages appear in the chat window as you would expect.

If you hover over a message, a “three-dot” icon appears. Clicking that displays a menu of options for that specific message, as shown above.

Offline Messaging

Offline messaging, where the intended recipient of a message is not currently online, is more complicated. It depends on groups of Service Nodes called Swarms. Every Loki Messenger user belongs to a Swarm. Swarms are groups of Service Nodes that can store messages offline.

When a message gets sent to a user that isn’t online, the message gets stored (in encrypted form) on one or more of the Service Nodes in the recipient’s Swarm. When the user comes online, their copy of Loki Messenger queries any node in their Swarm to see if the Swarm is holding any messages for them. If so, the recipient’s copy of Loki Messenger downloads the messages.

If the recipient replies to a message, Loki Messenger then attempts to form a direct connection with the sender as normal.

Additional Features of Loki Messenger

Beyond the basic messaging features that we’ve already looked at, Loki Messenger has some additional features that you will like. They range from usability improvements to privacy enhancements, and include:

  • Disappearing Messages
  • Safety Numbers
  • Changing Username and Nicknames
  • Light / Dark Modes

Disappearing Messages

There are times when you want to send someone a message, but you don’t want it to be a permanent part of the conversation. This is where Disappearing Messages come into play.

Disappearing Messages

Clicking the gear icon in a chat window displays message options for that chat. One of the options in that menu is to set new messages in this chat to disappear after an interval, with options that range from off (turn off disappearing messages) to 5 seconds, up to one week.

After this, any messages will automatically disappear from your chat window and that of the recipient. Loki Messenger makes it clear at the top of the chat window if Disappearing Messages are active and how long they stay visible (See above image).

Safety Numbers

Safety numbers are a set of 12, 5-digit numbers that can be used to verify the security of the end-to-end encryption of the connection with another user.

If the safety numbers that appear in your app match those that appear in the other person’s app, the end-to-end encryption of the connection is secure.

Changing Username and Nicknames

Because Loki Messenger identifies users by their public keys instead of usernames, it allows you to change your username at any time.

Likewise, it allows you to change your nickname for someone you are friends with. This doesn’t affect their username but does change what name you see for them in your app.

I can see changing nicknames to be useful for identifying someone you don’t contact frequently. Changing the name you see in your app, from “Lashana Lynch” to “The New 007”, could make it easier to keep track of who you are talking to.

Light / Dark Modes

App developers are finally moving away from the light-colored text on a black background interface trend. Like many newer apps, Loki Messenger offers both a Light and a Dark mode. I’ve been using the default Light mode throughout this article; here’s what the Dark mode looks like:

Loki Messenger Dark Mode

This is easier on the eyes (my eyes, anyway) and seems like a good option for someone interested in privacy who wants to be a little more subtle while viewing messages.

Conclusion

While it is still too early to say that it will be the private messenger we all use in 2020. Loki Messenger packs a lot of privacy and security features into one package.

We’ll be watching the development of Loki Messenger as it works its way through beta. We’ll also be keeping an eye on the progress of Lokinet, which plans to offer several other privacy-related capabilities soon.

Bonus Tip: Enhance Your Privacy Further With a VPN

If you enjoyed this article and want to improve your privacy instantly, we recommend getting a good VPN service that lets you browse torrent websites and whatever you want, without leaving any logs. If you’re interested, check out our best VPN guide, or go right to our favorite Nordvpn.

For another perspective on Loki Messenger, check out this video:

References

Loki Messenger – Taking Private Messaging to a New Level was originally found on Blokt – Privacy, Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.

Source: https://blokt.com/guides/loki-messenger-taking-private-messaging-to-a-new-level

Blockchain

TA: Bitcoin Hesitates Above $13.2K, But 100 SMA Could Trigger Another Increase

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Bitcoin price traded to a new monthly high at $13,352 before correcting lower against the US Dollar. BTC is currently trading nicely above the 100 hourly SMA and it could attempt another increase.

  • Bitcoin is trading nicely above the $12,800 and $13,000 support levels.
  • The price is holding gains above the 100 hourly simple moving average, with a positive angle above towards $13,300.
  • There is a crucial bullish trend line forming with support near $12,900 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair is likely to continue higher as long as it is above the 100 hourly SMA and $12,800.

Bitcoin Price Is Showing Positive Signs

Bitcoin price remained well bid above the 13,000 resistance and extended its rise. BTC even broke the last high at $13,250 and traded to a new monthly high at $13,352.

Recently, there was a downside correction and the price broke the $13,000 support. The decline found support near the $12,800 zone and the 100 hourly simple moving average. There is also a crucial bullish trend line forming with support near $12,900 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Bitcoin is currently rising and trading above the $13,000 level. There was a break above the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $13,352 high to $12,834 low.

An immediate resistance is near the $13,150 level. It is close to the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $13,352 high to $12,834 low. To continue higher, BTC must gain momentum above the $13,200 level.

If there is a daily close above the $13,200 level, the price is likely to accelerate higher above $13,350. The next major resistance on the upside is near the $13,500 level.

