Jack Dorsey-backed Nostr Creator Collaborates With Zebedee on New Social Media Layer

Zebedee users will be able to join a waitlist for alpha access to an updated version of the app, which will feature integration with decentralized social media protocol Nostr (an acronym for “notes and other stuff transmitted by relays”).

AccessTimeIconJun 8, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 8, 2023 at 2:44 p.m. UTC

The shadowy self-taught Bitcoin coder and creator of decentralized social media protocol Nostr who goes by the pseudonym Fiatjaf has collaborated with his employer, Zebedee, a Bitcoin gaming and payments company, on a social media layer that will soon launch on Zebedee’s flagship app, according to the firm.

Nostr, created by Fiatjaf and self-proclaimed Bitcoin hobbyist and advocate Ben Arc, has its roots in No Big Deal (NBD), Zebedee’s non-profit arm for advancing open-source Bitcoin development. Fiatjaf and Arc first conceptualized the protocol in 2019 and later advanced its development via NBD.

In 2022, Nostr got the attention of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who promptly donated 14 bitcoin (about $245,000 at the time) directly to Fiatjaf himself. In May 2023, Dorsey made a heftier $10 million donation to OpenSats, a non-profit organization for free and open-source Bitcoin projects. Half of the donation to OpenSats ($5 million) was specifically earmarked for further Nostr development.

The Nostr protocol’s user base has swelled, and now Fiatjaf and Zebedee have collaborated to create a Nostr-powered social media layer that will be integrated into Zebedee’s marquee app at a future date, with a waitlist for early access now available for sign-up.

“There are a bunch of clients,” or apps running the Nostr protocol, said Fiatjaf in an interview with CoinDesk. “The Zebedee social app is another one of those clients, but one that is very tightly coupled with the Zebedee app.”

Zebedee’s Bitcoin-focused app, which already boasts millions of users according to the company’s website, will let those users opt into the Nostr-based social media component, allowing them to communicate with millions of other Nostr users on different apps like Damus which debuted on Apple's App Store in February 2023.

“Each user already has a name, profile, and profile picture,” Fiatjaf explained. “For people that opt in, we just turn them into a Nostr identity and they can interact with the broader Nostr ecosystem.”


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Frederick  Munawa

Frederick Munawa was a Technology Reporter for Coindesk. He covered blockchain protocols with a specific focus on bitcoin and bitcoin-adjacent networks.