Short Posts Collection
Short posts about agorism, Bitcoin, Monero, financial inclusion, peer-to-peer marketplaces, technology, privacy and more.
1) Thinking of adopting Bitcoin? Why it’s important to be KYC-free
2) How can Bitcoin protect you against the dangers of a cashless economy?
3) Peer-to-peer marketplaces are the future of commerce
4) Why Twitter’s KYC’ed Bitcoin tips are dangerous and what KYC-free alternatives you can use
5) Watts for financial freedom — Why Proof of Work is a necessary use of energy.
6) How and why to migrate from Twitter to Mastodon/Pleroma
7) How to generate keys, encrypt and sign messages with PGP
8) Roadblocks to obtaining government-issued ID
9) How to create an anonymous Telegram account without a phone
Thinking of adopting Bitcoin? Why it’s important to be KYC-free
Are you interested in accepting Bitcoin as a payment method in your business or community? Good choice! Bitcoin offers many advantages such as global accessibility, low fees, quick confirmation times, no risk of chargebacks and much lower risk of theft than credit cards.
As you integrate Bitcoin into your business, it’s important that any accessible adoption of Bitcoin must be KYC-free and not require any government ID.
KYC excludes millions of people who don’t have government ID or who can’t show ID for safety reasons. If the state refuses to print ID for you, there are generally no appeals, help from NGOs or alternative ways to get ID.
People without ID are already unfairly excluded from banking, credit cards, Western Union, Paypal, Apple Pay and more, which totally excludes them from global and online payments.
Decreasing cash acceptance is also excluding people from local payments, including for necessary things like food, rent, public transit and healthcare.
This is why KYC-free cryptocurrency acceptance is vital for economic inclusion and financial freedom. Accepting Bitcoin in your business helps millions of people to access your products or services, who are otherwise shut out of traditional payment methods.
We need more cryptocurrency acceptance. Imagine being able to pay for groceries, rent, public transit, subscriptions, healthcare and more with cryptocurrencies. Imagine full financial inclusion for everyone, without KYC and without exclusionary restrictions. Take the opportunity to integrate KYC-free cryptocurrency payments into your business, so that we can build free markets for all.
— — —
How can Bitcoin protect you against the dangers of a cashless economy?
Many brick-and-mortar stores are refusing to accept cash due to coronavirus restrictions, while more transactions are being done online, such as online shopping, bill payments and international remittances.
However, cashless payment methods like bank accounts, credit cards, Western Union, Paypal, Apple Pay, etc. are not available to everyone. These payment methods all require KYC, which excludes millions of people who don’t have government ID or can’t show ID for safety reasons. No bank will open a bank account for someone who doesn’t have a passport, driver’s license or national ID card, and if the state refuses to print a passport for you, you are totally shut out of the cashless economy.
On the other hand, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies only need an internet connection. The blockchain doesn’t care about the state’s permission — it only needs a broadcasted transaction signed by your private key.
Cryptocurrencies offer financial freedom for everyone and come with additional benefits like uncensorable global payments, instant to 10 minute confirmation times, less than 1 cent in fees, no inflation, no chargebacks, very low risk of theft compared to credit cards. In addition, Monero offers great privacy and peace of mind that strangers can’t track your balance, earnings or transaction history.
The trend toward cashless payments is exclusionary and disturbing (https://whycryptocurrencies.com/cashless_dystopia.html), but cryptocurrencies can solve this by providing a cashless payment method that is available to absolutely everyone and immune to exploitation by the state and corporations.
Imagine being able to pay for groceries, rent, public transit, subscriptions, healthcare and more with cryptocurrencies. Peer-to-peer markets and proxy merchants can already help you to do this, but mass adoption will make it even easier.
The internet and cryptocurrencies provide the technology to build free markets for everyone, outside of the corporate greed and statist violence that is embedded into the mainstream economy — we just need to take this opportunity.
— — —
Peer-to-peer marketplaces are the future of commerce
Peer-to-peer markets are already liberating people from state and corporate control. KYC-free voluntary peer-to-peer transactions in our local, online and global communities bypass the dangers of corporate greed, disproportionate statist regulations and exclusionary government ID systems.
