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Twitter has a new decentralized competition – what is Nostr?

After Mastodon, Nostr is an additional attempt at a decentralized social network, but with some significant modifications.

What is Nostr, and what makes it unique?

Nostr is decentralized social network, in contrast to Twitter. There are no corporate entities or centralized systems that regulate what you may post and what other people can view. Nostr is open source and censorship-resistant protocol.

After Mastodon, Nostr makes another attempt at a decentralized social network. However, Nostr is far more open in that aspect than Mastodon, where user identities are tied to servers and hosts have some kind of control over registered users. Clients and relays are the two active Nostr components.

A client is run by each user, but a relay may be run by anybody. Clients can collect data from one relay and publish data (i.e., generate posts) on as many relays as they choose.

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A public key is provided to each user. A user’s client retrieves posts linked to someone’s public key from the linked relay when they follow them. The client again queries data from all relays it is aware of for all users it follows at startup. The user is then shown the fetched data in a feed that is organized chronologically.

Although it may seem difficult, this method fixes a number of problems that other platforms have. On Mastodon, your data and account are entirely erased when a server shuts down. On Nostr, users may always switch to another relay because they can be identified by their public keys and are not truly bound to certain relays (servers).

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Tomáš is a financial reporter with US markets as his main field. Tomáš is an aspiring author and entrepreneur aspiring to help people get better in financial knowledge.


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