Friday, October 14, 2016


Bitmessage is a decentralized, encrypted, peer-to-peer, trustless communication protocol which is used to send encrypted messages to one or multiple persons. Bitmessage uses public key cryptography to encrypt a message and mix the encrypted message along with other encrypted messages, so that users’ identity remains concealed.

The concept of Bitmessage was first developed by software developer Jonathan Warren in 2012. Its design is based on the decentralized digital currency Bitcoin. As the protocol is decentralized in nature and the encryption is difficult to crack, Bitmessage has become quite popular since its first release in November, 2012.

How does Bitmessage work

Bitmessage is a decentralized protocol. So, it works quite differently than other message encryption protocol.

  • All Bitmessage users create their own anonymous P2P network. Each user corresponds to a node in the network.
  • Each node has a cryptographically generated address. This address resembles a bitcoin address.
  • Bitmessage uses public key cryptography. So, each node will have a pair of cryptographic keys – a public key and a private key. These keys resemble to bitcoin keys. To be specific, Bitmessage uses 256 bit ECC keys and OpenSSL for cryptographic functions.
  • If a sender wants to send an encrypted message to someone, he encrypts it using cryptographic key of the recipient and sends it across. As different keys are used for encryption and decryption, not even the sender can decrypt the message once it is sent.
  • The encrypted message thus sent is mixed with all the encrypted messages sent by all users, so that identity of the sender and the recipient remains concealed.
  • Unlike other encrypted message protocol, all the nodes in the P2P network will receive all the messages. But, only the intended recipient would be able to decrypt the message using his secret key and read it.
  • Bitmessage nodes can store the encrypted messages only for two days. Messages more than two days old are not archived in the network.

Bitmessage can be accessed using Tor or I2P. It uses strong authentication to prevent spoofed messages. Bitmessage has grown much popular since its first release and now the Bitmessage network processes several thousands of private messages everyday.