Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Are Switching to Nostr as a Twitter Alternative

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Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Are Switching to Nostr as a Twitter Alternative

Nostr as a platform has gained a lot of attention due to its recent listing in alternative social platforms, which are prohibited from being promoted on Twitter.

Additionally, the Twitter buyout made by Elon Musk has not changed anything within the platform surrounding the freedom of expression, as users are being banned for inconsistent reasons.

As such, this has sparked many Twitter users to essentially seek an alternative platform where they can freely express themselves, an alternative where a central operator does not have the ability to control user identity.

This is where Nostr enters the big picture.

Nostr and Its Functionality

Nostr is a platform that is backed by Jack Dorsey, and it aims to solve issues such as advertisements, spam, and an addictive algorithm. Additionally, the platform aims to facilitate free speech, as it is impossible to essentially kick a person off the platform completely unless all relays ban that person.

In order for someone to use Nostr on the Apple App Store, they need to generate a public and private key using Damus or a Nostr client such as Then they need to save the private key somewhere safe and keep it secret. They can create multiple keys, as they can get used across all Nostr clients. From the Nostr client that the person is using, they can update their profile details, such as name, profile picture, and other data.

Then each user can just use the client to make posts or find users to follow. Nostr can also be used on the web through websites such as, or

The Appeal Behind the Platform

Nostr's protocol as well as the first relay server implementation were originally created at the end of 2020 by a developer known as fiatjaf.

On Twitter, the identity of a user is controlled by whoever is running the server.

Nostr stands out in a way in which, instead of using a username owned by a server operator, each user can utilize a public and private keypair to handle the function instead.

Then there are "events," which are the basic object and data types utilized by clients, as well as the relay servers that clients connect to in order to send or retrieve messages.

The goal of the protocol is that clients can send events to relay servers, who then store and index them, and other clients can then communicate with relay servers to request events that they have received and stored. 

There are three event types that are defined.

  • 0 is an event that sends the metadata surrounding the user, such as their username, picture, and bio.

  • 1 is the event in which text messages are sent, as well as basic content.

  • 2 is the event that recommends relay servers for people that follow the event creator to who they can connect.

These were all defined in the original NIP 01. However, since then, have expanded substantially. 

Why Bitcoiners and Crypto Enthusiasts Are Flocking Towards Nostr

The protocol behind Nostr is barebones and features a generalized scheme that is used for passing messages between users, which covers important aspects, such as guaranteeing the integrity of messages, and who sent them with the usage of public key identities. 

It also facilitates the infrastructure on the backend for relay servers, which can be centralized, or let users run their own relay server. They can all seamlessly interact with each other and not cause chaos at any point in time if a user is banned from one of the relay servers.

When it comes to the meaning behind the word “Nostr”, it stands for "Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays." 

It isn’t reliant on a central server, and it does not feature a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architecture.

Relay servers can operate however they want to. For example, they can operate for free or charge micropayments towards posting or downloading messages. There is a NIP as well that requires hashcash-style Proof-of-Work (PoW) for submitting messages.

The simplistic protocol features an open design through which people can build, and users will always be able to interact with each other, regardless of what individual relay server operators pick to host or not to host.

This guarantees freedom for developers, who can build without the constraints that complicated protocols have.

Moving Forward With Nostr

The underlying protocol code is also open-source and published on GitHub. There are resources available so that anyone can understand the protocol and run their own relay if they want to.

Additionally, any applications that are built on top of the Nostr protocol can become the decentralized social layer of the internet and collaborate with Bitcoin, which can be the decentralized payment layer.

These are the early days of Nostr. However, the platform features a high potential for growth, as the internet will evolve over time and move away from corporate control, control which has plagued traditional social media platforms such as Twitter.

It is clear that social media is evolving, and Nostr is an early mover in this regard. We will likely see other competing platforms appear. However, the open-source nature of the project also ensures that developers might just opt in towards becoming a part of this ecosystem instead of building an entirely new one from the ground up.