Many peer-to-peer markets are already thriving, both traditional local markets with cash-in-hand transactions such as farmers markets and informal apartment rentals along with new opportunities that arise with the help of the internet and cryptocurrencies such as remote work for Bitcoin or 3D printing.
- Buy/sell websites like Craigslist
- Peer-to-peer apartment rentals and intentional communities
- Taxis and ridesharing
- Barter and free stores
- Fair trade and direct trade
- Freelance and remote work
- Informal jobs and gigs for cash
- Health clinic collectives
- Open-source software
- Skill sharing and online classes
- Hackerspaces and infoshops
- Proxy merchants
- Anonymous sim cards
- Communal wifi networks
- Encryption software
- 3D printing
- DIY projects
- Homesteading and small-scale farming
- Solar panels and other renewable energy
All these and more help you and your community to gain independence from the state and big corporations. The internet and cryptocurrencies make it even easier to meet like-minded people and send and receive money outside of the state’s knowledge or control. Peer-to-peer markets are also a foundation of voluntaryism, vonu, agorism, crypto-anarchy, cypherpunk and second realms.
Peer-to-peer markets and local and global communities are the future — by the people for the people. Start P2P trading today and build free markets for everyone.
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Why Twitter’s KYC’ed Bitcoin tips are dangerous and what KYC-free alternatives you can use
“BREAKING: Twitter is now beta testing a #Bitcoin lightning tipping service” twitter.com/BitcoinMagazine/status/1433032351777492992
Looks like Twitter plans to enable Bitcoin Lightning tips, but only via Strike’s KYC wallet.
Strike Wallet unfairly excludes people without government ID, who are already shut out of banking, Paypal and Western Union, while the state is phasing out cash. These people need financial inclusion the most, and by refusing to serve people without ID, Strike continues to push vulnerable people out of the economy.
Strike also endangers people who would be at risk in real life if their Twitter pseudonym is connected to government ID, such as journalists, activists, artists and people who simply want privacy (for example, they don’t want their employer to find their tweets).
Additionally, Strike is creating a KYC’ed surveillance database of Twitter users with their full names and photos (who decided to exchange their privacy and possibly freedom of speech for a few cents of co-opted KYC’ed Lightning tips).
When Facebook started to arbitrarily ban accounts and demand government ID to login or delete them, people found this wrong and invasive. But these same people are happy to send Twitter their ID (with their full name, photo, birth date and home address) for a chance to maybe get a few cents in tips.
Example: If a libertarian Twitter user wants to earn some donations for their tweets, built-in Lightning tips via Strike may seem easy and convenient. However, if Twitter later decides to cancel them (or worse, if the state sends a warrant or the KYC database is hacked, etc.), they could be in real danger. Due to Strike’s KYC, the libertarian blogger isn’t just an anonymous pseudonym over VPN anymore, but rather Strike (=Twitter) has their full name, photo, home address and SSN. This could endanger them to doxxing and real life violence from people who disagree with their tweets or attacks from the state. All for a few cents in tips…
Users who want to enjoy freedom of speech without compromising their safety should avoid Strike, use a pseudonym over VPN/Tor, and use a KYC-free donation platform like Cointr.ee.
Bitcoin is KYC-free by default. Satoshi intended Bitcoin to be permissionless pseudonymous peer-to-peer money, which exists outside of banks, corporations and the state. The Bitcoin network doesn’t require government ID or state permission — a pseudonymous randomly generated private key is enough to send and receive money.
KYC is just an artificial unnecessary and new (since 2018) Layer 2 that exists to financially exclude people without ID and surveil and endanger people who do have ID.
Bitcoin worked fine without KYC from 2008–2018 and KYC-free platforms continue to work well today.
Don’t use Strike. If you want Bitcoin tips on Twitter, just add your Bitcoin address in your bio, make a Cointr.ee page, use Tippin.me, get a paynym at Paynym.is, or many other options — KYC-free, privacy-friendly and accessible for everyone.
