Op-Ed: Web3 is changing how we create content, trade assets, build products, and grow communities. At the core of all of these exciting innovations is our ability to communicate.
By Harsh Rajat, co-founder and lead of Push Protocol
Communication! We can't get very far without it. From our earliest civilizations to the infrastructure that powers our most revolutionary products, communication lies at the core of how we connect to the world. Like technology itself (and in many ways because of it), how we communicate has drastically evolved, a process that hasn't been without its challenges.
Through the innovation of next-generation technologies like web3, we're experiencing intuitive, new opportunities for seamlessly communicating with each other via applications that don't force us to rely on centralized web2 services such as email, social media, or text messages.
Web3 has a lot of work to do to simplify access, security, and functionality within products (i.e., decentralized applications) if we're to onboard the next billion users — and keep them. Something as simple as communication is a use case and sector loaded with value and opportunity to bring more people to web3, serving as a bridge between dapps and users through the power of notifications, chat messages, and more across blockchain networks.
Here are five pillars — and revolutionary features — that will bring web3 communication to the next billion users.
ACCESSIBILITY: Inviting Chat Features that Mirror the Familiarity of SMS
Can any of us remember a world before text messaging? SMS set the standard for how easily we can communicate across various connected devices, from phones to embedded web applications to, most recently, AI chatbots like ChatGPT. Web3-enabled communication must follow suit, mirroring the simplicity of text messaging to allow us to easily send and receive familiar chat messages across web3 environments like wallets. Speaking of wallets…
PRIVACY: Wallet-to-Wallet Communication
Chatting across text messages and social media DMs thrive in its simplicity and user experience but not in privacy. The centralized environments we often communicate in are not owned and controlled by us but by corporations that monitor our data and use it to sell ads. Web3 communication, where we utilize our wallet addresses to send and receive messages, offers a secure and privacy-focused alternative to traditional messaging apps. By leveraging blockchain technology, we can communicate directly via our wallet addresses without personal identifiers like phone numbers. It's the best of both worlds — web3 privacy and web2 functionality.
CUSTOMIZATION: Web3-Enabled Push Notifications
Have you ever asked yourself, 'Why am I receiving this notification — and more importantly, how do I turn it off?' While notifications can help keep us on track and in the loop, they're often at the expense of our control, privacy, and desire (another centralized tactic to monitor our digital identities). In web3 communication, however, we gain oversight and control over how we send/receive notifications and where. Through the power of features like "delegated notifications," pre-approved channel owners can control who can send notifications on behalf of specific channels — and receivers on the wallet end can easily opt-out at any time (without relying on "unsubscribe" buttons buried within our crowded email inboxes).
FLEXIBILITY: Multi-Chain Communication
If we're going to onboard more users to web3, we have to give them more options of where to engage — and chat! Can you imagine if every mobile phone company had its own SMS, and if you didn't use it, you couldn't send and receive messages? Anyone who's caught flack for being the one Android user in a group chat of iPhones knows that even two SMS systems can cause friction. Web3 communication levels the playing field, allowing users across countless supported blockchains to chat easily via the same decentralized infrastructure. Say goodbye to the Battle of the Text Bubbles!
DYNAMIC FORMATS: NFT, Video Chat and Audio Spaces
Platforms like Discord, WhatsApp, and Zoom have revolutionized the communication space by giving us countless formats — video, text, audio, and so on. Now imagine the dynamism of chat formats without the centralized dangers (and inefficiencies) of bots, unwanted ads and notifications, and expensive tiered access. In web3 communication, any smart contract and wallet can communicate via video, text, push notifications, DAOs, groups, and NFTs.
Web3 is changing how we create content, trade assets, build products, and grow communities. At the core of all of these exciting innovations is our ability to communicate; it’s essential that these conversations and connections should leverage the same unique pillars and features that enable web3 to enhance and reshape the systems of our everyday lives. If we stick to that mission, there's no telling how far these conversations — and products — can go.
Harsh Rajat is the founder and Project Lead of Push Protocol (formerly EPNS). He has over 12 years of entrepreneurial experience in various spectrum of tech; including system architecture, development and design in different tech fields (including mobile, web services, SaaS, and blockchain).
Harsh previously spoke/judged at multiple tech conferences and hackathons including Messari Mainnet, ETHCC, ETHDenver, Schelling Point, ETHAmsterdam, NFT NYC, Liscon, HackMoney, EDCON.
Push Protocol is a web3 communication network, enabling cross-chain notifications and messaging for dapps, wallets, and services. Push powers communication for over 100 of the world’s leading dapps and service providers across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, dev tools, and more. Push is currently live on Ethereum and Polygon.
Until Push, no solution existed to enable native communication between wallets in response to on- and off-chain data. The result was a fractured dapp ecosystem, held together by antiquated and centralized communication platforms.
Push is building the communication network for Web3, addressing a gap in critical infrastructure and improving the everyday experience for blockchain users.