tl;dr - we are forming the first of its kind committee to help shape how communications might flow if sent directly through wallet providers, and we are looking for wallet companies to join the committee. The communications schema will be called Bulletin. Join our Telegram here or email us about your interest
As we've worked on SimpleID, one core problem continues to rear its head: Web3 companies can't or don't communicate with their users. SimpleID has provided the initial solution to this. By combining our analytics and segmentation with email and in-app messaging, companies can start to communicate, to inform, and to better protect.
But we can go further.
When introducing the idea of email to the Web3 community, you have to overcome two challenges. First, you have to overcome the challenge of removing the association of personal info (email address) with crypto addresses. Second, you have to prove that you are doing what you say and can be trusted.
SimpleID has done the first part. The second problem is the "trusted third-party" problem. In a decentralized world, people should be able to trust themselves and not be forced into trusting others. The infrastructure of Web3 doesn't quite support this idea fully—at least not in a way that provides the user experience, consumer protections, and joy that Web2 has provided. So, we start with some centralization layered in optionally on top of decentralized technology.
Some examples of this include node operators, analytics companies, and SimpleID. For us, we've placed security and privacy at the forefront of what we do with the long-term goal being continued decentralization of our technology. But until we get to the point where we can be completely decentralized, we have to take steps forward.
At the end of the day, the current problem with communication in Web3 is not that you can't do it but that people have to trust you.
Wallet providers in the Web3 space have earned the trust of thousands, if not millions, of users. They've done so through a trust but verify model. Open source code, security audits, and a vibrant community of developers and users. Wallet providers are the first line of defense (and usually the only defense) for end-users. As such, wallet providers are not keen on introducing external code and partnerships into their platforms.
Yet, wallet providers are the perfect vehicles through which communications can travel. Especially now when we are seeing a rise in native mobile wallets, these providers have the opportunity to fundamentally change the way Web3 users receive communications. Email has long been the de-facto standard for communicating with someone when they have left an application. Whether these communications are re-engagement campaigns, account information, or something more serious, email is the route through which almost all after-the-fact communication happens.
However, with the advent of native mobile wallets, we have the opportunity to leverage mobile push notifications. These notifications are, arguably, a more direct line to the user. In the decentralized finance space, the time it takes to receive a notification about, say, a CDP liquidation can mean the difference between a portfolio saved and thousands to millions of dollars lost.
If we can route communications through the layer users trust most—the wallet layer—we can start to solve many of the problems Web3 faces. But we have to do so in a smart, coordinated way. We have to form a committee to ensure the right solution is architected and enforced. And we have to put as much control in the users' hands initially as we can with the long-term goal of putting complete control in their hands.
We have sketched out an early framework and schema for Web3 communications as a starting point. We have both the near-term schema and a skeleton of the long-term schema. The solution, once all parties have had time to provide input, will be called Bulletin.
The first iteration of the new Bulletin framework is still very much being shaped by the participants who join the Web3 Communications Consortium, but the idea we're starting with is roughly this:
Any application can use a monitoring and communications platform to kick off messaging to users based on criteria they have set. A wallet notification service will take in the messaging via webhooks (or some other method yet to be determined). A check will be conducted and if the user has not opted out of messaging, that message can be delivered in the wallet's native form (email, sms, or push).
In this model, end users have all the control, wallet providers don't have to worry about spam, and applications have a direct line of communication with their users rather than the indirect models that exist today.
The future of this entire framework is to make it as decentralized as possible. That means users controlling their messaging settings, controlling the messages, and controlling access to data generated from them viewing those messages. It will take time to get there, but the infrastructure is already being laid. 3Box has introduced Ceramic Network, which is just one example of a decentralized, user-focused protocol coming to market.
A decentralized, user-controlled future might look something like this. Apps and protocols talking to users through messaging services, monitoring services, and through one-off messages. All of this can happen in an n-to-many fashion. n number of apps or protocols can communicate to many users (assuming the users have opted in to receiving messaging).
User protection and ownership is the name of the game. If we can nail that, it'll be a win across the board.
Call To Action
We have already spoken with numerous wallet providers and began the discussion around forming a committee to help shape Web3 communications, but we want to involve the entire wallet community, if possible. If you are a wallet provider and want to have a voice in the future of Web3 communications, join our Telegram here. Or, you can email us directly.