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Blockchain Based Instant Messaging Applications

05 March 2021 | 2 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in Geek Chic

Decentralised instant messaging

If you've been paying attention to tech, communication and marketing space, you'll notice that social media and instant messaging platforms have come under fire in recent times. The distrust regarding big tech and their data mining, centralised control and algorithmic biases are starting to not only fragment society.

These tech platforms have also turned their very consumers they wanted to retain into detractors that want nothing to do with these once loved "darlings of the internet".

In the last year dramas such as:

  • YouTube has been caught shadow banning and removing user content
  • Twitter has been de-platforming users, with the most high profile being former US President Donald Trump
  • Facebook has banned Australian news organisations from posting content to their platform
  • WhatsApp's privacy policy changes have sent users into a frenzy, and users are on the search for alternatives.

Have started to sour internet users taste for products made by big tech companies. The list continues to grow in length, and I am sure there will be more drama surrounding these big tech platforms in the future.

Tech 2.0 Centralisation

In tech 2.0, it was all about centralising services, using your Facebook account to login to other services or using your Apple ID and all Apple products to sync your life. The convenience factor is an obvious appeal, but we can see now that centralising your life around these big tech companies isn't only about convenience but collecting more data points on individuals.

Internet users are now seeing the value of decentralisation through smaller internet service providers, apps and most notably, blockchain technology. Splitting your data or owning your data allows you to reduce your internet footprint or actively control the breadcrumbs you leave online.

While social media tends to leave the biggest visible footprint, instant messaging is where we leave the biggest digital footprint. Many internet users spend more time in instant messaging apps than they do on social media or websites, and the wealth of data they produce is why Facebook has been pushing for a change in WhatsApps terms of service.

Reduce your reliance on big tech

So what can you do to reduce your reliance on big tech, increase your privacy and stop becoming "data livestock"? Well, move to alternative applications, of course.

Alternative instant messaging platforms

But what are your options? We've sourced the web to see who you can replace WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram DM's with and here are a few options.

1. Dust

Radical App is the developers of the blockchain-based messaging app known as Dust. The apps key focus on privacy and security, with several features devoted to protecting your identity. One of Dust’s major selling points is the timed message deletion, where your messages self-destruct after a given time (up to 24 hours).

Once you delete the message, there is no way to recover it. The Dust app also comes with anti-screenshot protection, stopping other users from easily snapping your conversations. (It doesn’t make it impossible, of course!)

The app launched with much fan fair and media coverage as Mark Cuban was one of the primary investors.

  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Find out more about Dust

2. eChat

eChat positions itself as a simple and easy to use messaging program leveraging blockchain technology. eChat is built using the Ethereum blockchain. While the programs main function is chatting, it also has a built-in wallet that can process Ethereum transactions.

e-Chat also features social media features with a content creation section where users can upload content and create subscription channels. Other users can tip content creators using e-Chat’s native ECHT token, allowing the best creators to profit from their work.

You can also make free group calls using e-Chat, with up to ten people sharing a connection.

  • Available for Android and iOS 
  • Find out more about eChat

3. Sense Chat

Sense Chat is a dApp built on the EOS blockchain, which provides a lightning-quick decentralized messenger app as EOS ranks among one of the faster blockcahins when it comes to processing data.

The Sense Chat app features multiple chat channels on any number of topics, peer to peer video chat over the blockchain, and leverages its user’s EOS public keys to create secure, encrypted connections. Sense Chat also allows users to tip content creators and even regular messages to contribute to chat channels.

The Sense Chat app uses basic but secure encryption to verify each message and encrypts every message you send with the public key of the recipient. The public key is stored on the EOS blockchain; therefore, you can verify the sender and recipient addresses at any time.

4. Sylo

Sylo is more of a wallet based solution but labelled itself as a decentralized "social fintech" application. While it's core function remains that of a cryptocurrency wallet, it also offers a decentralized messaging app, among other things. Sylo has a strong focus on privacy, too.

Each conversation uses Sylo's Decentralized Signalling "to establish encrypted P2P connections on demand."

One interesting feature is Sylo Storage, a decentralized storage network you access through the app. The Sylo Storage network is currently provided by companies already connected to the Sylo network. That will change in the future as more companies and even users can contribute additional storage to the network. Those that contribute storage earn Sylo tokens.

You can also use Sylo tokens (SYLOs) to unlock additional services and features, access and store content using Sylo Storage, process DApp activities, and so on.

  • Available for Android and iOS 
  • Find out more about Sylo

5. BeeChat

A South Korean based messaging app that uses blockchain technology to secure your communications. BeeChat also includes an ecosystem of blockchain-based apps as it is cross-chain compatible with both Ethereum and EOS.

BeeChat is not only aimed at one to one communication and has some Telegram-like community-building features, too. For example, you can host a chat with up to 30,000 users using the messaging and video chat features.

Users can connect with "Key Opinion Leaders" in each community, sharing and discussing cryptocurrency, blockchain, and other technologies.

6. Telegram

The hugely popular Russian based messaging app Telegram successfully raised over $1.7 billion this year via their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and has since moved on to base itself in Germany. Telegram has long offered encrypted messaging services, but now it is to move full steam into crypto-friendly integrations.

Telegram is not built on any chain and is by no means decentralised, but it is starting to adopt features of blockchain if we believe its roadmap and communication.

The first of these integrations was initiated this month under their new identification verification app, Passport. Passport allows Telegram to store your personal and most sensitive documents on Telegram's encrypted blockchain network. The company utilises end-to-end encryption, and company officials claim they have no access to your data.

7. Status

Status utilises Ethereum's well-developed blockchain to ensure their clients' information remains protected from prying eyes. The platform offers end-to-end encryption for all messages. Additionally, you can browse through an extensive selection of decentralised apps (Dapps) via the platform's built-in browser.

Status users are privy to many unique features, including a decentralised job market, exchange, prediction system, and digital ID service. The platform also allows artists to promote and share their content securely via the Ethereum blockchain.

8. Sphinx chat

Sphinx Chat is a lightning network-based application that allows you to send messages via the Bitcoin second layer network. You effectively send messages via transactions and pass sats on to one another via your messaging.

9. BeeChatter

BeeChatter is a chat and wallet application built for users of the Hive Blockchain (a fork of STEEM) and leverages the side-chain known as Hive-Engine.com, which deploys smart contracts on top of HIVE.

BeeChatter uses your private posting key from the Hive Blockchain to log into a chatting tool. This verifies your blockchain identity. BeeChatters uses your active key to move funds around, ensuring that the account owner has the authority.

BeeChat is not only a mobile application, but it's also integrated into a range of HIVE based dapps, so your messaging is synchronised across all dApps in the ecosystem.

Decentralise your data

Are you starting to break up your digital footprint? Which apps are you shutting down or switching to instead? Are there any instant messaging apps you use that are not on this list? Let us know in the comments below

Contact us

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If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles. 

Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on instant messaging.

Tags: Instant Messaging, Blockchain

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