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AMA with Harsh Rajat and Richa Joshi (EPNS): Summary

By April 25, 20218 minute read

Namaste Tribe! We had an amazing AMA with Harsh Rajat (Founder & Project Lead) and Richa Joshi (Co-Founder) in WazirX Telegram group as a part of Grand PUSH Giveaway on Thursday, 22nd April 2021. Here’s a quick summary of the session.

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Hi Harsh & Richa, we are glad to have you here today! Could you introduce yourselves and EPNS?

Richa: Hey ? great to be here! I am the co-founder of Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS). I wear multiple hats at EPNS though am focused on mostly Marketing, Growth and Product. EPNS is bringing Web2.0 notification experience to Web3.0 ?

Harsh: Hey! Excited to be here ? I am Harsh, Founder and Project Lead of Ethereum Push Notification Service. Some background about me, I love dabbling in all things tech; and have been fortunate enough to have the support from the awesome Ethereum and blockchain community to have been given the chance to create/change the communication layer for Ethereum and Web3 which we like to call as The Missing Piece of Web3.0

Q1. How you guys ensures the notifications are incentivized?

(via @Nitheesh_A)

Richa: Notifications are incentivized as we require services to activate themselves by staking (50 DAI or higher) which is lent out to AAVE DeFi protocol to start generating interest, users who opt-in to receive notifications from the service automatically get a share from the generated interest. Hence, the game theory ensures it’s a WIN-WIN for both users (who receive notifications and incentives) and services (who are able to communicate with their users).

Q2. How is EPNS protocol useful for everyday user?

(via @iVishal_Yadav)

Richa: Today, a majority of the communication between the service provider (aka dApps) and consumers (aka you and me) occurs through highly centralized systems like Email, Twitter, Telegram, etc. This approach defeats the entire purpose of Web3.

With EPNS, users will be finally able to receive important alerts about their various Web3 actions.

  • Get alerted when you are at risk of getting liquidated on AAVE, Compound, and other DeFi protocols.
  • Get alerted when your trade gets executed on a DEX, or if your Limit order was filled.
  • Get alerted when a new governance proposal is issued.
  • Get alerted when a new Limited Edition NFT is about to drop.
  • Announcements of new features and upgrades to a protocol are shared in real-time with users.

These examples highlight a critical pain point in Web3.0 communication, and the problem will only worsen as services and dApps keep growing, especially within DeFi.

Q3. Will you describe about the utilities of PUSH token?

(via @kshivam123)

Harsh: Sure! PUSH is a major part of the EPNS protocol and has been designed to be a governance token along with the ability to split any fees which the protocol might charge between token holders and crypto-wallets. Apart from this the token also enables liquidity mining/usage mining on the protocol. I think this article explains it pretty well and in-depth:

Q4. NFTs are growing trend of 2021. Does EPNS is somehow going to interact with NFTs too?

(via @kshivam123)

Richa: For the next 52 weeks, we’re showing some ❤️ and gifting our community special NFTs. Here’s how the drops will go down, and how you can participate.

Q5. How can a user control what notifications they need in EPNS?

(via @FarmanSait46)

Richa: Sure! Users have to opt in to receive notifications from the service first before they can start communicating. This ensures that users are always in control, if they unsubscribe, there is no way for a service to add to them.

Additionally, we have various other checks and balances like Spam Health Score of services and Verified badges (for services) to ensure that while everyone can create a channel and everyone can opt-in, there is a distinction between spammy channels and verified ones.

Q6. Is there a certain credibility system assigned to a subscription service using which we can understand if it’s spam or legit?

(via @FarmanSait46)

Harsh: Verified badges are just one part of the credibility system, the spam score usually works really well in this regard, that along the user-centric design of the protocol ensures that users only get the notifications they really want and that these notifs can still be throttled either by spam score or governance if a good actor turns malicious in the future. In the end, there are multiple spam measure features baked in the protocol which ensures that user is protected when they start and even as their user journey continues forward. Having said that, we are always brainstorming on new and unique ways to make this even better so feel free to reach out to us with suggestions 🙂

Q7. Are your services (decentralized notifications) limited to Ethereum chain only and not compatible with multi chains & L2 solutions like Polygon, optimistic roll-ups, etc.

(via @_GargHimanshu)

Harsh: Well! this is a bit of a misnomer since we have Ethereum in our name ?. We are not going to be limited to just Ethereum though we would want to build this out for Ethereum first owing to the vast amount of mentorship, guidance, and community support we have received over here.

