BitcoinPlus has secure messaging built directly into the client, that utilises the Peer-to-Peer messaging layer to send and receive messages across the network. Messages are sent across the network encrypted with the addresses used in the conversation so that only the sender and recipient can unencrypt and read that message. This feature has only been accessible in the BitcoinPlus version 2.7 in graphical user interface via the debug console which facilitates command line usage of BitcoinPlus, this has not been user friendly.
BitcoinPlus 2.8.0 introduces a user interface for secure messaging which adds some features not available via the command line, like setting aliases for contacts and removing contacts to hide future messages from them. The messaging interface is designed to work like modern instant messaging software and should be familiar to most users. Here we provide usage instructions for the new secure messaging graphical user interface.
The messaging interface is accessed in 2.8.0 by selecting Message from the top row of tab in the BitcoinPlus desktop client.
Choose sending address
To communicate with other users you need to set a sending address, this is automatically done for you by selecting the first address in your wallet. However you can choose another address as your sending address. It should be noted that changing addresses will prevent any messages sent from a different address from displaying as only messages to and from the currently set sending address are displayed. Switching between sending addresses will restore any messages sent to contacts using that address.
To choose a different sending address, click on “Sending Address” in the top left of the messaging user interface.
This will bring up the receiving page of the address book, select the address you want to use for sending messages and press “Choose”.
Sharing your contact
Before someone can contact you they need your contact address information which includes your BitcoinPlus address and a public key that corresponds to that address, only once another user has both these pieces of information can they send you a message. It is not possible for a user to discern your public key without you providing it to them.
To get your contact information for your sending address click on “Share Address” in the top left of the messaging user interface.
The following window will popup with your address and public key, you can copy and paste the information from this window and provide it to anyone who wants to contact you.
Adding a contact
Once you have contact information from another user you can add them by pressing the “Add New Contact” button in the bottom left of the secure messaging interface.
This brings up the “Add Contact” window into which you enter the address and public key you were provided. The “Name” field is a label that you choose and can rename later on. Once all the details have been entered press “Ok”.
The user should now appear on the left hand side in the user list. To see the BitcoinPlus address of the contact move the mouse over that user and a tooltip will popup showing the address. To rename a contact either double click the name or right click on the name and select rename. To see the contact information of a user you can right click the contact and select “Contact Information”
Sending a message
Select the user you want to send a message to on the left hand side of the secure messaging interface, this should display on the right hand side any previous correspondence. In the text entry box under the message display panel on the right, enter the message you want to send and then press the “Send” button.
Your message should appear in the messaging panel with a green background to indicate that you sent the message, received messages have a white background.
When a new message arrives you will receive a notification if you have notifications enabled.
Also inside the client on the secure messaging interface you should see a number indicating the number of unread messages next to a contact.
Clicking on the contact will display the new messages and clear the new message count. If the conversation that received the new messages is already open then there will be no new message count as the messages will be considered read.
If you receive a message from an unknown contact then a new contact is automatically created named “New Contact”, with this in mind, only one user needs to share their contact information and can wait for the other user to message them. You can then rename the newly created contact using right click or double clicking the contact.
Clearing or removing a conversation
When a contact is selected at the top of the messaging panel there are two buttons, “Clear Conversation” and “Remove Contact”.
“Clear Conversation” will permanently delete the conversation but only locally, the other contact in the conversation will still retain their copy. “Remove Contact” removes the contact so that you will not receive any more messages from that user, they will not be automatically added to your contact list if they try messaging you. When selecting “Remove Contact” you will also get a popup to ask whether you want to also permanently delete the conversation, this behaves the same as the “Clear Conversation” button. If you do not select this option then it is possible to recover the conversation by adding this contact again.