At the heart of the 3NUM solution is our novel messaging NFT, called a 3NUM. 3NUMs are a new utility NFT that exists as a new “communications identifier”. An 3NUM can be thought of as a modernized, Web3 phone number, that also doubles as a real-world phone number. Its inherent superpower is extending truly end-to-end encrypted messaging to current Web3 identifiers like Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and wallet addresses.
3NUMs are constructed so they can be minted on any layer 1 or layer 2 blockchain. Data, including the owner’s public key and other information needed for messaging, is assembled and hashed off chain. The resulting hashed content is then registered on chain. On Ethereum, 3NUMs are minted as ERC721 NFTs.
Because 3NUMs work in the real world as a valid phone number, many businesses and users will have more than one 3NUM
3NUMs and Web3 Names
Blockchain name services like ENS are a vital component of the Web3 ecosystem. While ENS makes it easy to lookup human-readable names, it lacks any integrations with popular secure messaging apps. By associating an 3NUM with their ENS, users or businesses can securely find and message each other knowing only their ENS name.
Because the 3NUM messaging app supports the Signal protocol, 3NUM associated ENS holders can use their Web3 name natively on the Signal platform. This gives them instant access to communicate with 40 million Signal users using ENS.
We are also working on integrations with additional chains, starting with Avalanche and Solana.
Plugging your ENS or equivalent Web3 name into your new 3NUM is straightforward. Users will simply add their unique 3NUM address as a new record to their existing Web3 name to unlock native messaging functionality through their 3NUM.
3NUM NFT as your PFP
NFTs have become the avatar of choice for online profile pictures (PFP). With major social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram supporting NFTs, their importance and relevance will only grow over time. That said, while NFTs work as your personal avatar they cannot function as a communication identifier, preventing the opportunity for NFT to NFT messaging.
3NUM messaging NFTs can also be used as your PFP. Each 3NUM is a unique piece of generative art, rendered on chain so it can never be spoofed. This plays an important role in the user experience when you receive a friend request or message from another user. You can be certain that the image represents the person you’re communicating with.
Users can also associate their existing NFTs with their 3NUM, enabling users to directly, securely, and privately message the owner of the NFT.
Phone numbers and 3NUMs
The problem with phone numbers is that they are terribly insecure and are not Web3 native. Despite this fact, they are used by 5 billion people as the primary identifier for communication. Building a new paradigm shifting communication identifier means replacing legacy phone numbers with 3NUMs. 3NUMs let users replace these insecure phone numbers by minting a global, secure 3NUM NFT. 3NUM phone numbers are Web3 native and secure, preventing current vulnerabilities like SIM-swapping, spam, and SMS phishing.
The format for telephone numbers is defined by an international standard called E.164. Conforming numbers are limited to a maximum of 15 digits. The E.164 format numbers must contain only digits split as follows:
- Country code (1 to 3 digits)
- Subscriber number (max 12 digits)
To provide a secure solution, 3NUM uses a reserved top-level country code for the cryptographically generated numbers. Each number under this top-level code is registered on chain by the owner of the number. In the same way that you control your Ethereum address, you will control your 3NUM.
The elegance of this approach is that it completely decouples ownership and control over a phone number from the networking layer. Routing messages to the phone no longer depends on a SIM, meaning you could never be SIM-swapped. Furthermore, because the phone number is based on a cryptographic public key pair, the phone number can be used to initiate end-to-end encrypted messages.
We are building the future of communication, where security, privacy, and decentralization are primary tenets of its architecture. If you want a better future, stay informed with our efforts by following us on Twitter and joining our Discord server!
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