Of course, L2 is something that is very close to our vision as it brings speed and scalability to decentralized notifs so do expect us to come on L2 quite soon! In this regard, you can’t really talk about L2 integration and not have plans to integrate with Polygon ?? which is exactly what we intend to do. Fun fact: we won a grant from them right during the early days and they have supported us a ton from the very start, besides being super awesome to us!

Q8. Liquidity, transaction fees, and delays are always important factors in financial services. How does EPNS solve the above problems?

(via @mohit_shivaay)

Harsh: Well… fact is any financial services need communication layer to ensure users are given the best experience, period. You can’t expect your bank to foreclose you without at least alerting you about the issues, right? and this requires the bank to utilize the communication layer built for Web2.

EPNS essentially enables this communication layer for Web3 services, dApps, and Smart Contracts which means that any and all communication whether it’s about liquidity, transaction fees, or anything in between can finally be delivered as a notification to a user wallet address!

Q9. What is your top priorities in 2021? Which part of the project are you most focused on right now?

(via @mohit_10_)

Richa: Sure! Our top priority in 2021 is launch on Mainnet and have more services use EPNS protocol.

Q10. Why do you claim yourself as the ‘missing piece’ of Web3?

(via @kshivam123)

Harsh: Being a notification protocol, we are essentially a Missing Piece of Web3 infra which any project can integrate to make their user experience better. Dropping the teaser cause we worked really hard to make it:

The motivation and vision of EPNS are to become a Web3 standard for notifications. Web3 is growing at an exponential rate. With applications like DeFi (loan liquidation, change in interest ratio), DEX (trade order), domain name service (expiration period), NFT buying and selling, gaming, and many more, a genuine medium of decentralized communication was missing.

Questions from WazirX Telegram group members ?

Q11. You stated on your white paper that “Users will be able to earn token incentives based on some of their direct or indirect actions within the EPNS protocol”. How much are the token incentives and for how long would they receive them?

Richa: While designing the EPNS decentralized notification protocol we wanted to design a WIN-WIN scenario for both the Users (receivers of the notifications) as well as Services (senders of the notification). Our protocol requires a service to activate themselves before they can send notifications, this is a one-time step and the activation requires a deposit of a one-time stake fee. This stake fee is then automatically lent out to AAVE protocol and starts generating interest.

This generated interest is then distributed to the subscribers of the channel (service) in a weighted fashion thus making the notifications incentivized for the users ? Users continue to receive incentive rewards as long as they are subscribed to the channel and the channel is active.

Q12. What prompt you and your team to build EPNS? How the project is named EPNS? Any specific reason?

Richa: Sure! inspired by Apple Push Notification Service (APNS). We’re a notification protocol on decentralized platform ?

Q13. What is the role of token in the ecosystem? Where can users currently buy it, and what would be its use?

Richa: Sure, PUSH is the native governance token of the EPNS protocol. PUSH provides its holders with two primary benefits: governance rights and reward accrual. PUSH/INR & PUSH/USDT is now Trading on WazirX for you to buy ???

Q14. Will you change the EPNS name when it goes Multi-chain?

Richa: hahaha ..we’re focused on building and launching on Ethereum, though we are chain agnostic! We haven’t discussed any changes.

Q15. This is an ambitious project. What about competitors in the market? How do you stand up to the big players, whether in the centralized or the decentralized space?

Richa: We are the first one to do this so no direct competitors ?. Some indirect ones do it differently in which they monitor a few smart contract and events and ask users to log in to their centralized platforms and create hooks which in essence only adds to the problem as a) they pick and choose smart contracts and b) how can the user be expected of keeping track of all notifs (imagine if every time you installed Telegram, you had to go somewhere, register and add hooks to receive emails), now try it with 50+ services. While these indirect competitors have created awesome tech, we feel that the middleware which we are creating in essence enables this to be done smoother and see them as our future partners ?

Q16. I understood that notifications in all dApps are important and that if they can provide more rewards to their users it is ideal, but is that really the whole operation of EPNS? or in the long term will they add more functions?

Harsh: Well, lots more features planned after notification though building a communication layer is complex enough. There have been only two notification centralized layer that has been built, one from Apple (Apple Push Notification Service) and other from Google. So yeah, building the first-ever communication layer for Web3 steals all our focus for now 🙂

Q17. How much time do you think it will take the users to acclimatize or shift from the current web2.0 notification mechanism to web3.0 infrastructure that EPNS is? Are you expecting a sudden shift or an over-the-time shift considering your incentivization benefits?

Richa: As we look at it, Web3 space is growing super quick and we’re creating a whole new vertical – communication layer for Web3 services. In future, we do think Web2 services would want to adopt us.

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