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Watts for financial freedom — Why Proof of Work is a necessary use of energy.
Recently there are several environmental concerns about Proof of Work mining which secures the Bitcoin and Monero networks. However, over half of cryptocurrency’s energy usage comes from renewable sources, which is increasing every year. A further portion uses energy that would otherwise be wasted (stranded energy). The energy used by cryptocurrency is also much lower than the energy used by the inefficient legacy networks of the banking system, Visa and MasterCard — which many people can’t even participate in due to KYC discrimination. Popular hobbies such as video games, scrolling social media and streaming Netflix also use large amounts of energy due to the required server farms and infrastructure, while cryptocurrency provides a vitally inclusive financial system that helps people today.
The Bitcoin and Monero networks offer advantages that the legacy financial network cannot provide. While the state’s fiat system is based on coercion, theft and war, cryptocurrencies are opt-in networks, based on open source code and secured by volunteers who run node and miner software on computers worldwide. In addition, many people are unfairly excluded from traditional banking due to KYC — such as the millions of people without access to government ID or victims of abuse and activists who need pseudonymity for safety reasons. In comparison, cryptocurrencies use mathematics, not state-assigned identities, to prove ownership of funds. You only need a pseudonymous cryptographic private key to access your money, which you can generate with easy-to-use wallet software on a computer or smartphone. As a result, cryptocurrencies provide a safe, private and inclusive payment method and store of value that everyone can use, no government ID or corporate permission required.
Monero offers further advantages compared to the legacy financial system. Monero can be described as “anonymous cash for the internet”, which allows you to securely and privately send and receive money worldwide via easy-to-use wallets for desktop and mobile. Strong cryptographic privacy means that amounts, addresses, balances and transaction history aren’t displayed publicly on the blockchain, protecting you against surveillance and possible censorship or targeting. Transactions cost less than 1 cent in fees and are confirmed within 2 minutes. In addition, Monero can only be CPU mined on regular computers (no large ASIC server farms), which means that everyone with a computer can contribute and earn money by securing the network. Monero uses a comparatively small amount of energy to efficiently provide an inclusive global financial network that helps people today.
In conclusion, cryptocurrency’s use of energy is vital for financial freedom, in a world where cash is being phased out and financial surveillance and censorship is increasing. Many people can’t access traditional banking, which unfairly shuts people out of online shopping, cashless payments, remote work, in-app payments, international remittances and many other economic transactions. Every Watt spent on cryptocurrency infrastructure is a vital contribution to financial inclusion for all.
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How and why to migrate from Twitter to Mastodon/Pleroma
Twitter is increasingly hostile toward Tor and recently it is difficult to even login via Tor. 10+ Google captchas just to receive the error “Oops, something went wrong. Please try again later.” and attempt the 5 minute process again with a fresh exit node. You can waste 10+ minutes in this loop and still have no success to login.
In comparison, TryLiberty (https://tryliberty.org) is a Pleroma instance that doesn’t block Tor, is compatible with all Mastodon and Pleroma instances (which use ActivityPub), and even offers its own onion: http://5ah3j4yj23zv2kmyrkjazbzoxhav3wcrllpdbnj4yvph5wyr6yrez4qd.onion
Ideally, libertarians, devs, Bitcoiners, Monero users and more should move to any suitable Pleroma or Mastodon instance (e.g. https://tryliberty.org, https://liberdon.com) and use Nitter (e.g. https://nitter.net) as a read-only alternative to Twitter when necessary. Nitter also offers a RSS feed option for every Twitter profile, so you can add your followers to your preferred RSS reader.
Pleroma and Mastodon are better than Twitter in many ways: Tor-friendly, uncensored, open source, many instances and you can even host your own.
But how to bring more libertarians, Bitcoiners and Monero users over from Twitter?
- A KYC-free Bitcoin/Monero tip bot (similar to Noise.cash)
- Integration of read-only Nitter into the ActivityPub feed
- Allow people to comment on and retweet Twitter posts from Mastodon/Pleroma
- Bots that automatically mirror your Tweets to your Mastodon/Pleroma profile
Right now, some of these are already available:
- You can add your Bitcoin/Monero address to your profile, but there is no integrated tip button yet.
