Wiper is an up and coming chat application known for the privacy they give to their users. Wiper has integrated the ability to send bitcoin via their messaging system in a recent update. The app also features the ability to manage messages that have already been sent or received, as well as the ability to voice chat through the app through an encrypted call system.
The addition of bitcoin transactions was met with overwhelming support by both users of the application as well as bitcoin enthusiasts worldwide. Both communities share the common belief of personal privacy and anonymity, and this feature helped connect large communities of both entities.
China, however, was not as fond of the feature as many of the users were. According to Manlio Carrelli, the company’s CEO, Wiper was promptly removed from Appe’s iOS App Store in China, shortly following the release of the new cryptocurrency feature. In regards to the removal, Carrelli stated that Wiper was “removed from the iOS App Store in China due to violating that app store’s policies,” The CEO also mentioned, “Apple [had] explained to [the company] by phone that this violation was related to Wiper enabling bitcoin payments.”
Wiper received significant support immediately following its launch in the summer of 2014. The popularity of the app has grown exponentially since then, achieving 8 million downloads in the last three months. Wiper was able to initially launch thanks to the $2.5 million in funding the company received for their concept that has since become this controversial app.
The messenger application field is one saturated with a variety of apps, who all offer essentially the same service. What sets Wiper apart is the power it gives to its users. Unlike any other messaging system, Wiper allows users to delete single messages or entire conversations from both parties involved. Unread messages can be removed before their contents revealed, and messages that have been shared can also be removed from both the sender and receiver. The company only holds temporary records of conversations and messages, which are also deleted during the process.
Bitcoin was an obvious choice for the app, as both excel in security and anonymity, but the company stated they had other reasons for choosing the popular cryptocurrency. Wiper feels that bitcoin is a solution to help people worldwide who do not have sufficient access to adequate banking. According to the company, 2.5 billion people worldwide fit this description.
Wiper also offers several other services alongside the secure chatting feature. Users can privately browse, stream, and share music and videos with their contacts. Wiper also features an app-to-app calling feature. These calls are encrypted to prevent unwanted ears. Afterwards, all contents of the call are deleted, as Wiper holds no log of any calls. Lastly, Wiper notifies its users when messages are read, deleted, or screenshotted. This helps make it easy for users to maintain tabs on their messages. Lastly, Wiper also notifies whenever a music or video is forwarded to another person.
China has had an interesting relationship with bitcoin, to say the least, and the removal of this app does not come as a surprise. Among other issues, China has had a habit of banning large exchanges running in its country in the past. Despite the regulations China sometimes imposes on bitcoin, it is believed that 80% of all bitcoin transactions take place within the country. It will be interesting to see how China reacts to similar innovations in the future, as they have not maintained a clear policy against the cryptocurrency as of yet. If any thing can be deduced from this ban, it is that China will most likely continue this behavior in the future.