What new things does XMTP bring to Web3 social with its partnership with Coinbase and Lens?

XMTP's partnership with Coinbase and Lens brings new features to Web3 social.

Author: How to be a husband

Recently, Coinbase Wallet released a video on its official Twitter account, announcing the integration of Coinbase Wallet with the open-source communication network XMTP, and cooperation to enable instant messaging between wallet addresses.

It is understood that XMTP not only cooperates with Coinbase Wallet, but also helps the newly released v2 decentralized social media protocol Lens Protocol open its instant messaging module this week. In addition, applications within the XMTP network ecosystem can communicate with each other.

In the current Web3 social competition track, many social projects have emerged, highlighting decentralization as the core feature of the project, benchmarking Twitter. However, most projects make a lot of noise but achieve little. XMTP seems to be taking a unique path: exploring from the perspective of encrypted native scenes with genuine demand, such as NFT markets, wallets, and DeFi.

So, how is the current technical development of this project? What collaborations have been established? How will instant messaging bring changes to the design of Web3 projects? Odaily Star Daily has experienced this product and will share an overview of the project, evaluation experience, and some ideas below.

Overview of XMTP Project

XMTP is positioned as a bottom-layer communication infrastructure for transmitting Web3 messages more securely and privately. It includes identity verification, end-to-end encryption, interoperable inboxes, and message relay functions.

The overall structure of XMTP consists of three layers: the network layer, the client layer, and the application layer.

1. Network Layer

The XMTP network layer is jointly built by peer-to-peer node operators. Nodes provide message APIs, allowing client applications to exchange messages with each other through the XMTP network.

Nodes store envelopes (packaging styles of messages, including senders and receivers) in topics (nodes involved in the transmission of the message) and forward them to other nodes, making the envelopes retrievable by client applications. In simple terms, node operation is similar to other projects and mainly responsible for message synchronization, packaging, and delivery.

The XMTP network layer is currently operated by the project team themselves and will be decentralized through open node registration and incentive policies in the future.

2. Client Layer

The client layer consists of clients built using the XMTP SDK. Clients are responsible for creating XMTP identities, encrypting and decrypting data, and communicating with the XMTP network. In simple terms, the XMTP SDK is built and used by the respective project teams and has little to do with users.

3. Application Layer

The application layer consists of projects within the XMTP ecosystem. XMTP takes the B2B route and does not directly acquire customers from the C-end. Instead, it establishes partnerships with other Web3 protocols or products to achieve message transmission between blockchain accounts at the application layer, enrich its own ecosystem, and form network effects. Participants in the current XMTP ecosystem include CyberConnect, Lens, Coinbase, Converse, ENS, unstopLianGuaibledomains, and others.

From a technical perspective, XMTP aims to build a basic communication infrastructure network that allows projects accessing this network to break through communication barriers. For example, in Web2, WeChat and Alipay cannot communicate with each other because they each have their own social communication networks and cannot pass messages across barriers. In the XMTP ecosystem, users can connect with each other in the XMTP network using wallet addresses as unique identifiers, achieving effective message transmission.

It is worth noting that in August 2021, XMTLianGuai raised $20 million in financing, led by a16z, with participation from CoinbaseVentures, StarkWare, and other institutions and individuals. Therefore, it is not surprising that XMTP can cooperate with CoinbaseWallet and others.

Instant Messaging Experience

Because XMTP integrates not only with CoinbaseWallet but also collaborates with Lens. Odaily Star Daily tested this feature through two products.

1. The following image shows the instant messaging between CoinbaseWallet wallets, which is relatively smooth, and the timeliness of sending and receiving messages is good.

In the above image from left to right, CoinbaseWallet goes from the initial interface to the message sending and receiving interface, then to the contact search interface, and finally to the chat content interface. Since XMTP is also integrated with ENS, the user experience of finding specific users is relatively good.

However, the subjects of the above test were randomly selected, and they can chat directly without the consent of the other party, which raises concerns about privacy (how is it different from spam messages), but it is more convenient and accurate for the implementer.

2. The following image shows the interoperable communication between CoinbaseWallet and Lens, both of which are in the XMTP communication ecosystem and can have instant messaging.

The left image is the Lens interface, and the right image is the CoinbaseWallet interface. Currently, the timeliness of messages between the two is strong. As can be seen from the red circle at the bottom of the left image, in addition to message delivery, images, files, and more can be sent. However, CoinbaseWallet does not currently support functions other than text.

What can XMTP bring to Web3?

SocialFi, as a not-so-hot niche, often faces doubts about whether decentralization and token economics are pseudo-demands for social interaction. Indeed, most users would choose functionality over decentralization. Web3 social applications are clearly lagging behind in telling the story of “mass adoption”, and “small and beautiful” products are difficult to drive network effects and contribute to ecosystem development.

In the face of such challenges, XMTP provides its own answer by focusing on the needs of the crypto-native scene.

In its v2 documentation, the official team envisioned some scenarios:

Decentralized social networks: Similar to using WeChat. Discover new friends, create groups, share emojis, and send group files.

Project marketing: In the early stages of promoting a new project, the project team can choose to send marketing messages to NFT and Token holders who are relevant to the project, which is more helpful in assisting the project with a cold start.

Customized client functions: Help customize services for specific needs in the B-end, such as conducting financial transactions, AI customer service, streamlining DAO operations, etc., in chat.

DeFi: Send secure transaction confirmations, notifications, token transfers, NFT minting, etc.

GameFi: Real-time message delivery, group chats, in-game notifications, etc.

We also imagine some other specific scenarios, such as:

1. Asset risk warning: Recently, there have been frequent cross-chain bridge asset risks. If the project team discovers them, they can notify the user group using the bridge as soon as possible, reducing some losses.

2. Bargaining function in the NFT market: When users purchase NFTs on Opensea, they may come across a desired PFP (Profile Picture) but the price is not ideal. It is not enough to simply provide a desired offer and expect a deal to be made. If there is a way to communicate with the owner in a timely manner, the chances of completing the transaction will be greatly increased. (Currently, this function can be achieved through OTC swaps, which is also integrated in XMTP.)

3. NFT owner community building: Through the collaborative projects in XMTP’s ecosystem, such as NFT projects using Lens and Coinbase Wallet to find owners and initiate real-time contact. (Discord can also be used, but it is not Web 3.)

As an underlying communication protocol, if the richness of XMTP’s ecosystem continues to improve in the future, the possibilities of interoperability between projects in the ecosystem will increase, and unexpected scenarios may emerge. From this perspective, XMTP is at least easier to understand in terms of narrative.