Harsh Rajat and Richa Joshi labored within the blockchain, fintech and SaaS area and firms like Deloitte and Wipro for over a decade, earlier than seeking to begin up. The husband-wife duo needed to do one thing within the blockchain area and create the following internet.
They realised one factor – blockchain in 2019 behaved the identical means because it did in 2003. Most providers anticipate the customers to maintain coming again to them, and blockchain simply doesn’t have notifications. It led them to start out Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) in January 2020 in Mumbai.
Notifications basically don’t exist on the blockchain, which is tough to think about coming from conventional internet providers, the place folks get notified about their subsequent assembly, e mail, funds or social invitations. EPNS determined to unravel this.
What does EPNS do?
The platform permits providers to ship notifications to the wallets. However aside from simply notifications, customers additionally earn from receiving the notifications. Because the encrypted information of those notifications is saved on the blockchain (immediately or not directly), it not solely allows the group to ship push notifications out to cellular or tablets however basically to any centralised or decentralised carriers.
The notifications could be delivered in a platform agnostic strategy to mobiles, tablets, internet browsers and even to favorite wallets of web3 (Metamask, Belief, and so on).
“Regardless of this development and increasing utilization of blockchain tech, the providers (dApps, providers, sensible contracts) nonetheless lack a real communication medium with their customers, generally crammed by various communication mediums like twitter, telegram or e mail. Notifications are seven instances extra highly effective than these mediums to ship data,” explains Harsh.
The corporate has a worldwide group of 9 members who’ve recognized one another for a few years. The group contains Jafett Sandi, the Product and Growth Lead and Andrew Redden, who’s the Protocol and Analysis Lead.
“The remaining group brings diversified experiences and abilities throughout domains and has helped form the venture with a single objective of constructing a novel product which didn’t exist earlier,” provides Harsh.
Distinction from common notifications
Whereas the duo had expertise in constructing notifications and blockchain, most push notifications are centralised and require affiliation of system ids to usernames (for instance: Fb is aware of you’ve signed in as a result of they’ve a server monitoring that).
When customised notifications to units are despatched, they’re complicated as two providers typically work on totally different rules, and one is often serverless and the opposite requires a server – to type a connection between them is tough.
“EPNS cleverly solves this difficulty by abstracting the info layer on-chain and making a sign-in which does not even ship out any personal credentials or centralised sign-up for customers,” says Harsh.
The group connects the decentralised platforms to a centralised one by disassociating storage of information / config and meant recipients on-chain, which may then be picked up by the infrastructure utilizing the options (or different third occasion infrastructure in the event that they wish to construct on high of our protocol) and could be relayed to centralised providers (cellular, pill, internet, and so on). They may also be picked up by decentralised providers and proven like a twitter feed (for instance: the Alpha dApp).
How does it work
“We see notifications as a method to speak data of various sorts, carry totally different utilities and carry out totally different duties as per their use instances. To allow this, we assign every notification payload a payload sort that defines sure traits of each the info they carry and the medium of storage,” explains Harsh.
These in flip are saved and handled like JSON payload, which is reworked as per the principles of the totally different carriers when the notification reaches them. JSON Payload can differ with payload sorts which ensures the pliability of the content material, information, storage interpretation and supply. This helps in creating totally different guidelines and content material interpretation of the notification (for instance: carrying photographs, name to motion, stay movies, and so on).
The protocol permits customers to be in direct management of what providers they get notification from, it imposes guidelines on the providers together with spam safety for customers, limiting their capacity so as to add wallets as subscribers, and so on. The protocol additionally incentivises customers who obtain the notifications.
This on-chain abstraction of information allows supply to centralised in addition to decentralised carriers, and notifications are handled extra like a social feed (e.g. Twitter) than an ephemeral piece of knowledge (although means to take action additionally exists). It additionally allows guidelines, incentives, settings and configuration to be retrieved from a single supply of reality and isn’t depending on a single level of failure.
“Storing the JSON payload on decentralised storage and simply its pointer / hash on on-chain logs allows value optimisation. Although the protocol additionally permits storing your complete payload on-chain for providers that intend to take action. Abstracting the info layer on chain (immediately or not directly) ensures notifications are platform agnostic and obtainable on decentralised mediums as properly (e.g. dApp, wallets that may not wish to belief a central level of reality),” explains Harsh.
The blockchain area
Blockchain as a sector remains to be in its nascent stage in India. Nevertheless, startups like Binance, Unocoin, WazirX and others are targeted on Blockchain and the crypto area, and, use instances are slowly increasing. Tech30 startup, Senderment, makes use of blockchain know-how to make it easy for international companies to gather information from people, with their express consent.
The EPNS group had taken the thought to Ethereum Basis, once they had been guided to ETHGlobal’s HackMoney, a digital 30-day hackathon. EPNS was chosen and mentored by international design agency IDEO of their product validation day (PVD) after which bought chosen for Gitcoin Kernel accelerator / incubator.
EPNS prices providers staking charges to activate the notifications. This goes by way of staking – lending – curiosity half to generate income, which is then given to the customers who decide to obtain notifications from these providers.
“The primary income comes from charging micro charges to the service once they ship notifications. This micro payment is about in a decentralised method and the governance a part of the protocol handles that,” explains Harsh.
He provides that the group is exploring InterPlanetary File system (IPFS) to type a decentralised communication system between customers. Harsh explains, “IPNS is a static file on IPFS that factors to your web site that is hosted on IPFS. We’re researching methods through which we will use this to doubtlessly type a number of communication factors which might be enabled between consumer to consumer. This may result in thrilling potentialities, for instance, having a chat thread on IPFS that carries with itself the earlier hash (cid) and IPNS retains on updating the newest hash as a pointer in direction of that chat. This may also be explored to provide strategy to potential decentralised video messaging and different thrilling breakthroughs.”