Nostr Protocol History and Community

Nostr Overview

Nostr protocol is designed to create a censorship-resistant global “social” network. We already covered it in detail here. But in summary, it does not rely on any central server, making it resilient, and uses cryptographic keys and signatures to ensure tamperproof communication. It does not rely on peer-to-peer techniques, allowing it to work effectively. It is intended to be a simple and reliable way to create a global social network. Nostr users run a client to publish posts and receive updates from others. Posts are signed with the user’s private key and sent to multiple relays, which are servers that forward the posts to other users. Anyone can run a relay, which is a simple server that accepts and forwards posts. Signatures are verified on the client side, so relays do not need to be trusted.

Nostr First Discussions

On Nov 16, 2020, a group called “Nostr” was converted from a basic group to a supergroup in Telegram.

On that day, the first participants started to discuss the possibility of decentralizing social networking and the potential for funding such a project. They also discussed the possibility of Nostr supporting smart contracts and the potential name for the group, with suggestions including “Jaffer,” “Bitease,” “The Bitcoin Disease,” “Zeusnode,” and “NOSTRA”, “nostradamus” or “nostra” and suggested the name “No Strings” as an alternative.

This is also when the group discussed the possibility of Jack being interested in the group. The group also discussed the possibility of hosting a relay on and the absence of the @lntxbot in the group.

The rest of the November and much of the December the group discussed the concept of using the first half of a pubkey as an identity in a browser-based application. The speakers expressed concern about the security of this method and considered alternatives, such as storing the key on a hardware device or using a system like Keybase’s PGP setup. They also mentioned the possibility of using an existing login with a platform like Github or Twitter as a way to onboard users, although they acknowledged that this may not be ideal. The conversation also included mention of a web application client. There was also discussion about issues with using query string parameters in server-sent events (SSEs).

In December the grop continued to discuss the use of private keys in browsers, the possibility of adding a standardized event type called “group,” and the use of relays to forward encrypted messages to their destinations. There was also mention of “NIPs” – “Network Improvement Proposals,” and the idea of a “lite” version of the relay.

In December of 2022 Jack Dorsey joined Nostr as a supporter and endorser, and this really took Nostr to the next level.

Jack Dorsey endorsing Nostr on his Twitter profile

Nostr Protocol Github Star History

Because of the above, the protocol that was already growing steadily, at this point took off to stratosphere. Many people who were on the sidelines or never heard of it, really started to take it seriously.

Nostr Founding and Growth Principles

And this was very in line with some of the original principles considered for the Growth of the Nostr by the community. From the very beginning the group was discussing how to socialize, promote the Nostr platform and the principles by which it should be promoted. One of the participants (Ian Oneill) thought that “promoting Nostr is akin to promoting Moneysocket or Bitcoin or Freebank… each is a ‘force of nature’… they grow organically not because someone wants to make US 1million (although that could happen as a spin off in isolated cases) but because the system(s) follow natural laws and won’t break, they keep growing despite political economics, and they were created in the first place as a gift of freedom to present and especially future generations” The key of course, he continued was that” the motivations are different to the motivations behind Ethereum & shitcoins. The motivations are more akin to the founding of the United States in the few years before the banks began to have their say”.

Recent Content

link to Discovering the NOSTR Community: A Directory of Twitter Users with NOSTR Addresses

Discovering the NOSTR Community: A Directory of Twitter Users with NOSTR Addresses

“NOSTR” stands for “Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays” and is an open protocol for censorship-resistant global networks created by @fiatjaf. We already covered it in more details in our guide to Nostr. Here we will help you discover who has an account on NOSTR. Introduction With NOSTR, users can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, without the […]