With government introducing a digital asset tax to the tune of 30%, there is yet another discussion around ‘brain drain‘ in India. While that’s a topic for another blogpost, this time around, we would talk about yet another web3 marvel coming out of India. After Polygon has represented India on a global map as the pioneers of web3, there is another project that has been creating ripples. I am talking about Ethereum push notification system or EPNS in short.

What looks like an odd name for a project is actually solving for a missing piece of the web3 puzzle. So in today’s blogpost, we are going to talk about what is EPNS or Ethereum Push Notification Service, how it came into existence? Let’s get started.

What are Push Notifications?

There was a time when our lives did not revolve around smartphones and apps in it. However, with web2 revolution underway, we became extremely dependent on our smartphones. In fact, web2 companies did such a great job of keeping us hooked to our phones that we often take some of the key innovations for granted.

Take this for an example. You click a very nice selfie and spend hours editing it. Later, you decide to post it. This obviously would trigger the need for social validation. Now imagine if you were supposed to keep that app opened all the time to see if someone has liked or commented on your picture. It would have been impossible for you to do anything else.

Let us take a sensible example in this mix as well. You placed a GTT (good till triggered) order on Zerodha. For the uninitiated, it is a type of order that is executed at a specific price point set by you. What if Zerodha simply executed this order and didn’t even bother telling you about it? You might have spent the entire day watching the charts to see if your order is executed.

What is the Solution?

Back in the day, someone realized this problem and suggested ‘Push Notifications‘ as a solution. Yes, these are small textual/image notifications you get on your cellphone all the time. A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device. App publishers can send them at any time; users don’t have to be in the app or using their devices to receive them.

Once everything was in place, brands started to leverage them for multiple use cases:

  • Key updates on the user interaction. Ex. order is dispatched
  • On demand updates. Ex. Cricbuzz notifying you when a wicket is taken
  • Sending transactional receipts.
  • Notifying them of communication. Ex. WhatsApp, Instagram.
  • General nudges or promotional content. Ex. Zomato’s quirky food taglines

In a nutshell, push notifications became an integral part of the ecosystem. Today, we can’t imagine our lives without notifications. As a matter of fact we are so addicted to them, that we often get ghost notifications even when our cellphones are not with us.

How do Push Notifications Work?

This is where the fun begins. Turns out that every application can’t just send you any notification at will. There are protocols governing that peice. Based on certain set of conditions and user preference, all these notifications are sent after hitting something called Apple Push Notifications System (For iOS) and Android Push Notification System (For Android).

How else do you think that your phone is vibrating sanely. If these protocols weren’t in place, it could have buzzed like crazy all day with most brands pushing their products to you.

Also, did you notice one more thing? These applications can’t send you notifications until you have them installed on your phone. Sounds obvious but that’s where EPNS comes into picture.

Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS):

As it turns out, most of the on-chain activity or decentralized stuff happens on the desktop browsers. This is because all key wallets are installed as extensions on these browsers. Agreed that a lot of these wallets have mobile counterparts. But you’d have to use them to know how shitty they are when it comes to interacting with dApps or decentralized applications.

In that case, you don’t have the dApp on your cellphone. Which means if your target price is hit on a decentralised exchange there’s no way to inform you about it. Let us further aggravate this situation. Say you are about to get liquidated. Ideally someone should tell you to add more funds before you lose your assets. Think of a GameFi application. Your clan is attacked by a rival and you have no clue!

And just like that. A seemingly insignificant push notification has so much value in the decentralized realm that you just can’t do without it.

As per the website EPNS is Protocol for blockchain based notifications that are chain agnostic, platform independent and incentivized! Simply put, it is to web3 what Apple and Google are to web 2 notifications ecosystem.

How Can I be a Part?

Sure. I am sure you would be convinced by the potential and power EPNS holds. However, a lot of you might not be venturing into DeFi space using web wallets etc. However, you can still join the web3 party by investing (at your own risk) in the native token of the protocol called $PUSH.

$PUSH is listed on all key exchanges including CoinDCX. And if you are wondering what does $PUSH stand for? Well, you are in luck. I am going to cover just that in my upcoming post.

Until then, stay tuned. HMU with your questions. I just love to hear back from you.

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Until next time..

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