If you have been involved in the world of cryptocurrency and altcoins for a slong as I have, you see some major topics and developments being rehashed in different ways. Sending money via SMS is one of those topics, and StealthCoin has tackled this with a very interesting way of developing an application for it. Let’s take a look.
Even though this application, which is called StealthText, has been released a little while ago, we didn’t get around to covering it yet because of RL obligations. Either way, we now have some more detailed information on how it all works, so it was definitely worth the wait.
There are a few important attributes about StealthText : it’s anonymous, secure (it even prevents replay attacks) , works through the SMS protocol (no mobile data/WiFi connection required to use, only to download), and it’s decentralized. Let me quote the following example, posted on BitcoinTalk about a week ago :
“Let’s imagine Bob wants to send 420 XST to Carol. Bob has set up his own pipeline or is a customer of an online wallet service that has provides a pipeline. Either is possible because anyone can set up his or her own pipeline.
Now, Bob is operating under some constraints today. He has his phone and can SMS, but for whatever reason has no access to his data services. But he needs his transaction to get to Carol securely and privately (anonymously). He can’t afford for anyone to tamper with his transaction, like “flipping a bit” to change the amount, nor can he afford for an adversary, such as a competing business, to know the nature of his transaction with Carol.
Bob is in luck today, because he has installed StealthText on his phone. In his settings dialog, he has entered a secret passphrase (that could be a random string of characters), the phone number of his SMS forwarding service (like google voice), and a client ID, that is not essential but can be used for routing (in the screenshots, this is 1zrL2Jk, which is random for the sake of the example).
His wallet (whether on the cloud or in his computer at home) knows this secret passphrase and his PIN , which is the second part of StealthText’s two-factor authentication. To make his transaction, he enters Carol’s XST address (“SGVQhkwom..”, the first S has been cut off in the screenshots) the amount (420 XST) and his PIN, which he shares with no one and has memorized. He then hits “Send” and confirms the transaction. StealthText then sends the anonymous, encrypted transaction through SMS where it enters the pipeline.
The SMS message with the anonymous transaction, is routed to Bob’s SMS forwarding service (like google voice) which then turns it into an email that is sent to Bob’s email account. If using google voice, this would be a gmail account. The mail is then handled by Bob’s mail client (like Thunderbird) enabled with an addon that can send it to his file system, or in cases like OS X mail, send it directly to a simple message processor on his computer that turns it into a wallet command and sends it to his wallet. (We will provide the message processor for Thunderbird as an open source project).
The XST wallet (as of version 184.108.40.206) is enabled to recognize this this command and the anonymous, encrypted transaction. The wallet decrypts the transaction. Because the transaction is encrypted on Bob’s phone but never decrypted until it hits his wallet, it remains secure and anonymous until the transaction is created inside the wallet.
As with all transactions, the wallet broadcasts Carol’s 420 XST to the TOR network, which ensures that Carol gets her funds securely and privately.”
Even though I could have rewritten all of the above, I really like the example, and wanted to keep it intact for your viewing pleasure. A big thanks to StealthSend on BitcoinTalk for writing out a very detailed example of how StealthText would work. (original link)
StealthText has not been made available to the public yet, as the team is still looking for Android testers. However, a release date has been announced, which will be this Sunday, on September 7th. Even though an iOS version is planned as well, I’m not sure whether we can expect this on September 7th or not, but we will keep an eye out for further announcements.
StealthText will be coming to other platforms as well, including ones which aren’t considered to be “smartphone platforms”. Very interesting indeed….
Official announcement :