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Tox: Encrypted Skype Replacement Will Possibly Intergrate Bitcoin

June 3, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by drew Cordell / CryptoCoinsNews

Tox, an encrypted instant messaging platform, has plans to experiment with Bitcoin micro-payments. Tox connects users to one another directly and uses advanced cryptography to encrypt all chats. Users of the platform will be able to voice call, instant message, video call, and exchange files, all with top-notch security and privacy in all conversations. The lead developer of Tox announced plans to possibly integrate Bitcoin payments through the platform in the future.

Currently, the platform is in early development, though users can still download the software that works quite well and test it out with friends. In addition to the cutting edge security and privacy with Tox, the platform is also completely free to use and ad free.

CCN Interview with Tox

I got a chance to interview the lead developer of Tox to learn more about the platform as well as plans in development.

What are your responsibilities with Tox?

I'm the lead dev of Tox, I work on toxcore, maintain the uTox client and manage the whole project with help from others.

Tell me a little bit about Tox.

Tox is a secure, distributed, peer to peer messenger that uses various NAT hole punching techniques to connect you directly to the people you are speaking with. Tox uses the NaCl ( crypto library for all the crypto used in Tox. People in Tox are represented by their public keys. To add someone you add their Tox ID which is their public key with some other anti spam info attached. This is what a Tox ID looks like: (56A1ADE4B65B86BCD51CC73E2CD4E542179F47959FE3E0E21B4B0ACDADE51855D34D34D37CB5) for example this is the id of groupbot, a bot that we use to test group chats. Everything sent to someone with Tox is encrypted with temporary keys exchanged during the handshake meaning if someone steals your keys they can't decrypt any of your previous chats.

How does Tox differ from other services such as Skype?

Microsoft is known to spy on skype users by recording everything that goes through it. A couple years ago, Microsoft bought skype and centralized it making it possible for them to record everything everyone said on skype. With Tox, everything is encrypted so nobody except yourself and the people you are speaking to can know what you are saying. Tox is fully distributed meaning it doesn't require any central servers unlike almost all the other chat services that chose to go the easy centralized route. Most encrypted chat services only support text chats while Tox supports A/V chats and file transfers. The chat application market seems to be overcrowded with centralized text only that pass unencrypted text through their servers. Telegram for example at first glance seems ok but then you realize that only their "secret" chats that most users probably never use are end to end encrypted. The normal chats can be easily read by their central server. With Tox, everything is end to end encrypted and there is no way to disable the encryption so our users are forced to use it securely.

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