Ethereum Push Notification Service: Web3 Communication Layer - The New Stack - Deepstash

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In Web3 dApps, the user account is the wallet. While the wallet holder signs the connection to a dApp, there isn’t a notion of a notification layer native to to that authentication handshake; and outside of validating the existence of a specific currency or NFT in the wallet, there aren’t the same kinds of signals available.

Enter the Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) protocol


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Implementing EPNS with Your dApp

The EPNS dApp allows you to create a channel and send notifications to subscribers of that channel. Messages can be sent either on-chain, which today incurs the gas fees associated with any Ethereum transaction, or they can be sent off-chain subject to EIP-712 , which is designed to provide human-readable context in messaging via off-chain message signing. A frontend SDK written in TypeScript and designed to work with Node.js v10.0.0 or higher allows for additional flexibility.


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The frontend SDK performs three key functions at the moment:

- Fetching notifications from EPNS backend.

- Parsing fetched notifications.

- Rendering parsed notifications on mobile or in a browser

EPNS also includes a backend SDK written in TypeScript, which allows developers to construct the payload and send notifications based on individualized needs using custom logic — which provides additional flexibility beyond the EPNS dApp. With the relative newness of EPNS, I suspect many of the use cases for this backend customization have yet to be implemented.


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Maximizing Signal without the Noise

Given the propensity spammers have to abuse every available messaging technology, I asked Joshi how EPNS is thinking about notification abuse

Every User and Channel in the dApp is tied to a unique Address,” he replied. “This ensures that every channel is unique and has its own set of users who are interested in a specific type of notification that’s emitted by that channel. Most importantly, notifications sent out by a specific channel will land in the inbox of only those users who are subscribed to that channel. For every other unsubscribed user, the notification will always be in the SPAM box


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If there are bad actors within the notification ecosystem, Joshi highlighted the role smart contracts play in weeding them out, explaining:

“As per the current architecture of EPNS Smart contract, we have an on-chain verification feature that allows adequate verification procedure for channels to enhance the trust and reliability for specific channels. However, while malicious actors can be present in any platform, we acknowledge that quite well and our contracts include the feature to Block Channels as well. If a channel doesn’t behave adequately.


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building @tellimer. #engineering, #machinelearning and #crypto

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