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Cover image for Y Messenger: a Decentralized Blockchain-based* Communication Tool

Y Messenger: a Decentralized Blockchain-based* Communication Tool

undestroyer profile image Dmitriy Sazonov ・4 min read

*Yes, we do use blockchain technology, but only to store identification information about users, servers, group chats, and channels. The blockchain is not suitable for storing things like private correspondence.

Today, many users have several messengers installed on their smartphones simultaneously. Each of them serves its own purpose. Some are used to chat with friends, others to keep in touch with relatives, yet others to deal with work-related matters. The question presents itself: why have you decided to trust each of them? Who has provided you with a guarantee that the messages, documents, and photos that you have sent through one messenger or the other will not suddenly become available to the public? If you have a community page on a social network, who is to say that tomorrow you won’t be robbed of this community page, and won’t lose access to your audience? Who told you that after you delete your correspondence it will indeed be deleted and will not appear in some archive in a few years’ time? These things have sadly been known to happen. So here’s where Y messenger comes in. More likely than not, you do not know anyone from our team and aren’t familiar with our other products, but I assure you that by the time you finish reading this article you will begin to trust us.

What we have done

We have developed a new messenger. We are not satisfied with how the Internet is evolving, and we see a way to change that. You can read more about our motives in our Manifesto (https://ymessenger.org/ru/manifesto). In short, our ultimate goal is to create a secure Internet. Y messenger is the first stage of this plan. Our messenger is decentralized. Anyone can launch a server for their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. The data of your users will be stored on your server. Personal data will be encrypted and sent to the blockchain. A very important detail is that you will become part of a common network. You and your users will be able to communicate not only within your own server but also with users on other servers. You and your users will also be able to join chats and channels on other servers. Thus, Y messenger functions as a kind of internal Internet, which operates under somewhat different rules than the global Internet. Y messenger is created to be secure. The data passes through 3 layers of encryption. These three layers are the encryption of the communication channel via SSL, the asymmetric encryption of the data in the channel, and the optional symmetric end-to-end encryption of your messages. End-to-end encrypted messages can be seen only by the participants of the conversation and by no one else, not even by the administrator of the server. There are also various interface features such as a screenshot blocker that is activated when encrypted messages are present on the screen. The built-in electronic digital signature system allows users to authenticate authorship and ensures the proper functioning of polls and document approvals. We do not control any of the servers. All servers are created by companies and enthusiasts. We do not have access to your server and cannot influence its operation. We do not know who uses our messenger and what they use it for. Essentially, that is none of our business. The source codes of the server, the encryption components, and the applications will be open. The network exchange protocol will be open. If you know C++ / C# / Kotlin or React, you will be able to familiarize yourself with our product from the inside, make certain that our claims are true, and even create your own version. All this allows us to assert that our messenger is better than many other messengers currently in existence, especially when it comes to privacy and transparency.

What’s next?

Our messenger is the starting point of what we hope is a long journey. Our ultimate goal is much farther along this path than the messenger, but we will proceed in a consistent manner, one step at a time. We are currently launching the foundation of our system, its basic element. After this, we will start working on an automatic self-balancing network for reducing traffic and server load and will provide an API and SDK for the development of additional server components as well as built-in mini-apps.

How we will profit from the messenger

Yes, we would like to profit from our messenger. At the moment we are investing our own funds into its development and support. You can help us by donating any amount via the donations page. In the future, we are considering the possibility of monetizing the project by placing it on a subscription basis. Perhaps we will set a quota for the number of users per server, or just introduce a simple monthly subscription to server updates. The final decision has not yet been made; we are considering various options.

How you can try it out

You can deploy a server application on almost any virtual server or something more serious. The server application will be provided to you as a Docker container. The instructions can be found on our website (https://ymessenger.org/en/user-guide/servers/deployment).

The Android application is available on the Play Market (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ymessenger.app). You can download it and use it absolutely free of charge. The web application can be downloaded here: (https://web.ymess.org/). The web version does not currently support authorization via QR code and does not display encrypted files, polls, and voice messages. These functionalities are still a work in progress. We do not have a native application for iOS yet but plan to create it this fall. Meanwhile, we suggest iOS users try our web application.

Sources

We are preparing our sources to be published on our GitHub https://github.com/ymessenger soon. We will publish sources of server app, android app, web app and encryption libs under GPL.

Queries

If you have any questions, you can ask them in this post and we will do our best to answer them. Alternatively, you can contact us by e-mail at hi@corp.ymessenger.org.

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