Nostr stands for "Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays". It is a new type of social experience on the web where "dumb" relays can be used to send messages from one user to another, in a secure, censorship resistant manner.
Since it is not P2P it has a chance of working.
Relays are lightweight, easy to set up, and can run in as little as 5MB of memory. A list of relays can be found here.
For example, you can try out Nostr here.
You can follow my identity ed1d0e1f... and discover new users.
Nostr is very simple. Each user gets an EC key pair, which they use to sign Events. An Event has a unique id and is signed by the nostr public key using a Schnorr Signature.
The event has is of a certain kind/type, has content, a timestamp, and additional tags. The event id is the sha256 of those fields. Events can then be sent to, and requested by, relays over websockets. The diagram above gives a visualization of the core event structure.
The core protocol is described here and can be extended via NIPs.
NIPs are a way to extent the base Nostr functionality. Already there are NIPs for encrypted chat, contact management, profiles, relay management, Tor relays, Open Timestamps and much more.
I am personally working on a chat client depicted below.
Nostr is a new kind of protocol that that provides censorship resistant communications on the internet
Dumb relays forward messages from one user to another. It is not P2P, so it has a chance of working.
I've touched on some of the basic concepts of Nostr in this post, and will explore the protocol in greater depth, in future posts.