3NUM is busy building the future of mobile communications! With our innovative Web3 mobile number and service, users will be ditching their traditional monolithic mobile plan for a secure and trusted replacement in no time. The future for 3NUM is comprised of 3 key components which we will break down in this article.
Please note, the purpose of sharing this overview is to be transparent with the community but the roadmap items we’re sharing are subject to change, so keep that in mind as we move forward together.
Those 3 areas include:
1. 3NUM Product
2. 3NUM Protocol
3. 3NUM DAO
3NUM Shield — Available Now
3NUM Shields are the world’s first Web3 Mobile Number, which are created by converting a regular mobile number into a web3 address secured by a user’s wallet. This unlocks the ability to send trusted encrypted messages to your web3 and web2 frens all from the same app, creating a seamless transition from insecure SMS into end-end encryption!
Wallet Secured 2FA (Limited) — Available Now
3NUM users can leverage their wallet secured number for secure 2FA. Traditional SMS 2FA is horribly insecure because regular phone numbers are at risk of being SIM Swapped. With 3NUM, the underlying number of a 3NUM Shield is controlled by a user’s wallet and can’t be SIM Swapped, meaning said number can be trusted for sites that require SMS-based authentication. There are some websites that this service does not work with, such as Twitter and CoinBase. We are in the process of enabling our numbers to work with all websites.
Anonymous Number For Encrypted Messaging Apps — Available Now
Encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram are widely used for trusted messaging, but their reliance on regular numbers is a gateway to doxxing. Because 3NUM Shields are purchased in crypto, there is zero PII data collected, so the underlying number can be used as a trusted, no-dox number for these applications!
Smart Notifications — Available Now
Our team is currently building smart notifications into our web app. This feature will support both browser and email notifications to alert a user about an incoming message sent to their 3NUM Shield. Email notifications will be configurable to alert a user who hasn’t viewed a new message after a certain number of minutes have elapsed. Browser notifications will be available for users who do not wish to associate an email address with their 3NUM Shield.
2-Way Messaging — In Beta
Launching message notifications is a precursor to full 2-way messaging with the 3NUM web app. Users will be able to message other 3NUM Shields with end-to-end encryption, in addition to being able to message all traditional mobile numbers. 2-way messaging will be expanded as we work to support additional encrypted messaging protocols (see below for details).
3NUM Mobile App — In Beta
The 3NUM Mobile app will be your gateway to secure and trusted messaging powered by 3NUM! Our mobile app will unlock benefits including a better onboarding user experience, push notifications, access to contacts and more! Building a killer mobile app experience will take time and many of the app features will be rolled out incrementally.
Smart Inboxes — In Progress
The 3NUM app will support smart inboxes that create a more delightful and trusted messaging experience. The first version of Smart Inboxes will separate suspected 2FA messages into a dedicated inbox. Smart inboxes will become highly customizable and can be set to filter messages from unknown senders to a specific inbox that is separate from trusted contacts by default. This enables users to keep their primary messages separated from unknown or potentially dangerous senders, without blocking those messages from coming in all together. A user could also filter inboxes by social groups, such as work contacts vs web3 frens.
Additionally, users can configure smart inboxes using our innovative spam prevention features. For example, you could have a “public” inbox where anyone could send a message knowing only your 3NUM address, and a “private” inbox for senders who know both your 3NUM address and your unique Access PIN (see below).
Everyone hates annoying and dangerous spam messages. The 3NUM Service will include novel spam filtering that is paired with our Smart Inboxes to build a trusted messaging experience. Our Spam Prevention features will include several ways to prevent spam, which will be rolled out incrementally. Some of those features include:
1. Message Recaptcha: 3NUM users can configure a recaptcha-like spam prevention feature that requires senders to prove they’re a real person in order to successfully send a message to a 3NUM Shield address.
2. Pay To Message: Because 3NUM Shields are web3 native, introducing crypto payments directly to a 3NUM Shield address is possible. 3NUM users can require inbound messages from new web3 senders to pay a set amount in order to receive a message.
3. Multi-factor verification: 3NUM users can configure to only receive messages from users who know more than just their 3NUM Shield address. For example, a user could choose to receive messages from senders who know both their 3NUM Shield number and their associated web3 username. A user could set up inboxes based on multi-factor verification to build “public” and “private” inboxes.
4. Access PIN: 3NUM users can configure a unique PIN code that a sender would need to know in order to successfully send a new message to a 3NUM Shield’s primary inbox. A user can configure messages from non-verified PINs to go to a secondary inbox.
Wallet Secured 2FA (Full)
As part of our expansion to support full 2-way messaging we will support all websites that use SMS-based 2FA.
With the 3NUM mobile app, users will be able to make calls to both 3NUM Shields and traditional mobile numbers!
Users can update their 3NUM Shield’s Messaging PFP with another PFP controlled by the same wallet, enabling communication properties for that PFP.
Clicking on links from unknown senders can lead to major problems. The 3NUM service will support tools to identify links that could be potentially dangerous.
Mint On Additional Chains
3NUM Shields are currently available to mint on the Ethereum blockchain, but users will be able to mint a 3NUM Shield on additional chains starting with Solana and Avalanche.
Other UX Improvements — Ongoing
Improving the 3NUM App UX will be an ongoing and incremental process, but features such as group messaging, threads/replies, user blocking, and more will be continually rolled out.
