Open Privacy Provides Decentralization through a Messaging App


Open Privacy, a nonprofit firm based in Canada, is working to utilize a zcash-backed messaging app to provide more decentralization compared to Signal or Telegram.


The said project is still in the early stage where it can message between approximately a dozen node and server operators. But with the Zcash Foundation’s donation of $40,000 in the estimation, Open Privacy will employ a designer as well as continue with the payment feature of the system.


The nonprofit network dubbed the app as Cwtch and said that the said app focuses on establishing decentralized infrastructure. According to Sarah Jamie Lewis, the founder of Open Privacy, Cwtch can be dependent on Venmo and Visa, except if the firm could find a way to eradicate the metadata.


Lewis noted that the messaging app was enthused by market research with sex workers as well as queer communities that went through malicious investigation and censorship. For this reason, Open Privacy is looking into a multitude of choices such as bitcoin, liquidity, and various on-ramps.


However, it is still not clear how Open Privacy will surpass the challenges that users might experience since even the zcash option will depend on protected transactions which entail a node that only a few knows how to control.


Part of the donation given by the Zcash Foundation will be used to hire a designer as well as to conduct more research.


In a press release, Open Privacy said that Server-side support is only a portion of the battle and the most crucial stage of the whole effort is to attract individuals who will use the messaging app to a position where they can straightforwardly make use of zcash to pay for unnamed services or even assent it themselves.


As of this moment, it appears that one of the most significant need is personal ads. Some examples of these personal ads include those that Backpage or Craiglist used to offer.


Additionally, Lewis mentioned that the app has to be discreet for the reason that some individuals are put into systematic and personal violence if they are found by authorities to be using applications like Grindr on their mobile phones.


In order to solve such issue, the application functions almost like bitcoin where every user download a record of all the messages, some of those were public. However, it differs in the sense that personal keys and user identifiers can be used to unlock particular message threads such as public group chats and direct messages.

The Zcash Foundation’s director of engineering George Tankersley noted that he aims to integrate insights and comments from Cwtch into the implementation of Zebra zcash.


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