In just this last week, Hyper, a new chat app using the Elastos carrier and DID, was released as a Beta version for Android. This allows us to explore a very cool feature of DID: interoperability between different chat apps.
For a better understanding, let’s take a look at how another existing p2p chat app works: Telegram.
Every Telegram user is automatically assigned a user ID by Telegram which never changes and the user sets up a display name and a username themself (the one with @ in the beginning). This setup has 2 problems:
- The user ID is given out by a central authority (Telegram), and they can block any ID at any given time.
- The user ID can only be used inside Telegram, so the user would have to create a new ID for every chat app they use.
Elastos solves both of these problems with DID’s (decentralized ID), issued by an Elastos sidechain which is merge mined with the ELA main chain and BTC.
- This completely decentralizes the issuance of IDs, making it impossible for anyone to block an ID and exclude it from participating in an app. In other words, a DID can’t be censored.
- The DID is a universal ID for the Elasos ecosystem and can be used for every Elastos dApp.
The second point is what we are highlighting in this article. In the case of chat apps, this allows for interoperability between different chat applications. Let’s showcase this with two of the existing chat apps using Elastos carrier and DID: ELAchat and Hyper.
In the left screenshot, you can see the Hyper app, and on the right hand side is ELAchat. Since both apps are using the same DID system, any message can be sent from Hyper to ELAchat and vice versa. This feature opens up completely new opportunities for businesses and end consumers as well. Today, consumers are forced to use the same chat app as their social environment, independent of personal preferences regarding privacy, user interface, and other app functions.
Elastos gives back freedom of choice to individual users.
Businesses and open source devs also benefit greatly from this since the barrier for entry is way lower than today. If a chat app wants to be successful today, it needs a very large user base to create the network effect, but with Elastos and DID, every DID using any chat app can receive and answer their messages, no matter which app they are using.
Of course this is not limited to chat apps. The same interoperability can be achieved for almost any app you can think of. Take social media, for example: a social network could grow much faster, and a user would need only a single DID to access the full range of social networking platforms that populate the internet.
In the gaming arena, there could be the ability to tie all your achievements and reputation to your DID and even carry over your game abilities when a new episode of your favourite game series is released.
These are a few examples of the usefulness and power of a trustless, decentralized issuance of ID’s in the Elastos ecosystem. Every dApp developer can make use of it to power their dApps with some simple API calls instead of having to set up their own ID issuance system which needs to be protected against all kinds of attacks without the financial burden that could prevent the successful launch of an app, especially for small independent developer teams.