3NUM Shields are currently built from a +1 number. The 3NUM team has been working to secure a unique top-level country code from the ITU, in order to offer numbers for 3NUM users that aren’t tied to any geographic area.
Bring My Existing Number
Users will be able to convert their current mobile number into a 3NUM Shield.
Much of the utility for 3NUM Shields is realized through the 3NUM Protocol.
3NUM Protocol — Limited Access Until 2-Way Messaging Launches
The 3NUM protocol is what enables 3NUM Shields to message one another in a completely end-to-end encrypted way. 3NUM Shield messaging over the 3NUM Protocol is the most secure way to message a fren. What makes the 3NUM protocol unique, is that it is composable, meaning that it can support additional protocols. The 3NUM Protocol prioritizes the most secure messaging path available, and messages that need to be routed outside of the secure, end-to-end encrypted 3NUM ecosystem are fully encrypted until the point of exit. Users are made aware of how their messages are being routed via UI visuals in the 3NUM app!
SMS — Limited Access Until 2-Way Messaging Launches
The first “protocol” supported for messaging that is not 3NUM to 3NUM is SMS. Because 3NUM Shields are built from a globally routable mobile number, by supporting SMS, your 3NUM Shield is capable of messaging any valid phone number through the 3NUM app! Messages initiated from your 3NUM Shield are fully encrypted before hitting the 3NUM Relay Gateway that routes messages to the SMS network. In-bound messages from a traditional mobile number to your 3NUM Shield are encrypted at this Relay Gateway as well. This means that your 3NUM Shield can replace a regular phone number for trusted messaging. We believe that this pragmatic approach will provide the opportunity to bridge users from unencrypted SMS and into the 3NUM protocol for trusted, end-end encrypted messaging!
XMTP — In Progress
Our team is working on integrating the XMTP protocol to expand the web3 messaging reach of 3NUM Shields. This means that your 3NUM Shield can be used to message other web3 addresses in the XMTP Ecosystem including .lens and Ethereum wallet addresses/ENS names. The XMTP Protocol will be supported at the launch of our 2-way messaging, and expanding support for others in the XMTP ecosystem will happen over time.
The Signal Protocol is arguably the best encrypted messaging protocol available. It’s open-source, has been rigorously tested, and is trusted by millions of users. The one Achilles Heal of the Signal Protocol is that it is centralized, creating a risk for censorship resistance. The 3NUM Protocol will be decentralized, meaning that incorporating the Signal Protocol would alleviate that censorship resistance risk. Long term 3NUM enthusiasts will recall that our first product was a modified version of the Signal desktop client that supported ENS and Avvy Domain lookups. The intent behind that effort was to turn Signal into something that’s fully decentralized. Unfortunately, despite Signal being open source, the technical lift for building with it and making it decentralized is a massive undertaking. That said, we haven’t given up on Signal and it will be a part of the 3NUM Protocol someday, but it wouldn’t be pragmatic to make it the current priority.
Other Protocol Support
Our team has spent a great deal of time evaluating and testing other messaging protocols including Matrix and Dialect, to name a few. At some point supporting these protocols will help expand the reach of 3NUM Shields, but there is no date set to add support for additional protocols at this time.
Decentralizing the 3NUM Protocol
The plan from the beginning of the 3NUM project was to turn the 3NUM protocol into a decentralized, tokenized protocol that is run by relayers who are incentivized to decentralize and support the network.
The 3NUM Protocol will become tokenized, and node operators will be incentivized and compensated via the network’s token for providing relay services. The current token economic model and requirements for becoming a relayer are under development, but the network’s model will be comparable to successful Decentralized Wireless projects who have implemented at the network level what 3NUM is doing at the application level.
Our original vision for 3NUM was that it would evolve into a DAO that’s run by the members of the 3NUM community. The DAO model is great for collectively building solutions aligned with the needs and values of the community. And as a community with shared goals, 3NUMDAO can also create social momentum to help bridge from insecure existing communications infrastructure to the new world of decentralization and shared ownership that web3 offers.
Our goals for 3NUMDAO include:
1. Decentralization & tokenization of messaging infrastructure
2. Contributor driven go- to-market strategy and activities
3. Product Roadmap guidance
4. Community developer led initiatives
5. Programs for adoption, e.g. word of mouth and evangelism
6. 3NUMDAO governance
This year we will introduce opportunities for our community to have real impact and influence within the 3NUM ecosystem. The first opportunity will be for 3NUM enthusiasts to propose, vote on and evangelize the 3NUM project and be rewarded for their contributions. In the next quarter, we will begin incorporating community guidance to improve how we talk about the value and values of 3NUM’s solutions. Our core 3NUM team will start sharing more planning and roadmap details, including product features and marketing calendars as a way to kickstart 3NUM community member insight and feedback.
The long term direction of 3NUM will be dictated by the DAO and structured similarly to notable projects like ENS and the Helium Foundation. Along with the foundational decentralization mentioned, the 3NUMDAO plans for the usual community participation for governance, feature proposals and more! Another crucial role that the 3NUMDAO will play is to participate in managing the public relationship between regulatory entities, e.g. for telecoms regulations, and 3NUM users.
We’re on a mission to help transition the world into secure and trusted messaging! You can currently get your 3NUM Shield to use with our available features and join our community to help shape the future of the project!