Friday, April 19, 2024
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    EDITORIAL Messaging sits on the cusp of a revolution

    Hot on the heels of a Mobile World Congress that was awash with talk of the continuing dominance of SMS, not to mention some more – albeit glacial – progress on the roll out of RCS, the messaging world is about to get something of a kick up the backside. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you blockchain messaging.

    Yes, we are all aware of Telegram and its slow burn success – on paper 500 million subscribers sounds like a lot, but its paltry compared to the 2.5bn+ that use SMS. However, it is at the vanguard in a potential game changer for the industry: fully secure, decentralised messaging.

    Blockchain messaging offers a decentralised alternative to today’s standard messaging platforms, using the blockchain to process messages, rather than storing and forwarding them through servers.

    The key advantage to this is that messages are totally private – since they don’t really ‘live’ anywhere, and are almost unhackable, One of the main concerns with standard store and forward messaging, which includes everything from WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger to DMs to RCS to SMS, is that it hits a central server from whence it is forwarded. And, because it is digital, it lives on that server, a copy being sent to the recipient.

    This has obvious security and privacy issues. All those messages are there to be hacked should anyone get into the platform. More spinster, anyone from government down to criminals (which is in some countries not that big a gap) can access these messages for their own devious purposes. Think social control or worse. Moreover, all those messages are a rich mine of data, which is of huge value to pretty much everyone.

    All in all, storing private messages in servers is risky.

    Blockchain messaging gets round all of this. The way blockchain works is that it uses a disparate web of computers, all unknown to each other, to process data and tokenise each ‘transaction’ – putting another block on the blockchain – so that everything about it is unique and logged. Except the content. So the messages are protected and verified, but the content is shared only between sender and receiver.

    Of course, right now this is the messaging method of choice for lovers of the dark web, cryptocurrency and conspiracy theories about the deep state, but it could become something much more mainstream.

    Businesses rely heavily on messaging these days – it is the stuff of CPaaS and all that we have covered on that for the past three years… messaging is now how many businesses communicate with staff, suppliers and, most importantly, customers. Making this secure and private must have some tantalising advantages.

    For the telemedia sector, it is worth looking at how this form of messaging may yet shake up the old order of things. Should it take off, then blockchain messaging apps could well be something that, at the very least, you need to build into your CPaaS platforms and offerings. At worst, they could supplant all other forms of messaging.

    Global Data Insights certainly thinks that there is going to be an explosion in use. Its most recent data suggest that the blockchain messaging apps market share is expected to increase from $45.92bn in 2023 to $1.7trn in 2033 – a CAGR of 43.5% between over 10 years.

    So, what do you think? Is messaging poised to join the Web3 revolution, becoming a decentralised, independent and highly secure part of the metaverse, or will nothing ever supplant SMS? Answers via Telegram please, to keep you secure

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