A new era of messaging applications will soon cross the chasm of Web3 mass adoption. Web3 messaging applications will become an integral part of the blockchain ecosystem, allowing users to communicate with each other and interact with decentralized applications (DApps) and the protocols themselves in a secure, direct, decentralized manner. This editorial will discuss the benefits and challenges of Web3 messaging applications and their impact on the future of communication.
Web3 messaging protocols, such as the Extensible Message Transport Protocol (XMTP), are implemented on a decentralized communication network, using a peer-to-peer architecture to facilitate communication between verifiable identifiers like an Ethereum public address or an Ethereum Name Service domain. Unlike traditional messaging platforms such as Telegram or Discord, which are centralized and rely on central servers to route messages, Web3 messaging protocols use decentralized networks to create a trustless environment where users can communicate without intermediaries through their wallets.
One of the advantages of Web3 messaging protocols is their decentralized nature, ensuring the security of messages. With traditional messaging platforms, messages are often stored on centralized servers, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches. In contrast, Web3 messaging protocols use encryption algorithms to protect messages from unauthorized access, making them virtually impossible to intercept or decrypt.
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Further, it is easy for the recipient of a message to prove the authenticity of the message sender. If you look at Twitter or Discord, they are full of scammers and phishing attacks through “official” fake accounts. Proving the authenticity of a sender is extremely easy when using Web3 messaging applications and massively lowers the chance of becoming the victim of a scammer, as it can be quickly verified on-chain.
Another benefit of Web3 messaging protocols is their ability to enable micropayments for messaging services. Micropayments can help combat spam and trolling, as spammers are less likely to waste their money on low-quality messages.
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Of course, users do not need to pay anything if they don’t want to when messaging, but they have the feature to require senders to pay a fee to send them a message to lower spam and also as a way to generate revenue. One could imagine a feature where if someone who is not in your contacts wants to contact you, they are required to pay a certain amount in tokens that are locked and can be returned by the sender if the message is genuine and not spam. This could solve the spam issue of Web2.
However, there are also challenges associated with Web3 messaging applications. One major issue is scalability, as the current infrastructure of most blockchain networks cannot support the high volume of messages that traditional messaging platforms handle. In addition, Web3 messaging protocols currently require a certain level of technical proficiency to use, which may deter less tech-savvy users from adopting them.
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Both of those issues have been addressed or will be addressed soon. With more and more scaling solutions on the market, the scalability issue will be solved — or in some cases, it has already. Account abstraction solutions are being invented that will not require the average user to be tech-savvy to interact with them.
Furthermore, there is a risk that Web3 messaging protocols could become a communication method for criminals, as the decentralized nature of the network makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track and trace illegal activities. As a result, there is a need for clear regulations and guidelines to ensure that Web3 messaging protocols are not exploited for nefarious purposes.
Despite these challenges, the potential of Web3 messaging applications is enormous. As the world becomes increasingly digital, the need for secure, decentralized communication will only continue to grow. Web3 messaging applications have the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate, allowing for a new level of privacy, security and transparency. Discord and Twitter will be made obsolete as data moves on-chain.
Web3 messaging protocols are a promising development in the blockchain ecosystem, offering a secure, decentralized way to communicate between users, DApps and protocols. While there are challenges associated with their adoption, such as scalability and the risk of misuse, the benefits of Web3 messaging protocols outweigh the risks. As blockchain technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovation in the realm of Web3 messaging, paving the way for a new era of communication that makes the old apps obsolete.
Darius Moukhtarzadeh is an entrepreneur and advisor focused on decentralized social media applications. He’s the co-founder of memester.xyz, an NFT meme platform on Lens Protocol, and previously worked as a researcher for Sygnum, a digital asset bank. He also worked for Ernst & Young in blockchain consultancy and for several startups in the Swiss Crypto Valley.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.