3NUM messaging NFTs replace insecure phone numbers with Web3 messaging endpoints. What makes 3NUMs special is that they also work as a valid phone number. This means you can use your Web3 native NFT in any situation where you would normally use a traditional phone number, for example, when registering with popular messaging apps like Signal or Telegram, or for 2FA when logging onto websites. Because 3NUMs function as valid phone numbers, they can interact with legacy SMS users and systems.
A quick explainer on how that works:
All 3NUM based phone numbers use a new special country code that is different from those used by legacy mobile numbers based on geographic country codes. All SMS messages sent to an 3NUM number are sent to the gateway registered to handle this special top-level country code. The 3NUM Relay Gateway does not keep a database to map the specific number to the owner. Instead, the number is looked up on the blockchain to retrieve the public key associated with this number. The message is encrypted with the public key, and the 3NUM Messenger is notified to retrieve it. Only the 3NUM Messenger with the private key can receive and decrypt the message.
The most feature rich and secure way to use 3NUM's is in the 3NUM Messenger, which is based on the Signal protocol, enabling interoperability with the existing 40 million Signal users. The 3NUM Messenger uses the secure 3NUM phone number as the public key to encrypt and authenticate all data sent to other 3NUM Messengers and 3NUM Relay Servers. You can think of this as secure encrypted VoIP. Because these communications transmit over data networks, there is no SIM card associated with your number to compromise. When a legacy phone number (+1-555-1212) sends a message to a user that has an 3NUM, it is sent to the 3NUM Relay Servers, then encrypted and sent to the owner of the 3NUM. With this approach, you can say goodbye to SIM-swap attacks.
We are building toward a future where people will purchase data-only mobile plans and use 3NUM for secure messaging that also supports legacy SMS/Voice through a gateway.
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