Nostr takes over

February 26, 2023
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Twitter has changed. There’s no turning back. Mastodon is not the solution. There are many reasons why something else is needed. Balajis described nicely the defragmentation of the social media space. Last year, I covered some of the other newcomers including Farcaster and Mastodon.

Nostr is over two years old but it started to take off on December ’22 when Jack Dorsey donated 14 BTC to the development of the Nostr ecosystem. Earlier this month, he stated that “nostr is counter-culture today and has the potential to stay that way. The open and wildly decentralized development model keeps it punk.”

The early years of the Internet were full of excitement, discovery and the feeling of rapid progress in the 90s. This same feeling that was also present in the early days of blogging, social media and blockchain is present in nostr today.

Experienced developers with a history in open protocols, freedom of speech and liberty are joining forces in building a public domain decentralised protocol that is very dearly needed today. The excitement is palpable, and not the least for you don’t need anyone’s permission to get started and contribute.

User adoption is still in the early days but the fact that all nostr applications use the same keys (public and private; i.e. your username and password) gives the end users easy switching and testing abilities. Similarly, app developers have an instant user base potential of the entire nostr ecosystem.

It’s early but the potential is larger than just social media. Nostr is a protocol similar to SMTP (email) and HTTP (Web) which makes it unlike the current siloed applications and Web2 (even Web3) solutions where your data and identity is locked away. If you lose it you restart again or go elsewhere.

Nostr is also more resilient against government censorship and suppression. In this aspect, it has similarities to Bitcoin even though it is not based on blockchain technology and does not have any consensus being asynchronous and decentralised in its nature.

How to get started on nostr?

There are a lot of free resources but is a good starting point.

Many of the clients are easy to use: “The simplest sign-up: type a name and hit go! No phone number or any personal information needed.”, states that is built by Martti Malmi who is the second developer to work on Bitcoin after Satoshi Nakamoto.

You can find me on nostr.