Nostr is a simple, open protocol that enables global, decentralized, and censorship-resistant social media.
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Learn more about how the Nostr protocol works and what makes it special.
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What is Nostr?
Nostr is a protocol, designed for simplicity, that aims to create a censorship-resistant global social network. Let's unpack that a little:
The protocol is based on very simple & flexible
event objects (which are passed around as plain JSON) and uses standard elliptic-curve cryptography for keys and signing. The only supported transport is websockets connections from clients to relays. This makes it easy to write clients and relays and promotes software diversity.
Because Nostr doesn't rely on a small number of trusted servers for moving or storing data, it's very resilient. The protocol assumes that relays will disappear and allows users to connect and publish to an arbitrary number of relays that they can change over time.
Because Nostr accounts are based on public-key cryptography it's easy to verify messages were really sent by the user in question.
Like HTTP or TCP-IP, Nostr is a protocol; an open standard upon which anyone can build. Nostr is not an app or service that you sign up for.
Why we need Nostr
Social media has developed into a key way information flows around the world. Unfortunately, our current social media systems are broken:
- Uses your attention to sell ads
- Uses bizarre techniques to keep you addicted (refer to point 1)
- Decides what content to show you based on a secret algorithm that you can't inspect or change
- Has complete control over who can participate and who is censored
- Is overrun with spam and bots
Recommended external content for learning about Nostr
- Nostr, an Introduction, by scsibug
- Why I’m Betting Big on Nostr, by Max Webster
- Why Nostr Matters, by Jameson Lopp
- A vision for content discovery and relay usage, by fiatjaf
- Thoughts on relay browsing, by Jon Staab
- The Nostrovia podcast is airing interesting Nostr-related interviews every week.
Micro tools to help you navigate and use Nostr
- nostr.band is indexing the entirety of Nostr it can find and making it searchable.
- nostr.watch has an index and connection stats of all public relays on the internet.
- nostr.guru, gateway.nostr.com and nostr-gw.sethforprivacy.com generate link previews for profiles and events and renders them.
- Nostr Profile Manager lets you edit, backup and restore profile metadata, contacts and relay lists.
- nostr army knife and NostrStuff let you inspect Nostr identifiers, events and relays and convert between formats.
- zaplife.lol shows a stream of zaps and zapped notes.