What is Nostr, the fledgling software project to which Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey gave 14 bitcoin (worth approximately $245,000 at the time) in December following Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter acquisition?
One consequence of Musk’s takeover has been to accelerate the growth of alternative, more decentralized networks. Many journalists and Twitter users critical of Musk flocked to Mastodon, which Reason‘s C.J. Ciaramella described as “a collection of ‘federated’ independent servers, each centered around a topic…. It’s like a mix of Reddit and Twitter, but less centralized.”
But Nostr—short for Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays—decentralizes on an even deeper level: It’s not a social media network but an open-source protocol.
“If a platform is a silo, a protocol is a river,” tweeted National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this month, “no one owns it, and everyone is free to swim.”
Once a user establishes a Nostr identity using a pair of keys (one public, one private), he or she can transmit text posts (i.e., “notes”) or other information such as cryptocurrency payments (i.e., “other stuff”) across any networked computer (i.e., “relay”) willing to host that content. Because the users hold their own keys, they can use any site or app that runs the Nostr protocol to post and communicate with their friends and followers. No single third party has the power to delete users’ posts or profiles from the Nostr ecosystem.
This Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, join Reason‘s Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller for a live discussion of Nostr and the future of decentralized digital communication with bitcoin entrepreneur and host of the Bitcoin Review podcast NVK and Will Casarin, creator of Damus, the first Nostr-based social media client to be approved by the Apple app store. Watch and leave questions and comments on the YouTube video above or on Reason‘s Facebook page.
Total Nostr daily users and posts—https://nostr.band/stats.html
Coin Desk: “Jack Dorsey Gives Decentralized Social Network Nostr 14 BTC in Funding” https://www.coindesk.com/tech/2022/12/15/jack-dorsey-gives-decentralized-social-network-nostr-14-btc-in-funding/
Facebook Active Daily Users Q4 2022—https://www.statista.com/statistics/346167/facebook-global-dau/
China bans Damus app—https://iris.to/post/note15dyll0ruhqme3k6kcq54gsed7cfasdpp6zgh76a27vhn5q70kfjqflvt2l
The Decentralized Web Is Coming