Venture Capitalist at Theory

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2 minute read / Aug 4, 2022 /

Messaging: the Bottleneck for Web3

Messaging has become the bottleneck for growth in web3. The lack of a native messaging protocol prevents apps from communicating with their users.

Today, web3 apps communicate with users on Discord & Telegram. But these social networks aren’t web3 native. My Telegram username isn’t linked to my wallet. Knowing a chat user is the same who bought an NFT remains elusive but important.

These communities don’t help new app developers with user awareness. So developers stuff wallets full of airdropped tokens. They hawk their wares by stuffing them into strangers’ pockets, which is problematic. These airdrops are a novel form of spam for both users & wallets.

The problem extends beyond marketing & community building. Product notifications (your NFT has a new offer), customer support (here’s how to transfer your tokens into our liquidity pool), and peer-to-peer messaging within an application (hey, friend) - none are possible today in a crypto-native way.

Products work around this limitation by linking existing communication systems to wallet addresses like email addresses, or Discord & Telegram handles. Some use machine learning to identify profile pictures across services to canonicalize user identities - no doubt clever. But these are sub-optimal because the underlying problems remain.

Every new software era has its messaging protocol. IRC in the 1980s. Instant messenger in the 1990s. SMS in the 2000s. WhatsApp, Telegram in the 2010s. There will be a new messaging protocol native to the web3 era.

When web3 messaging arrives, consumers will send billions of private messages to each other. Users inviting others will welcome the next hundred million users to web3. Applications won’t trail far behind sending product, marketing, & support messages.

Messaging protocols are oxygen for startups & consumers alike. It’s time web3 had its own.

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