June 14, 2021

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Signal on the outside, Signal on the inside

A few months ago we completed the process of unifying all of our apps across Android, iOS,
and the Desktop under the name ‘Signal.’ This simplified the language around our apps and eliminated a lot of
confusion. Now we’re doing the same thing “inside” our apps by renaming Axolotl to Signal Protocol.

Axolotl has been the name of the cryptographic protocol that our apps use for end-to-end encryption, but it’s not
the easiest word to pronounce. Sometimes people use ‘Axolotl’ to refer to just the base double ratchet
instead of the full messaging
protocol, so there has also been some confusion around what people mean when they say ‘Axolotl.’

To continue eliminating confusion and simplifying everything within the Signal ecosystem, we’re renaming
Axolotl to Signal Protocol. The implementations have been renamed, so there are open source Signal
Protocol libraries available for C, Objective C, Java, and JavaScript in our
GitHub repository, as before. These have been making their
way into an increasing number of communication apps, and we’re excited for the future of the Signal Protocol
as it continues to spread.