What Is Nostr, and Why Do Bitcoin Enthusiasts Love It?

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: The Indian Express

Nostr is an alternative social media platform that was announced in December 2022. The firm gained attention from the cryptocurrency community due to its decentralized nature. Twitter creator and Bitcoin (BTC) believer Jack Dorsey tweeted about the new platform in December 2022, further pushing its acclaim.

Dorsey’s tweet had around 428,000 organic impressions. The following morning, he sent Fiatjaf, Nostr’s chief maintainer, 14 BTC (valued at $250k at the time) from the Bitcoin game company Zebedee.

Furthermore, the platform’s application was recently listed on the Apple App Store. A Nostr conference will take place from March 19–21. The conference already has hundreds of confirmed attendees.

How does Nostr work with Bitcoin?

The term “nostr,” which means “ours” in Spanish, and its Portuguese equivalent, “nosso,” are the sources of the name Nostr. The word is also an acronym for Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays.

The main feature of the application is a permanent public key that can be transferred to any social media platform while keeping its user base. It is similar to having the option to permissionless-ly move your Instagram followers to your Snapchat account, for example.

Nostr claims to grow into a social media network that is genuinely decentralized. The firm may overtake Twitter in the same manner that Facebook did with MySpace. It is not built on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. However, the platform enables Bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network in most of its implementations.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden mirrored the excitement of Bitcoiners when he mentioned that Nostr might replace Twitter and Instagram. To counter censorship, he reaffirmed the significance of decentralized social media. According to Snowden, the government exerted pressure on centralized, corporate-owned social media to limit users’ freedom of speech.

Jack Dorsey, Vitalik Buterin, Edward Snowden, and the pro-cryptocurrency Senator Cynthia Lummis are notable early adopters of Nostr.

Future of the alternate social media platform

Nostr will be attempting to better integrate the Bitcoin network. Users may already tip other users using BTC. The Lightning Network for Bitcoin allows users to change their Nostr user names. By using Bitcoin and its Lightning Network, developers want to protect Nostr relays against spam assaults like Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks (DDoS). One GitHub repository’s owner has already published a proposal dubbed “Expensive Relay” that charges users a relaying fee to post events.

Some users have urged Nostr to address public key management concerns, such as the need to post their keys on Twitter in order to validate their accounts.

Nostr is a fairly straightforward protocol that serves as the foundation for several new social media applications. It may, in other words, serve several purposes. If it manages to fix a few public key management issues, it would potentially be able to confirm ownership of social media accounts even on “old” networks like Twitter. It may be expanded upon by clients to produce their own social media properties.