- Birdsite provides a bridge from Twitter to Mastodon (similar to Nitter, but integrated into Mastodon’s feed): https://github.com/NicolasConstant/BirdsiteLive (https://beta.birdsite.live)
- You can automatically mirror your Mastodon posts to Twitter: https://github.com/bitkeks/mastodon-to-twitter
- And there are many solutions to mirror your Tweets to Mastodon: https://pypi.org/project/pleroma-bot/, https://gitlab.com/yogthos/mastodon-bot, https://gitlab.com/ayush-sharma/tweet-toot, https://github.com/FGRibreau/import-tweets-to-mastodon
Ideally, people would start to post directly to Mastodon and like, comment, follow, retweet and discuss there. However, Twitter -> Mastodon mirrors can provide activity, content and a bridge, until the activity on Mastodon increases.
If you don’t like the standard Mastodon UI, you can try Pleroma, which is more lightweight and has an easy-to-understand design (no confusing columns or bloat). Otherwise you can check this list: https://wedistribute.org/2019/04/your-guide-to-alternative-frontends-for-mastodon-and-pleroma/ for alternative frontends, such as Brutaldon (https://brutaldon.org/) or Pinafore (https://pinafore.social/).
There are many links, tools and bots for Mastodon and Pleroma here: https://project-awesome.org/tleb/awesome-mastodon
Try to decrease your usage of Twitter. It’s hostile toward Tor, is censored, often bans people, and now requires doxxing (=KYC) for its integrated Bitcoin tips. Mastodon and Pleroma instances provide an open-source, self-sovereign, decentralized and uncensored alternative for your content, followers and community. Even if you don’t want to move 100% to Mastodon right now, at least setup a profile and consider to install one of many easy-to-use scripts to mirror your tweets.
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How to generate keys, encrypt and sign messages with PGP
If you want to send a secure and private message, use PGP encryption. You can use PGP anywhere (email, social media, messengers, apps and more) — just paste the ASCII-armored encrypted message into the message box and click send. You can also encrypt files with PGP, e.g. for backups or email attachments.
Using the command-line may seem difficult, but the PGP commands are simple. You can use GPG’s CLI software in Windows (CMD), Mac (Terminal), Linux (Terminal) and Android (Termux). Try out the commands listed in this article to see how easy it is.
In addition, consider to use Tor for better privacy. Tor’s secure 3-hop design (consisting of an entry node, relay node and exit node) prevents your ISP from seeing what you access and prevent websites (or other users in P2P software) from finding your location. You can use Tor Browser for websites, Torsocks for software, Orbot on Android or a specialized OS like a Tails USB or Whonix VM. Tor is open-source and you can download it for free here: https://www.torproject.org/
Install GPG for Ubuntu/Debian/Whonix/Mint/PopOS:
For Windows, visit https://www.gnupg.org/download/
sudo apt install gpg
Generate your key pair:
Export your public key (You can share this):
gpg --export --armor firstname.lastname@example.org > my_key.asc
Display your public key (Copy and paste or send as an attachment):
Backup your private key (Don’t share this):
gpg --export-secret-key --armor email@example.com > private_key.asc
Import someone’s public key:
gpg --import recipient_key.asc
Encrypt a message to someone (Write your message in a text file first, e.g. message.txt):
gpg --encrypt --armor --recipient firstname.lastname@example.org message.txt
Encrypt a message with a password instead of PGP key (You will be asked to enter the password in the next step):
gpg --symmetric --armor message.txt
Display the encrypted message (Copy and paste or send as an attachment):
Decrypt a message (E.g. you have saved it under message.txt.asc):
gpg --decrypt message.txt.asc
Sign a message:
gpg --clear-sign --armor message.txt
Display the signed message (Copy and paste or send as an attachment):
Verify a signature (Import the public key first):
gpg --verify message.txt.asc
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Roadblocks to obtaining government-issued ID
The state’s monopoly on identity and its KYC regulations exclude millions of people from daily life necessities, such as finances, jobs, apartment rentals, healthcare, mail, sim cards, contracts and more. If the state refuses to print ID for you, there is no way to appeal or get an ID via an alternative method. It is truly a monopolized single point-of-failure that leaves people (who e.g. weren’t registered at birth) no opportunity to enter the system and regularize their situation as an adult, regardless of their skills or efforts.
