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All About River

A New, Expansive Protocol for Decentralized Messaging

Messaging on Crypto Rails

We're building River because we saw an opportunity to bring the most valuable industry on web2 to web3. Messaging is the lifeblood of the internet, but it’s been constrained by corporations who act in their own self interest and force us to play by their rules. On the surface, this is a positive– companies create feature-rich, frictionless spaces for us to connect. But behind the scenes we’re being taxed with ads, watched over, and we don’t get to capture value from the communities we build without middlemen taking a cut. 

We think we should give the power back to the people. And we believe the way to do that is for a credibly neutral company to build a protocol for decentralized messaging. So that’s what we did. The River Protocol brings web2 familiarity and speed with crypto value props so you can build messaging apps that grow in meaningful, financially rewarding ways for you and your community. 

Everyone knows how easy it is to get de-platformed, to have something you built get taken away. River’s the antidote. With River, you can build sustainable, secure, and ownable messaging spaces onchain that capture financial upside without middlemen. Basically, you can build any app that has a messaging component - think Twitter, Telegram, Patreon - on River. So what happens when we take the most valuable industry on web2 and bring it to web3? We’re deeply excited to kick this into the public sphere and find out.

So what’s River?

River is a cutting-edge protocol designed for building decentralized real-time messaging apps. River consists of an EVM-compatible L2 and decentralized stream node network with smart contracts deployed on Base, empowering developers and users to create programmable communication "Spaces." These Spaces are feature-rich, including on-chain subscriptions and end-to-end message encryption, and also offer an extendable reputation system and the ability for users to own their communication channels outright. The protocol supports a dynamic ecosystem of apps, all while maintaining the speed and responsiveness users expect from web2 social platforms.

Control and Trust Baked In

By leveraging blockchain technology, River ensures that users retain complete control over their data privacy, interactions, and the management of their digital communities and provides a permissionless platform for developers to build applications without ever having to worry about being shut out. Our goal is to secure freedom of communication in a sustainable, permissionless future, while fostering a user-centric and community-driven digital social ecosystem. 

River Oversight

The River DAO is based in Switzerland and is at the heart of River's governance model. It’s a community-driven platform where major decisions, including protocol upgrades and node operations, are voted on by members. This inclusive voting system ensures that the interests of all stakeholders, from Space Owners to Node Operators, are considered, balancing power within the ecosystem.

Building on River

The flexibility of River lets developers build a wide set of products like:

  • Decentralized Social Networks: Where users can interact without the oversight of a central authority, company, or other types of intermediaries.

  • Influencer Platforms: Users can create spaces and directly charge onchain for access, removing middlemen.

  • Community Governance Platforms: Offering tools for voting and decision-making in a decentralized manner.

  • Secure Messaging Apps: For private messaging and group chats with enhanced security features.

  • Collaborative Workspaces: Where teams can collaborate with the assurance that their communications are private and secure.

  • Fundraising Platforms: Spaces can be built into crowdfunding groups with specific targets and an onchain record of donation. 

River is more than just a platform; it was built to support a new era of social communication where privacy, ownership, monetization, and community governance are prioritized. For a glimpse into the possibilities of building on River, stay tuned this summer for the forthcoming launch of Towns, the first native messaging platform providing communities a new way to tap into their value.

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