WalletConnect
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WalletConnect

Building a Messaging Protocol for Web3

Every so often, the world is confronted with a new technology that transforms how we humans interact and communicate. From stone engravings to movable type to Twitter, these disruptions reshaped the way in which information was exchanged.

We are now on the precipice of another such revolution. The arrival of the blockchain has initiated a paradigm shift, ushering in what many of us call web3. It proposes a new set of building blocks with which to shape identity and exchange on the internet.

From the creation to the decentralization of digital identity

The advent of the internet brought human communication into an intangible dimension. In this virtual space, we had to identify ourselves in order to participate in certain types of exchange. One method that emerged was the humble email address, which is still widely used today to log-in and send information.

As the digital landscape complexified, so did the notion of identity on the internet. The arrival of social platforms introduced new possibilities, but with a caveat that has grown starker over time. These digital profiles are, in essence, a service provided by a centralized entity, which is paid for by the user with their personal data.

Now, with the blockchain, a new type of digital identity has emerged. As the “account” of the web3 world, the wallet address is the means by which we define our existence on-chain. We carry this identity with us, sharing it with the wallets and apps that we choose to connect with, in order to effectuate an action that has been, up till now, largely rooted in the storage and transfer of assets. This has been achieved in the first phase of blockchain development; now, we are working on fulfilling the next phase of decentralization.

Messaging: Decentralization’s next frontier

There are three pillars of decentralization — blockchain, messaging, and storage. Blockchain technology laid down the tracks for exchange to take place across a distributed network, while wallets created a user-friendly interface for end users to more easily participate.

In this new ecosystem, WalletConnect’s first protocol enabled wallets and dapps to connect with one another. Now, we are building on the capabilities established by this initial protocol to realize communication between wallets through messaging.

The messaging protocol brings to life the possibility for end users to go beyond exchanging tokens between addresses to exchanging messages between addresses. Users will be able to message others, without having to be on the same “platform” and make concessions in the process. You can stick with your preferred wallet and chat with whomever, regardless of the wallet they use. This is true peer-to-peer communications, with no gatekeepers standing in the way.

For the decentralization experiment to succeed, however, we need apps, as well as end users, to participate and adopt this new technology as part of their everyday lives. We’re thrilled that more than 170 leading wallets have already integrated WalletConnect, so that their users can seamlessly access the exciting world of apps. Our NPM downloads have also been accelerating, topping 2,000 per week since March.

The first step was — and remains — connecting all the different wallets and apps in the fast-growing web3 ecosystem. Our next priority is enabling the users of these wallets to chat with one another, all the while using different wallets across different chains. We can’t wait to launch this new protocol and make decentralized, interoperable and modular messaging a reality.

To keep up with WalletConnect’s announcements, join our Discord and follow us on Twitter. If you are a wallet or app that is interested in integrating WalletConnect, head over to our website and register today.

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