HushChat is a protocol which is a particular use case of HushList protocol and which sits on top of Hush Protocol, an improved Zcash Protocol. It is inspired by the design of Signal Protocol and uses many of the same cryptography and ideas, but does not actually use any code from Signal. A HushChat protocol whitepaper is in progress.
Refer to our HushChat Beta Guidebook to learn more.
No, it's designed to run on any compatible Zcash Protocol chain, including all Hush Smart Chains.
That being said, HushChat is being developed soley on HUSH mainnet. Other cryptocoins are encouraged to read our Free Software and port it to their codebases with appropriate licensing.
No. We do not use code directly from Signal, but the ideas from the protocol and ideas/concepts from the GUI interface. For instance, Signal Protocol has a concept of "ratcheting" and so do HushChat.
Signal requires phone numbers and is a centralized service. HushChat is completely anonymous and decentralized and requires absolutely no metadata be given to any centralized third parties. Signal is also not fully open source, the backend servers are NOT OPEN SOURCE, and so, Signal should be considered "open core" and not fully open source. HushChat is Free Software! We are about your freedom, Moxie cares about his Silicon Valley friends.
Glad you asked!
In order of development:
The Lite mode desktop version is released in beta and our Android mobile version is in active development.
HushList is a protocol first published in 2017, which describes how to use Zcash Protocol for various communications use cases, including censorship-resistance: https://git.hush.is/hush/hushlist/src/branch/master/whitepaper/protocol.pdf
HushChat is basically one specialized way to use HushList Protocol, focused on near-real-time chat versus mailing list style communicaitons. The world is increasingly chat-based versus email-based and HushChat is a response to that.
Yes, data must be stored on-chain to have censorship resistance and HushChat can be thought of as a "flavor" of HushList. Users may choose between storing data on the public Hush blockchain or their own Hush Smart Chain (which could be public or completely private).
It depends on the needs of the user. Currently, many users give all their information for free to various cloud companies who constantly mine their personal data which can then be sold to advertising companies who want to influence thinking and purchases. These average users have a lot to benefit from controlling their data, wrapping it in multiple layers of encryption and enjoying censorship-resistance. For those with more strict needs (say a Healthcare company), a dedicated Hush Smart Chain with access controls, such as needing to be on a certain VPN with a special user/pass to connect to the network, could be used.
Ultimately, to prove to others that something happened or to easily communicate with others, a public blockchain will be the primary use case. It also provides a meeting place for users to come together and then spin up their own Just-In-Time specific-use-case blockchains.
Additionally, if somebody is trying to say false things about you, selectively disclosing data that proves your innocence can be very valuable. HushChat enables this use case, which Signal cannot possibly implement. Because Hush is backed up by Bitcoin hashrate security, the data cannot be censored or modified once it is notarized.
No. We use the industry standard libsodium to provide cryptographic primitives:
Specifically, we use these parts of libsodium:
and potentially others. In terms of cryptographic hash functions, Blake3, Blake2B and SHA256 are used directly and internally by various libsodium functions.
Glad you asked!! HushChat adds various layers of privacy on top of our "base" Hush Protocol (itself an improvement on Zcash Protocol), heavily using libsodium.