Downside Break in BTC?

If bitcoin fails to climb above the $13,150 and $13,200 resistance levels, there could be a fresh decline. The first major support is near the 100 hourly SMA at $13,000.

The main support is near the trend line at $12,900, below which the bulls might even struggle to protect the $12,800 support level in the coming sessions.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is slowly gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well above the 50 level, with a positive angle.

Major Support Levels – $13,000, followed by $12,900.

Major Resistance Levels – $13,150, $13,200 and $13,500.

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-hesitates-above-13-2k/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin Just Marked New 2020 High, But This Indicator Signals Correction Incoming (BTC Price Analysis)

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Starting by looking at the bigger picture, Bitcoin price had made a remarkable run since October began, gaining almost $3000 to its value.

Looking at the following long-term weekly chart, we can see this week’s greenish candle that will be closed later today. From a technical point of view, as long as the candle close price is above the $12,500 area (previous high) – we can safely say that BTC is on a healthy uptrend.

btc_oct25_w-min
BTC/USD weekly. Chart by TradingView

The Good and The Bad: New 2020 High but Bearish Divergence

Just a few hours ago, Bitcoin price recorded a new 2020 high close to $13,400 (on Binance Futures); however, the primary cryptocurrency could not hold there, and quickly slumped to $12,700 in a matter of one hour.

Looking at the shorter-term chart, the 4-hour, we can identify a bearish divergence on the RSI. This is a bearish pattern and might indicate that the buying power is fading away.

This happens when the price goes through a higher-high, but the RSI indicator is doing the opposite and going through a lower-high.

Another worrying sign is the trading volume. Since its peak volume on October 20-21, four days ago, the trading volume decreased even though the BTC price had actually gone up.

BTC Support and Resistance Levels To Watch

As mentioned above, if BTC were to correct, then the first major level of support lies at the current levels around $12.9 – $13K. If Bitcoin breaks here, then the first significant level lies at $12,700, followed by the previous 2020 high from August at $12,400 – $12,500.

From the bullish side, if Bitcoin holds the $13,000 – then the first levels of resistance lie at $13,200, followed by today’s high around $13,400. Bitcoin will be looking to break the 2019 high from June – at around $13,880.

Total Market Cap: $400 billion

Bitcoin Market Cap: $240 billion

BTC Dominance Index: 60%

*Data by CoinGecko

BTC/USD BitStamp 4-Hour Chart

btc_oct25_4h-min

SPECIAL OFFER (Sponsored)

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-just-marked-new-2020-high-but-this-indicator-signals-correction-incoming-btc-price-analysis/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin Breaks New 2020 High As Total Market Cap Topped $400 Billion (Market Watch)

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Bitcoin continues with the 2020 records and just a few hours ago marked a fresh high of above $13,350. Most alternative coins followed suit with impressive increases, but the market has calmed since then. The entire cryptocurrency market clocked at above $400 billion.

Bitcoin To Yet Another 2020 High

CryptoPotato reported a few days ago that the primary cryptocurrency exceeded the August 2020 high of about $12,500 and reached $13,200. What followed was a slight retracement to about $13,000 and stagnation yesterday.

Nevertheless, the volatility returned in the past 24 hours, and BTC headed towards new highs. This time, Bitcoin broke above $13,350. In fact, according to data from Bitstamp, BTC’s new 2020 high is at $13,362.

Another sharp rejection followed, and the asset tanked briefly below $13,000. Nevertheless, the bulls have since driven it above the coveted mark, and BTC trades at about $12,940.

A compelling chart recently revealed that Bitcoin is forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern. If it’s to play out, the cryptocurrency could soon skyrocket even further and top its all-time high of $20,000.

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If this scenario is indeed to materialize, Bitcoin would have to break above the resistance lines at $13,420, $13,500, $13,815, and $14,000 before reaching new records.

btcusd_chart
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

Altcoins Follow Up And Calm Down

Most alternative coins experienced similarly increased volatility as Bitcoin. Ethereum surged to a new 7-week high of nearly $420. However, ETH quickly retraced and is now hovering around $409 again.

Ripple’s highest level came at about $0,26, but XRP has since decreased to below $0.253.

Thus, on a 24-hour scale, most larger-cap altcoins have remained essentially at the same positions as yesterday, despite the brief price jumps. Chainlink and Litecoin have registered the most gains of about 3.6%. LINK trades close to $12.35, and LTC is positioned at $56.3.

heatmap
Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

The most impressive gainer since yesterday is Filecoin. After the recent controversy and continuous price slump, FIL has surged by 45% in the past 24 hours.

Ocean Protocol (18%), Quant (17.5%), THETA (10.2%), Reserve Rights (10.2%), and Ampleforth (10%) have also increased by double-digit percentages.

SPECIAL OFFER (Sponsored)

Binance Futures 50 USDT FREE Voucher: Use this link to register & get 10% off fees and 50 USDT when trading 500 USDT (limited offer).

Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-breaks-new-2020-high-as-total-market-cap-tops-400-billion-market-watch/

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