Note: The introduction text might be out of date or inaccurate as of now. It is preserved purely for historic reasons. It was added at the start of 2019 when the termination notice went live and was updated once with new statistics.
Some of you have noticed that the registration has now been closed for half a year. This is also the period it takes for old accounts to expire.
From the statistics of the removed accounts I can clearly see that the service is mostly used as a throwaway address service. Only a handful of people are using the service as a bitmessage gateway, and a fair few treat it as a regular E-mail service. The number of people abusing the service has increased.
The bitmessage network itself processes around 1'500* messages a day, which is barely more than 1 a minute. This is not a lot and validates my findings of people not using this service properly.
* The 2019 average so far is ~3'000 messages a day. The average across May is ~1'100. This either hints at a spam wave or a declining network user base.
Bitmessage has not seen any notable changes lately.
The last release happened over a year ago and there are still over 100 issues open.
The reference implementation being in python and not a type safe language is likely to put off developers that want to implement their own version too because it makes it really hard to figure out if data is a hex string or a byte array for example.
The hardcoded inclusion of the developers own mail system into the client is also questionable.
The service will be gradually shut down. This is the plan (red steps are done):
Since the service has been shut down, this section is of no relevance anymore
If you are one of the handful of people that actually uses the bitmessage network, create a new address at a different provider (or download the client) and inform all your existing contacts to switch to the new address immediately. There are local applications you can run on your computer that simulate an E-Mail service.
If you used your address to register with 3rd party service, log into all those services and change your E-mail address to a new provider.
Be sure to archive conversations you want to keep.
I'm not sure what will be happening to this domain+server after the shutdown is complete. I will likely hold on to the domain for a long time to prevent bad actors from setting up a fake mail system, but beyond that, nothing is planned.
The list below contains products that are alternative to sending E-Mails and/or Bitmessages with attachments.
Products are not in any particular order or chosen for any particular reason over other products. This list is merely a hint and not the endorsement of any 3rd party product.
At this point I can't recommend any instant messaging applications for mobile platforms. This is because they usually come with invasive and unnecessary permission requirements
Due to the nature of how E-mail works, your provider will always know where you send messages to and from whom you receive messages.
I run multiple bitmessage services that will continue as of now:
I want to thank the people that used the service properly and those who donated to it.
This was never meant to blow up the way it did in 2013 and was only supposed to be a proof of concept. After 6 years there's still no identical and comparable service in existence, yet the userbase has dwindled. That shows that there is no demand for this kind of service. Regular encrypted E-mail systems exist already.