The Telegram app actually helped to get me hooked on crypto over 6 years ago. It's also where most of the crypto people still hang out.
Look, I'm not gonna rip on Telegram too hard, because I still love their UI/UX, but I have left Telegram now, permanently.
As you may be aware, Telegram forces you to confirm your identity (also called KYC) by receiving an SMS message and then confirming the code that they send to you. Well, I changed my number 3 years ago and eventually trashed the old SIM card.
Apparently, if you are the Admin of many different Telegram groups, you might get "flagged" as some sort of dissident or something, hell if I know, but what I do know is that Telegram decided that I needed to be re-KYC'd on that old phone number.
Also, anyone who has known me for any length of time knows exactly how I feel about any form of KYC. #fuKYC
So, effective Sunday July 5th, I left Telegram.
When you put your trust into a company, especially one that forces you to give them your phone number or email address, you bind yourself to whatever laws that company decides to obey. Just wait 'til Google requires your COVI-PASS proof to regain access to your Drive data...
Anyway, over the past 6 years, many new awesome protocols have been growing in popularity. My 3 favorites are IPFS (which is why we built C-IPFS for mobile), Matrix, and ActivityPub.
What difference does it make? Seriously?!
If you have not looked into federated networks yet, please do so if you care at all about your privacy, your data, decentralisation, peer-to-peer and/or end-to-end encryption.
The open-source Matrix protocol supports all of that and much more. They even expanded upon Signal! Check out their FAQ.
Want encrypted group chats and videoconferencing?
Matrix has you.
Want to "explode" your messages?
Yep, Matrix supports that too.
Encrypted file storage? Yep.
Run your own private server? Yep.
Custom usernames and proper PKI key management? Yep.
Custom Communities and Rooms? Yep.
Compare Matrix against the rest and you'll see what I mean.
How bad can the KYC and censorship get?
Imagine being cut off from all of your contacts, your data, your photos and videos and even your internet access itself.
If you're tired of KYC, censorship and dickheads selling your data, then Matrix is your answer. Telegram, Zoom/Keybase, Whatsapp, Messenger, Skype, Viber, etc.. all those companies can bite me. The Matrix protocol provides everything you need and even let's you CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE APP so that you and your contacts aren't locked into just one! No more middlemen and no more walled gardens!
There's at least 10 different apps out there already that run on the Matrix protocol (and I have tested most of them).
Here's my faves:
For web: https://riot.im
For android: "RiotX" or "FluffyChat"
For ios: "Riot"