EPNS Goes Live in Bid to Bring Notifications to Web 3

Ethereum Push Notification Service provides the basic alert functionality that powers much of the online experience.

AccessTimeIconJan 11, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:53 p.m. UTC

A new project is hoping to address a key aspect of user experience that Web 3 currently lacks – the ability for protocols, contracts and users to directly communicate.

On Tuesday, Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) announced the launch of what founder Harsh Rajat calls the “Web 3 communication primitive” with a bevy of decentralized finance (DeFi) mainstays involved.

Version 1 of EPNS, which is now live, is launching with MakerDAO, Aave, Uniswap and dYdX, among others. CoinDesk will also be an early user, with a dedicated channel for distributing crypto news directly to users who opt into the service through their wallet addresses.

In Rajat’s telling, much of the contemporary online experience centers on push notifications – news alerts, sales notifications, ads and work interfaces like Slack.

DeFi protocols, non-fungible token (NFT) platforms and other Web 3 infrastructure providers largely lack the capacity to send these kinds of messages, however, leading to an informational gulf.

“These things are practically absent for user experience because there’s no communication layer to power it,” Rajat told CoinDesk in an interview. “For example, if you’re liquidated on a lending platform you as a wallet address will not know about it, if your governance proposal passed you won’t know about it, if you’re into NFTs you have no way to reach out to someone who bought your NFTs to let them know a new collection is out.”

The project attempts to solve this problem by enabling protocols to create “channels” – distribution networks that allow dapps to manually send messages or automatically send alerts based on on-chain activity such as DeFi liquidations – and users to subscribe for alerts as well. These messages will be sent directly to Ethereum addresses.

The messages are largely gasless, meaning there is no transaction fee, as the notifications are sent with the EIP-712 standard, a method for off-chain data message signing. The team has had early discussions with MetaMask with the goal of allowing popular wallets to easily integrate the EPNS communication layer.

The EPNS governance token, PUSH, is up 11% on the day to $2.30.


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Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

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