Today, an unexpected and unfortunate announcement was made: Zoom acquired Keybase. Keybase, probably one of the best crypto platforms ever—and also my favorite one—, is now in hands of that evil American giant. Zoom recently got into a privacy and security scandal for falsely marketing its platform as end-to-end-encrypted. What can we expect about “Zoombase” now? I know Keybase needed some way of sustaining, but it got that support from the wrong corporation. I don’t think we can totally trust it anymore, and while I will probably continue using some of its cool features, I will slowly begin migrating to Matrix.
What is Matrix?
According to Wikipedia, “Matrix is an open standard and lightweight protocol for real-time communication. It is designed to allow users with accounts at one communications service provider to communicate with users of a different service provider via online chat, voice over IP, and video telephony.”
Matrix is not owned by a single evil American corporation and everyone can run their own instance and interact with people from other instances—similar to e-mail or Mastodon—, so that no single evil Chinese corporation has absolute control over the network. Besides, it got improved end-to-end encryption two days ago—it was a bit of a pita before—, and 1-to-1 conversations are finally encrypted by default! It is not still a totally mature project, but it is getting a lot of improvements and features, as well as a growing community.
Riot.im is the reference cross-platform client developed by the core Matrix team. There’s still a lot to do in terms of UI/UX, but it’s also getting better and better! Other clients are lacking a lot of features, because many of them are still in development stage, but we can contribute or just hope they’re ready soon. I recommend using RiotX in Android, since it supports all of the latest features, including device cross-signing for easier E2EE.
Also, the matrix.org instance is slow because a lot of people is using it, and HTTP is definitely not the most efficient protocol. So, you can always join other instances for a better experience!
Zoom Keybase vs Matrix
First of all, Keybase is just a platform, while Matrix is a protocol and a network. Keybase has a lot of awesome features, such as encrypted filesystem (kbfs), encrypted Git repositories, identity proofs through social media, teams with channels and subteams, encryption tools, powerful CLI interface, restricted bots, etc.: it is amazing! Matrix, in the other hand, supports messaging, E2EE, VoIP and bridges to other platforms. Not a lot of features, but it is decentralized and open.
Switching to Matrix
My Matrix username is
@avalos is my username and
cybre.space is the name of my instance). I will begin moving IoT Lemakers to a community called:
#iot-lemakers:cybre.space is the main conversation room.