If you weren’t registered at birth or the country of birth is dangerous to you, it’s impossible to get a passport or national ID card via a standard application. If you don’t already exist in the database, the state is very unlikely to add you as an adult.
Skilled work visa
Even a skilled work visa requires an existing passport, regardless of your specialized skills, an invitation from a company or a highly-paid job offer.
Sadly the state doesn’t only require a passed driving test, but also an existing national ID card or passport in order to get a driver’s license.
Stateless passports, non-citizen passports
Stateless passports technically exist, even with an “identity not verified” stamp for people who don’t have a birth certificate or old passport. However, the state mostly refuses to print stateless passports (legally recognized stateless status) and non-citizen passports (nationality unknown) and even prefers to imprison people indefinitely than to print an ID which would allow them to get a work or marriage visa.
Asylum is generally only available in cases of war. People who escape from a war-torn country fortunately may be able to get asylum by only providing fingerprints. For anyone else who is escaping from a dangerous situation (abuse, political persecution, cultural persecution e.g. against women, LGBT people, religion or ethnicity), the state often refuses to grant asylum applications and even forcibly returns the applicant against their will to the country that endangers their life.
Red Cross, United Nations
United Nations used to issue laissez-passer passports and Red Cross used to issue emergency travel documents, but sadly it looks like these are not available anymore. Generally these were only valid for one trip, and not intended for daily life use, such as visas, jobs, apartment rentals or healthcare.
Flag Theory, second passports, jurisdictional arbitrage
Sadly all Flag Theory strategies, such as St Kitts and Nevis passports, Estonian digital residency or Panamanian permanent residency, require an existing passport or birth certificate. There is no way to receive an initial proof of identity via investment or skilled work, so these strategies can’t help people who have no identity documents at all.
Many people recommend to make contracts under a business name rather than a personal name. However, even “anonymous off-shore companies” with nominee directors require government ID to open. Maybe this method could provide privacy for people with ID, but sadly it isn’t possible for people without ID.
Secondary proof of ID, paper trail
In Common Law countries like the US and UK, it may be possible to access services via “secondary proof of ID” or “ID points”, such as letters, medical records, work ID cards, library cards, baptism certificates or other non-government documents, or ask someone who has ID to vouch for you (identity witness). However, in most other countries, only passports or national ID cards are accepted, which strictly require you to be entered in the state’s database at birth (government-issued birth certificate). This means that it isn’t possible to “build an identity” via a daily-life paper trail such as contracts, letters and school/work records.
Non-government ID cards
While Flag Theory offers government-issued ID cards in return for investments (but excludes people without an existing proof of identity), various organizations and companies print non-government ID cards for a fee, no previous ID required. Some examples are Digitalcourage, Bitnation, Liberland and World Passports. However, these non-government IDs are sadly not accepted for KYC purposes (visas, banking, jobs) or even for layman situations like picking up mail, renting an apartment or joining a gym. While you can buy one without an existing government ID, it sadly isn’t accepted in daily life situations.
Paper tripping was an old strategy that used dead people’s documents or copied living people’s documents, e.g. by buying a birth certificate from one state and using it in another state, as databases weren’t shared. Sadly this doesn’t work anymore, at least in the EU, because data is shared between databases, departments and countries (e.g. from a cloned birth certificate, the state can easily find the real person’s photo, address, job and IDs, or if it’s a foreign birth certificate, they can ask the embassy, who will reply if it’s faked or cloned). If you try to apply for a national ID card using a cloned birth certificate, the state will see the real person’s existing ID card and their photo in the database, and will easily determine that you aren’t the same person.
