· bitkarrot · opinion  · 3 min read

Why Nostr Wins

... As a new Decentralized Social Network with Lightning Payments, in Short TLDR Bullet points

... As a new Decentralized Social Network with Lightning Payments, in Short TLDR Bullet points

For the busy reader, this is a bullet point list on why Nostr is winning as a new network. It is much more than ‘just a twitter replacement’.

How it started

  • Started end of 2020 with a bunch of lightning and bitcoin devs - led by fiatjaf, a pseudononymous lightning dev
  • Nostr is less than 2.5 years old (as of April 2023)
  • 11 million Total users including bots and spam, writing events
  • ~ approaching 2 Million profiles with bio
  • Daily average users approximately ~250,000, including low quality, high quality ~ just under 10k
  • 27 Million posts (kind 1) total
  • DM’s (kind 4) , 2 Million total
  • Lightning usage integration 2023, about 10% of profile network with active addresses
  • Lightning Zaps - Sent 400k + per day
  • Relays that serve events: 1339 at last count

How’s it going?

  • Jack Dorsey’s Blue Sky - 10 Million dollars in initial funding - and all I got is a wait list for a decentralized twitter.

  • Nostr - $0 dollars in initial funding, < 2 years and millions of users, instant payments and potential for infinite applications


  • Nostr - Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted over Relays

  • Nostr - also means “Our” in Latin

  • Nostr - classic websocket client/server model but deconstructed. Its not federated, its deconstructed.

  • Dumb Relays, Smart Clients, and End User Keeps the keys

  • Different model from Mastadon b/c you don’t have one server that is keeping all the credentials and you can easily move if you don’t like the relay.

  • most apps are built such that the data and login credentials are on the server side, not controlled by the user

  • In Nostr’s case the pub/private key pair gives the user the control to publish to any relay they subscribe to, and they have the choice of any client they want to download and use on their phone or desktop.

  • The relays can control who can access their relay, many are free but there are also many that are pay to use. If you don’t like a relay and you can move relays or run your own.

  • Clients can help users filter and help specify what kinds of data that is published or subscribed to.


  • Users can cross over to any clients with the click of a button and bring their entire social network with them.

  • How do you mean? Like being able to login to twitter but also login to ebay or etsy or medium or substack and use the same credentials but also bring your entire social network with you, and the companies don’t control the credentials, you do.

  • You can also run your own relay and pub/sub to keep your own archive of data published

  • A copy of your data is published to every relay you subscribe to, and you can also export your data and reload it elsewhere if you want.

Censorship concerns

  • Fiatjaf said - when you have censorship to a domain, “just move”, its dumb and inelegant but it works.

  • An Example of censorship where they still can’t kill a website, Sci-Hub.

  • There’s no perfect model, we just need one that’s ‘good enough’ and people are willing to use it.

  • Why Its not a perfect model: people have questioned the censorship resistance of it, a relay can easily be targeted and blocked as it did when damus app was available in china; however, you can move relays

This post can also be found on substack at: https://bitkarrot.substack.com/ Find me on Nostr at: https://primal.net/bitkarrot or on twitter at: https://twitter.com/bitkarrot


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