Fetch.ai Wallet v0.4.0 Released!
Here at the Fetch.ai team, we are really excited to bring you a large feature upgrade for our Fetch Wallet, namely Messaging!
You can now message contacts directly from inside the wallet. These messages are end-to-end encrypted, so only you and the person you are communicating with can read the message.
We see messaging as a critical missing feature from most wallets. How often when you are sending some FET to your friend do you need to confirm amount, wallet address etc.? — Quite often, we imagine.
While it is true that you can use other third party services, this means that you have to manage keeping track of your friends usernames or phone numbers and their wallet addresses. This is why we think that it is simply easier to be able to message the wallet address directly. All of this can be done with a few clicks from inside the wallet you are already using anyway.
How it works
If you have already been using the Fetch Wallet since our last release, you might have seen the chat icon in the bottom menu. Provided that you are on the FetchHub network, and you click on it, you will now be presented with the welcome screen.
Here you can choose how you want to use the messaging feature. You can either:
- Completely disable it
- Enable it, but only for contacts in your address book
- Enable it for everyone
Your privacy is very important to us, and so this is reflected in the design of this feature. You can change this later anytime!
On clicking continue, you are registered to use the chat functionality so that people can discover your address and send messages to you based on your selected privacy settings.
- This is the Chats page where you will be able to check out all the conversations. Initially it will be empty (obviously) but you can start a new conversation by clicking on the new chat icon.
2. In the New Chat page, you can search for addresses or contacts you want to have a conversation with based on your privacy settings. If your privacy settings are set to Contacts Only, you can only search for addresses saved in your addresses book. If your privacy settings are set to Everybody, you can search any random address as well and start a conversation with them.
3. It is important to note that you can send a message to an address or a contact only if they have registered to use the feature as described here. If the address you are searching for has not registered yet, you will see an inactive label under the contact.
4. On selecting a contact, you can start a real time conversation with them and this is how a personal chat looks like:
5. The Chats page will start showing all your conversations that you have had and everything is real time! You can also search the conversations by pasting an address or typing a contact’s name.
6. You can always visit the Chat settings by clicking on settings in the left hamburger menu in the home page and then clicking Chat. Here, you can view or edit the list of blocked accounts and change your privacy settings anytime.
Privacy & Safety
We take users privacy and safety very serious at Fetch.ai. There have been many internal discussions about the right product decisions in order to give users the best privacy and safety. Here are 4 important ways the Fetch Wallet does that.
We give you the ability of who can choose to message you. We intend this feature to be used primarily between participants in the Fetch.ai network. Likewise, we do not want users to be spammed by messages from other users in the system. You can enable the messaging feature in “Friend Mode” by selecting the Contact’s privacy settings, and then only people in your address book can contact you.
If you are open to new connections, we want to make sure that you have the tools to block anyone you don’t want to talk to.
We give users the control to be able to block other users messages — if you don’t want to be bothered by a sender
As mentioned before, importantly, this is an opt-in feature. You are also NOT locked into a decision — if you change your mind, you can simply go to settings and update your choice at anytime.
For privacy reasons, messages automatically disappear after a period of 14 days. We are working on allowing users to backup messages if they need to in the next versions of the wallet.
How do I get it?
If you have already installed the Fetch Wallet installed, then you will not have to take any further steps. It will be automatically updating shortly.
If you don’t have the Fetch Wallet installed, then you can install in into your Brave or Chrome based web browsers at the following link:
Q. How do we know if it really is end-to-end encrypted?
A. While the backend messaging server, is not currently open source — it is our intention to release in the future, the browser wallet code is open source. Since all the heavy lifting from the cryptography perspective is done in the client, developers and community members can verify for themselves.
Q. Isn’t this just going to be a way for people to spam other people?
A. Hopefully not, but we are aware that could be the case. To combat that possibility, users can restrict who can send them messages in a couple of ways. Either by restricting messages to just people in the user’s address book or by blocking the sender explicitly.
Q. How can users be protected against scams and malicious behavior?
A. Because the service is end-to-end encrypted, there is nothing that the messaging service can do to detect and filter such messages. We encourage users to be careful, especially when talking to new people on the network. If users are worried about this, they should switch their privacy settings to “Friend mode”. We have a number of additional tools in the development pipeline to give users more control.
Q. What is next for this feature?
A. We are keen to see what the community thinks of this feature, but we have a number of exciting product updates in the works, things like group chats or read receipts. As well as deeper integrations between wallet and messaging itself. What would you like to see next? — let us know.