Bribed ID may work if you find a connection to a corrupt bureaucrat, although it may look suspicious to see that a birth e.g. from the 90s was only entered today. Plus there is a risk if the corrupt bureaucrat would be exposed and the fake ID records would be deleted.
In the US, it’s fairly easy for college students to buy a fake driver’s license for drinking. However in Europe, fake ID sellers are difficult to find. If you can find a fake ID seller, maybe it could work to pickup mail, visit a doctor or rent an apartment and open up more opportunities this way, but it is unlikely that the state would accept this ID to issue a visa or SSN and it may not work for situations that use scanners (e.g. opening a bank account).
As you can see, it’s difficult to access government ID if you weren’t registered at birth, the country of birth is dangerous to you, or many other reasons. The state provides no way to regularize your situation as an adult, e.g. via a daily-life paper trail (school/work records, letters, contracts, medical records), qualifying for a skilled work visa or even providing fingerprints.
There is no way to convince the state to solve problems that it has intentionally created. Even human rights organizations like United Nations, Red Cross, Caritas and Privacy International have tried to persuade the state to print IDs for millions of stateless people, refugees and undocumented people. 1 billion people worldwide have no access to government-issued ID, but instead of printing ID for these people, the state prefers to ignore, blame, exclude or even imprison them.
Instead, the practical solution is to provide more services that don’t require ID, such as under-the-table jobs, informal apartment rentals, cash-in-hand healthcare, anonymous sim cards, and businesses who accept payments in cash or Bitcoin. Proxy merchants are also necessary: people who have ID make contracts or sign up for services on behalf of people who don’t have ID and are paid a fee for their help. This could help people without ID to access jobs, banking, apartment rentals, online shopping or even healthcare.
More information about KYC-free services can be found here:
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How to create an anonymous Telegram and Signal account without a phone
This guide (Whonix + Anbox) also works for other apps, such as Signal, Samourai Wallet, Schildi Chat and more.
Smartphones are bad for privacy. They have many privacy-invading sensors such as front and back cameras, microphone, cell tower location, GPS location, fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth and NFC and an unchangeable device ID (IMEI). In addition, it’s difficult to use apps without risking IP leaks — for example, Orbot doesn’t have a kill switch. Likewise, in many countries it’s difficult to buy a prepaid sim card without government ID (https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/Registration_Policies_Per_Country), which means that people need to rely on gray markets or second hand sim cards in order to get an anonymous phone number. Even with a KYC-free sim card, your physical location is continuously sent to cell towers and your movements are saved in the operator’s database, which is accessible to the state and corporations.
In comparison, desktop computers and laptops are much better for privacy. No GPS or cell tower connections, no sim card and if there is a built-in camera or microphone, you can cover it, disable it in the kernel or physically remove it. With Tails and Whonix, it’s easy to ensure that all traffic is routed via Tor without leaks. In addition, you can buy KYC-free SMS verification services for Bitcoin. Unlike physical sim cards and esims, SMS verification websites don’t know your physical location and you don’t need a phone to use them.
This guide describes how to download Anbox (Android emulator) in Whonix, use a SMS verification service to register a Telegram account, and link your new Telegram account to Telegram Web or Telegram Desktop. (An Android emulator is necessary, because Telegram requires you to signup via the app and doesn’t allow signup via Telegram Web or Desktop.)
1) Install Whonix. Whonix is used because it automatically routes all software through Tor, including the Android emulator. Select your operating system on the Whonix homepage for installation steps: https://www.whonix.org/
2) Install Anbox emulator inside Whonix Workstation. Open Whonix Workstation and follow these steps to install Anbox: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Anbox
(An alternative is to install Android-x86 VM and specifically configure it to connect to Whonix Gateway: https://android-x86.org/. However this guide focuses on Anbox.)
3) Install Telegram. Open Whonix Workstation, then click on Terminal. Enter these commands:
anbox launch --package=org.anbox.appmgr --component=org.anbox.appmgr.AppViewActivity
adb install Telegram.apk
4) Open Anbox via “Start menu -> Accessories -> Anbox” and click on the Telegram icon.
