Bitcoin Global News

Decentralized Twitter alternative goes live on Apple’s App Store

The Damus app is powered by Nostr, which uses decentralized relays to distribute end-to-end encrypted messages, and has a powerful backer in Jack Dorsey.

Damus, a so-called “Twitter killer” built on a decentralized network, has been approved on the Apple App Store.

The Damus team confirmed the approval to its 11,500 Twitter followers on Jan. 31, following what it claims were at least three rejections from the Big Tech player.

Shortly after, Twitter co-founder and Nostr contributor Jack Dorsey shared the news with his 6.5 million followers, with the entrepreneur labeling it as a “milestone” moment for open-source protocols:

The app dubs itself the “social network you control” and is a messaging service built on Nostr — a decentralized network enabling encrypted end-to-end private messaging, among other things.

It plans to become a social media platform with uncensored content. It also has built-in payments through the Bitcoin BTC $22,999 layer-2 Lightning Network, according to a Jan. 27 post from Protos.

No servers run the network. Instead, Nostr utilizes decentralized relays to distribute messages.

Nostr developers are also focused on using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network to prevent distributed denial-of-service spam attacks on the Damus app.

The Damus user interface displayed on an iPhone. Source: GitHub

There have been 44 different software developers who have contributed to the code for the Damus web app, according to the team’s GitHub page.


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Getting Damus on the Apple App Store didn’t come without issues though.

The Damus Twitter page posted that it had failed in at least three attempts before finally being approved:

One of Nostr’s core developers, William Casarin, also shared some frustration on his personal Twitter account, stating that it would be a “shame” if Apple users couldn’t use Nostr natively.

Related: An inside look at the moral and technical considerations of crypto social media

While the exact partnership between Dorsey and Nostr isn’t known, the billionaire entrepreneur sent over 14 BTC — worth about $250,000 at the time — in mid-December to help the Nostr developer team.

While the news appeared to have increased awareness of the application amongst the Bitcoin community, other high-profile figures have tested out the Damus app too.

Amongst those include Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden and pro-crypto U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis.

At the time of writing, the Damus web app has run into problems. A warning message on the site homepage reads:

“Damus Web is down because there is someone trying to exploit browser loopholes to steal private keys. I would not recommend using a web client at this time. Damus iOS is not affected.”

Source : Cointelegraph.com