An Indian startup has built a decentralized notification protocol dubbed Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) allowing DApps to send push notifications to Ethereum wallet users.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, EPNS founder Richa Joshi said that they developed the protocol after finding a striking similarity between how applications operated in the early days of the internet and how they operate on Web 3.0.
She explained that Gmail or Orkut did not send notifications in their early days as they do now. Users would have to check back every time to see if they received any new emails or messages.
That changed when Apple launched notifications for internet applications in 2010, Joshi added, saying:
“All of a sudden, services began to reach out to users whenever an action was required from their end. It increased the engagement rate by 7x and massively improved user experience.”
From that perspective, she said, DApps, smart contracts and other decentralized services on Web 3.0 work similarly to early day GMail and Orkut. Joshi emphasized that this was what intrigued them to bring push notifications to the decentralized world and pull the industry out of the “stone age era of communication.”
Further explaining how EPNS works, she stated that EPNS is a decentralized communication layer that follows the Web 3.0 ethos and is “capable of carrying notifications to any platform including crypto wallets, mobile apps or even web browsers.”
Joshi said that EPNS would serve the same purpose for decentralized apps and services as Apple Push Notification Service does for iOS platforms. It will act as the decentralized middleware and verify the source, ensure spam protection, and only let notifications through to a wallet user if they have consented to receive them. She added that users will have complete control over whether they receive notifications:
“The protocol allows users to be in direct control of what services they get notifications from, it imposes rules on the services including spam protection for users, limiting their ability to add wallets as subscribers, etc.”
DApps and other decentralized services will have a better chance at pushing their services to the cryptocurrency community with the help of push notifications.
Similar to how the Chromium-based Brave browser rewards its users for viewing ads, EPNS would also provide incentives to cryptocurrency wallet users that opt-in for push notifications sent through the notification protocol. Additionally, cryptocurrency wallet providers that allow EPNS to send notifications to their users will also receive a part of the revenue generated from the system, Joshi concluded.