EPNS solves a critical pain point for web3 applications

Ethereum push notification service (EPNS) is a decentralised push notification service.

When you receive a new message, your phone notifies you via a push notification. On an iPhone, this is made possible by the Apple Push Notification service. EPNS is the equivalent in the web3 world. I read their whitepaper. I'm going to summarise the key highlights about the product below.

Does we need push notifications?

Push notifications don't exist on truly decentralised apps.

When you place an order on a DEX like Uniswap, you need to refresh your page to check if your trade went through. This is a clear pain point for users. Another example is a DAO notifying users about an upcoming proposal.

What's different about the platform?

EPNS is aiming to solve the above, but with key differences:

  • Incentives to receive notifications: Users are incentivised to receive notifications. EPNS requires publishes to own a token, generates interest on that token and distributes this interest to users.
  • Platform agnostic: The content of each message is stored on IPFS, a decentralised file storage system. Any platform can access and use the service.
  • Spam control: every publisher has a spam score. Spam score goes up for bad behaviour (too many notifications) and vice-versa.
  • Governance: EPNS is governed by its users. Users are categorised into: service providers, subscribers, wallet / infra services, and governance users.

Basics = opportunities

Many basic functions in the web2 world will rebuilt to suit web3 standards. EPNS is one of the best examples.