EPNS introduces Push Nodes P2P — A new way to communicate in Web3

In the 2021 roadmap of EPNS, the launch of the Alpha of Push Nodes was mentioned. It is basically an initiative to allow interaction across the Ethereum platform and its upcoming layer 2. The EPNS team is claiming that the system they established has accomplished beyond their expectations. And currently, it is moving forward to enable multichain communication that will involve both non-EVM and EVM compatible chains. 

What is the aim of the initiative?

The prime aim of the protocol is to establish a de-facto communication layer for web 3. It will enable multiple communication features, including on-chain governance, wallet-to-wallet chat, sending notifications, creation channels, and so on. With the help of this protocol, exchanges will be able to create exclusive channels to send important notifications directly to the users who have enabled the service via their wallet addresses. 

Note that the system won’t be responsible for controlling whether certain content should be delivered to exchange users. Instead, the exchanges will have the sole right to decide whether they want to interact with the user. 

Further, the dApps can use the channels to distribute messages right to the users’ Ethereum addresses. Aside from this, users will be able to send notifications in a multichain, open, and platform-agnostic manner. 

As per the roadmap, with the launch of wallet-to-wallet chat, users will be able to interact with one another without any hassles. 

A brief on EPNS Protocol

EPNS protocol refers to a smart contract group that facilitates the following: 

1. Governance and validation through EPNS Core.

2. Interaction via EPNS Communicator smart contracts and SDKs.

  • EPNS Core (Governance Smart Contract):

Anyone who wants to send notifications needs to activate them on EPNS Core in the form of a channel. Note that you can leverage EPNS Core over Ethereum Blockchain only. The prime role of EPNS Core includes: 

  • Creation of channel
  • Modification of channel
  • Blocking or deletion of the channel
  • Verified Channels
  • Manage fee among token holders
  • EPNS Communicator

It is a layer over which actual communication takes place. Following are the tasks An EPNS communicator handles:

  • Opts in for notifications
  • Sends notifications
  • Delegates roles of Notifs to other wallets
  • Verifies multichain creation of the channel

Understanding push nodes

Push nodes are defined as a central part of the network that makes Web 3 notifications distribution work efficiently. In simple words, they work as validators that anyone in the future can run via slashing and staking. The three important tasks of push nodes include: 

  • Listening: They listen to EPNS Communicator smart contracts across each blockchain. Additionally, they also facilitate direct or off-chain communication through API calls either using a dApp or a backend. EPNS can support any kind of Web 3 service with the help of off-chain and on-chain communication listening. 
  • Validation and Governance: The communication driven through the EPNS Communicator layers needs validation to process further. Here, validation refers to checking whether the channel is spam. The EPNS core layer enables the governance to check the channel validity. 
  • Admittance to Network/dispatch: Push nodes enable notification admittance tied with the address of the wallet within the network. Once done, any crypto wallet or frontend can be used to view them. The nodes also facilitate dispatching, allowing web 2 apps to display web 3 notifications. However, it can be done only when the frontend/software/wallet wants to allow the notification reception rather than managing a direct socket connection. 

The transfer the notifications between web 3 and web 2, the Push nodes use the mapping wallet addresses’ local functionality to device ids of the third-party app. In addition to it, it also needs app push certificates centralized credentials. With the help of this module, push nodes also validate and sync the data. 

Note that these functionalities are currently working under a test setting. 

Understanding the architecture of Push Nodes 

History Fetcher (Sync / Index)

The push nodes module features to sync the history of EPNS Communicator and EPNS Core. Aside from data replications, the module also performs quick validation by indexing the data and channels of EPNS Core. 

Web Sockets (Receiving)

The web sockets are enabled to listen and update existing data storage on both the on-chain and off-chain sides. 

Validators

The push nodes trigger the following validation phases:

  • Validating Payload Authenticity: 

The push nodes monitor the upcoming payloads for the delegator or channel address to verify their authenticity. 

  • Extrapolating payload and enhancing recipients list: 

The data extrapolation pulls the actual payload from the identity. Doing so will trace the address of payload storage. Next, it expands the list of recipients, including singles as well as the entire channel. 

  • Mapping to the inbox/spam box of the recipients

The next phase of the validation process includes mapping individual recipients’ payloads to their inbox or the spam box. It depends on the recorded users’ opt-in through EPNS Communicator smart contracts/ history fetcher/direct push nodes opt-in.

What is next in the roadmap?

Due to the active functionalities of the features mentioned above, users are receiving timely web 3 notifications. The further plan of the roadmap is to build a cluster of nodes that can interact and keep data synced while communicating with one another. Also, EPNS aims to establish a decentralized system over this layer. Next, users can expect the distribution of rewards through staking. However, the protocol will also penalize users via slashing. It will assure active participation by users, and Push nodes can work under a truly decentralized framework. 

Wrapping Up

Web 3.0 is the future of Internet and Blockchain technology. Mass adoption of Web 3.0 will coming faster than expected. And for that, we need tools and protocols like EPNS to fuel this mass adoption. EPNS is all set to build the first open communication layer in the world for the web 3 ecosystems. It started with Ethereum, and now it is also considering L2s as well as other blockchain networks. With the success of this protocol, the notifications can be sent through dApps, smart contracts, and traditional servers that are connected to users’ wallet addresses. Hence, users can integrate and display the notifications on any mobile apps, crypto wallets, dApps, or extensions. 

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