Distributed Download

Rachel Black
Nov 25 · 5 min read

3Box Community Newsletter: October

The Distributed Download is back! This edition recaps activity in the 3Box community from October. 3Box has been busy as ever shipping new features and products; last month’s output includes the Identity Wallet SDK, Ghost Threads API, comment/chat plugins, updates to Hub, and an integration with MetaMask.


👤We are hiring a Protocol Engineer

The 3Box team continues to grow, we are hiring a Protocol Engineer. If you have experience with scaled, distributed data systems and are interested in joining us — or know someone who may be — check out our careers page.


From the 3Box Team

SDKs and APIs

👝IdentityWallet SDK

IdentityWallet was our most significant release last month, allowing wallets to directly integrate with the 3Box system via the 3ID protocol. This is important as it provides greater flexibility and improved security. 3ID provides a standard way for wallets to handle user data authorization, signing, encryption, and decryption functionalities.

With Identity Wallet, these functions can now occur directly inside the wallet, instead of being outsourced to a 3Box.js client running in a web browser. Making the 3Box system more modular, as well as allowing for a broader range of application structures (including React Native wallets and support for Node.js applications), and smart contract accounts. Identity Wallet makes using 3Box accessible to a whole new sector within the blockchain industry. For more information, including and architectural overview, and a guide to getting started, check out Identity Wallet’s release blog.

👻Ghost Threads API

Another important release in October was the release of Ghost Threads, providing performant, in-memory, decentralized messaging. This differs from regular 3Box threads, as the messages are not persisted to OrbitDB. Instead, they function in a purely peer to peer manner, facilitated by IPFS pubsub. The messages are stored in memory, new joiners to the chat can request a backlog from the existing members. Ghost threads bring scalable and performant messaging to Ethereum DApps, perfect for chatrooms, disappearing messages, and direct messages. Read more on our release blog.


💬3Box Comments

A simple drop-in react component for adding beautiful, decentralized comments to your dapp. Built using 3Box’s open threads messaging API. This handy plugin allows Ethereum developers to easily make their dapps more social and interactive with only a few lines of code. For more information visit this blog post.

🗣3Box Chatbox

Ethereum dapps are often limited to on-chain financial transactions. This has resulted in low user engagement, we wanted to change this at 3Box so we built Chatbox, real-time decentralized, gas free, messaging, great for adding chatrooms to your app. Built using 3Box’s Ghost Threads API, which provides performant, in memory, messaging. Chatbox relies on IPFS and libp2p, which means that messages are real-time and there is no cost or wait times.

This plugin has been designed to be able to use both out of the box, and customizable to your brand. For more information on the architecture of Chatbox, and how to use it, visit this blog post.


💬3Box Wall

As part of our mission to make web3 a more social and interactive place, we’ve added the ability for users to leave comments on 3Box profiles. We call this feature 3Box Wall, and it opens up a whole set of new possibilities for social interaction between web3 accounts. And best of all, comments are fully decentralized since they’re built using the 3Box Threads API provided by the 3Box.js SDK.

🔎3Box Hub Search

In 3Box Hub you can now search for other users by their complete Ethereum address. This brings us a step forward in our quest to bring the Ethereum community closer together online using native web3 technology.

In future versions of Hub Search, you will be able to search for other users by any of the public information in their profile, including Twitter, Github, URL, description, and anything else kept there. Additionally, we will allow you to search for partial strings and fields so that it will function like your typical search feature.

Coming Soon

3Box React Native SDK

To facilitate React Native, we’re going to be creating a fork of 3box-js that uses a remote IPFS node (via ipfs-http-api), allowing us to swap in react native compatible modules, replacing those that were incompatible. Community member Jon Schwartz gave us an update on this progress of this SDK in our community call.

From the Community


🦊MetaMask uses 3Box for Wallet Backup

MetaMask has begun offering a new feature that allows users to back up their wallet data to 3Box. Now, instead of keeping MetaMask wallet data, such as account information, settings, and contact lists in browser localStorage where it remains siloed, MetaMask users can securely store this information in 3Box. Meaning if you lose your device or clear your browser storage, you will still be able to access your wallet data thanks to 3Box! For more information, visit this blog post.

Built on 3Box

ΞID Mobile

Community member Kames has been very busy this month, building us a number of projects, starting with ΞID Mobile Wallet, built using IdentityWallet SDK and WalletConnect for transport. ΞID Mobile Wallet is an open source, decentralized identity wallet. Read more about the project here.


A simple decentralized note taking application by community member Kames. Read more about the application on this blog post, and visit the demo app here.

3Box Extensions

Another project by Kames, this time a light-weight, global state management. Providing common decentralized identity interface components to handle authentication and joining spaces and threads. For more information visit this blog post.

Other Happenings


🙌Rachel and Mike join!

Over the last month, we have had two new teammates join us. Rachel Black is now leading our Developer Relations efforts, helping make the developer experience and community around 3Box even stronger. And Mike Sterle-Contala has joined our development team as an Infrastructure Engineer, and will be focused on scaling our distributed data network and otherwise building out 3Box core infrastructure. Come say hi to both at chat.3box.io.


Ledger Z Meetup and EF Meetup

For those of you who are Berlin based, join us on the 26th at Ledger Z where Rachel will be presenting 3Box. RSVP Here. Next month Rachel will be presenting 3Box at the Ethereum Foundation Meetup also in Berlin on the 5th Dec.

📞 Community Call

We conducted a community call last Tuesday (19/11). Covering the latest releases from 3Box (Identity Wallet, Ghost Threads), demoing our new plugins, as well as an update from community projects Microsponsors, 3Box Extensions and ΞID Mobile. If you weren’t able to join us, catch up with the video recording. Sign up for our next community call.

Rachel Black

Written by

JavaScript Developer



APIs for decentralized profiles, storage, and messaging. Learn more at 3box.io.

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