The promise of decentralization, of user-owned data, of self-sovereign, identity is control. It’s not quite anonymity, but it is pseudonymity. This is what users of your blockchain applications expect. Most of them, at least. And yet, despite the desire to decouple real-world identity from the identity linking a user to your application (a wallet address), you still need to communicate with your users. How do you do that while delivering on the promises of decentralization?
The first step is recognizing that most of the blockchain space is not communicating. Not in a meaningful way. Not in an effective way. Twitter, Discord, and Telegram are poor stand-ins for communication channels. There’s no guarantee that all of your users will be available through those channels. And even if they are, there’s no way of knowing for sure that all of them see the messages you want (or need) to push through. For the few applications that are talking with their users, whether it’s through a traditional email mailing list or via manually coded in-app messages, a stronger connection is being made between product and person. Before there can be growth in the entire market, there needs to be repeat business. But even for those applications that are emailing and providing in-app notifications, how many are doing it in a strategic way?
There are three things that need to happen for the blockchain space as a whole to engage properly with the people using the applications on the market:
- Identify Usage
- Segment Users
- Message Through The Proper Channels
To do the first and third things on the list above, you would have to violate the fundamentals of decentralization and data ownership. You’d have to identify your users, store data on them, and link that data to real-world identities. At least, that’s what you’d have to do in a Web 2.0 world. But we live in a Web 3.0 world where innovation and tools are pushed to ensure privacy, to protect users, and to deliver great experiences. With a platform like SimpleID, you can deliver on all three things above without violating the principles of decentralization.
To identify usage, we have to stop thinking about usage in terms of on-chain transactions. Those transactions are important, but they don’t represent all the usage for an app. For example, 3Box builds infrastructure for web3 that does not touch a blockchain. They are focused on IPFS. For apps building on 3Box, usage means usage, not blockchain usage.
SimpleID takes a straightforward approach to this. Activity in your app is counted with a timestamp. You’ll always be able to see how many users have actually used your app, regardless of whether they interact with a blockchain. We do this without exposing any personal data. Timestamps act as the activity and that’s all that’s needed.
Before you can message your users, you need to make sure you are messaging the right people. This is where segmentation comes in. SimpleID provides underlying on-chain analytics and basic off-chain analytics for you to group your users without ever revealing their identities. These segments will always update for you to have the correct user counts. You can then use these segments for creating dashboard statistics and for messaging.
Let’s take a look at an example. If you wanted to create a segment of all of your users who had interacted with a specific smart contract, all you would need to know is that smart contract’s address. Behind the scenes, we will cycle through all of your users’ wallet addresses, compare them to the addresses that have interacted with that smart contract, and create a segment that you can then use for data and messaging. All without ever revealing identities to SimpleID or you.
The most important part of connecting with your users is messaging. Today, this tends to happen in disparate places with varying levels of success. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. It’s possible to provide your users with important, targeted messages in-app and through email. With SimpleID, you can customize both in-app messages and email templates then make them available to segments you choose.
For in-app messages, the message will show only to users who log in and are part of the segment you selected. For emails, we use a disassociation service that matches a unique identifier to a wallet address and then that same unique identifier to an email address to build up an email based on the segment you selected. This ensures we never know what wallet addresses are mapped to what emails and neither do you.
Talking to your users is important, but talking to blockchain users has been tricky. We all want to protect the privacy of everyone in this space while making sure we take the necessary steps to keep the right people informed at the right time. SimpleID makes this possible. We hope you’ll sign up for our early beta release. You can do that here.