5) Use a SMS verification website such as https://smspva.com, https://textverified.com, https://sms4sats.com or https://juicysats.com and choose “Telegram”. These websites are all KYC-free and accept either on-chain Bitcoin or Lightning Bitcoin. One SMS verification costs around 50 cents-$2. If the provided number doesn’t work, you can get a new number for free or get a refund. Alternatively you can try free SMS websites such as https://sms24.me or https://onlinesim.ru but these numbers are often already used. If the website requires an email address, you can create an anonymous email address via https://onionmail.org, https://msgsafe.io or https://protonmail.com.
6) Register your Telegram account in Anbox with the provided phone number from the SMS verification website. After signing up, add a password (Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Two-step verification -> Cloud password) and recovery email address (e.g. an anonymous OnionMail.org address). This is important, because SMS verification websites sometimes reuse numbers. If you set a password, no one will be able to take your number or login to your account. For privacy, you can also set a username (Settings -> Edit profile -> Username) and hide your phone number (Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Phone number).
7) Connect your new Telegram account to Telegram Web or Telegram Desktop (optional). Download Telegram Desktop in Whonix Workstation or visit https://web.telegram.org/ in Tor Browser. Then enter your number and you will receive a login code to your Telegram App in Anbox. Important: Don’t delete the Telegram App or uninstall Anbox, because you still need it for login codes, otherwise you will lose your account.
Now you can send messages via Telegram and join Telegram channels. Remember that regular messages, groups and channels are not encrypted. Only “Secret Chats” between 2 people are encrypted.
If you want an encrypted messenger for 1-on-1 and group chats that doesn’t require a smartphone or phone number, works in Tor Browser, and has web, desktop and mobile apps, try Matrix (https://matrix.org, https://app.element.io).
New guide — How to create a Signal account without a phone:
While it’s possible to install Signal in Anbox, you can’t link it to Signal Desktop, as there is no way to spoof the in-app camera in order to “scan” the QR code. In addition, it isn’t possible to register a new number via Signal Desktop and Signal doesn’t offer a web version. However, it’s possible to register via Signal-CLI and link it to Signal Desktop — all inside Whonix Workstation. The setup is slightly more complicated, but you only need to install it once, then you can enjoy access to Signal inside Whonix, without the risks of a smartphone nor the lag of Anbox.
1) Install Signal-CLI: https://github.com/AsamK/signal-cli/
2) Get an anonymous virtual number from SMSPVA, JuicySMS or TextVerified for Bitcoin or Monero
3) Visit https://signalcaptchas.org/registration/generate.html in Tor Browser and complete the captcha. Click on “Inspect Element -> Console” and copy the long string that begins with “signalcaptcha://”
4) Remove the prefix “signalcaptcha://” from the long string. Now you have your captcha code and can signup.
5) Enter this command to signup (replace +1555444333 with your phone number):
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 register --captcha "paste captcha here"
6) Get your verification code and enter this command (replace 123456 with your code):
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 verify 123456
7) Add your username and avatar (required, if you want to join group chats):
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 updateProfile --name MyUsername --avatar ./my_avatar.jpg
8) Initialize your account by sending a test message to yourself and receiving it:
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 send -m test +1555444333
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 receive
9) Add a PIN, so that no one can re-register your number or login to your account (in case the SMS verification website reuses numbers). Replace 1234 with your PIN:
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 setPin 1234
10) Install Signal Desktop: https://github.com/signalapp/Signal-Desktop
11) Launch Signal Desktop, screenshot the displayed QR code and save it to your computer (e.g. as signal_qr_code.png)
12) Decode the QR code (if you don’t have zbarimg, install it with
sudo apt install zbar-tools):
13) Copy the string that begins with “sgnl://linkdevice”
14) Enter this command to link to Signal Desktop:
torsocks ./signal-cli -a +1555444333 addDevice --uri "paste string here"
15) Now you can send messages and join groups via Signal Desktop. (Important: Don’t uninstall Signal-CLI, you will need it if you need to relink Signal Desktop, pair to another device or change your username/avatar/PIN.)
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