tl;dr Summary: Nansen, known for their blockchain wallet analytics platform, is launching a blockchain-native messaging application to rival Web2 platforms like Discord and Twitter which have been plagued with phishing attacks and scams.
Messaging applications are crucial for blockchain projects to engage with their communities. The blockchain community has adopted applications like Twitter, Telegram and Discord to promote their projects, communicate regular updates, hold voice-enabled meetings and more. Discord in particular has been adopted as the de facto application for token-gated communities, giving project founders the ability to limit access to certain channels to their NFT holders. Part of the reason for Discord’s success is its intuitive user interface and extensive plug-ins and bots which enable holder verification, access control, giveaways and even analytical tools like price tracking.
However, these applications are often susceptible to hacks and phishing attacks. There have been a plethora of instances of Twitter and Discord accounts being compromised and hackers posting phishing links to unsuspecting followers. Popular NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club was victim to such a hack earlier this month.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) had their Discord hacked on June 4th, costing users over $400,000 and marking the third time a bad actor has been able to impersonate a BAYC account to steal funds. Co-founder Gordon Goner publicly criticized Discord on Twitter after their server was hacked saying, “Discord isn’t working for web3 communities. We need a better platform that puts security first.”
Crypto analytics firm Nansen is launching a feature-rich messaging app called Nansen Connect to offer blockchain communities a Web3-native alternative to Web2 platforms like Discord. Nansen is a blockchain analytics platform that enriches on-chain data with millions of wallet labels. They collect data on blockchain wallet holdings and label them based on criteria such as net worth, long-term holdings, types of NFTs, etc. These labels (Fund, Heavy DEX trader, Legendary NFT collector, etc.) and analytic tools are used by crypto investors to analyze the moves made by investors with large holdings often referred to as “whales” in the crypto space.
Nansen believes that it has the ideal platform to transition from an information hub to a social hub. In many ways, a blockchain wallet is already like a social media account. While personal details may be missing, a blockchain wallet can tell you a lot about a person’s identity. Aside from net worth, the crypto tokens and NFTs held by a particular wallet give you a glimpse into the owner’s artistic tastes, the genre of music they like, the video games they like to play, and even the charitable causes they’re contributing to. Nansen connect adds the ability for users to connect their Ethereum wallet (e.g. MetaMask) to their platform, select a username, join groups based on crypto holdings, send DMs to other users (with end-to-end encryption) and monitor key collection statistics and user holding information in real-time. According to Nansen, users will be able to join groups based on their holdings, view key stats about a collection, and easily move between the chat interface and user wallet profiles.
Nansen Connect is Web3 native giving it full compatibility with other apps on the blockchain, even allowing it the same capabilities as Discord to token-gate communities. However, Nansen Connect will offer the inherent security of blockchain encryption to ensure users will only be communicating with wallet profiles they trust. Additionally, NFT collectors can monitor in real-time whether developers are dumping their holdings, reducing the risk of scams.
The beta version of Nansen Connect is out now for a limited number of communities but Nansen hopes to expand to other communities later this year.