Oxen is a privacy-oriented platform based on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network. It has also developed a secure and anonymous session messaging platform.
The company’s chief technical officer, Kee Jefferys, spoke to Cointelegraph about the platform, its technology, and the importance of privacy and data protection for end users.
1. Hello! Tell us about Oxen and Session.
OXEN is a private, pluggable cryptocurrency. The Oxen (OXEN) token has brought many innovations to the CryptoNote (CN) space, including instant transactions and a large-scale PoS system. The real magic, however, is the service node network. It supports a whole range of decentralized data protection applications – all with incentives from OXEN.
So far is our shining star session.
Session is an encrypted messenger that takes an uncompromising stance to protect users’ privacy. No phone number, email address, or other identifying information is required to register for a session. Messenger enables anyone to benefit from the best parts of the blockchain without having to run a node, hold cryptocurrencies, or even familiarize themselves with a blockchain. As a result, it went mainstream and Session now has over 200,000 active users. The app is available free of charge for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Linux.
2. What’s wrong with messaging giants like Messenger and WhatsApp?
Messenger and WhatsApp are both owned by Facebook, a company known for aggregating user data in order to sell it on to advertising agencies at a profit at the expense of end-user privacy.
Here’s what we know about Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp:
- Both belong to Facebook
- They are closed source
- You have “end-to-end encryption”
- Your servers are centralized
- They do not offer any metadata protection
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the most popular messaging apps in the world, which technically means that encrypted messaging apps are the most common form of communication. However, there is uncertainty about WhatsApp’s implementation of end-to-end encryption as its closed source code makes it impossible to verify the quality of its encryption.
The centralized servers used by WhatsApp also make them a major point of failure. Applications such as sessions that are built on a decentralized network can be more resistant to attacks and have less downtime.
3. How does Session want to lead in this competitive environment?
The main focus of the session is on reaching out to journalists, activists and NGOs to test the app and provide feedback.
The cryptographic platform is now used by more than 200,000 people in over 200 countries from Boston to Baghdad. Activists, journalists and human rights defenders rely on Sessions to communicate safely and effectively and to continue their important work. Users can chat with their friends and family without worrying about whether their chats are safe or not.
4. Why is anonymity so important when writing?
Anonymity is a right to privacy, and privacy, according to the United Nations, is a human right that everyone should enjoy – see Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
All over the world, people are persecuted for their opinions, beliefs, and conversations. And even if it’s not your job, anyone who posts on social media today could be a whistleblower, activist, or revolutionary. That makes a lot of people targets and makes anonymity a big deal for everyone on the internet.
5. How many people are currently using Session?
According to the latest estimates, the session was downloaded more than 500,000 times and now has over 200,000 monthly active users. Due to the decentralized nature of Session, we cannot see the exact number of our users. Apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have access to more precise information about user numbers and activities.
6. Which chargeable premium functions does Session offer?
We firmly believe that the app’s core functionality – a heavy duty private messenger – will remain free. Secure messaging is a huge challenge, and the monetization features we’ve added will improve the app’s user experience rather than limit it with a fee wall.
However, some of the paid features Sessions might offer in the future are:
- Oxen Name Service Username Permanent
- Increase the size of the closed group
- Increase the size of the transfer file
- Group call
- Make it easy to set up open groups
- Register and manage multiple accounts
- Customer stickers and emoji sets
- Manual region selection for nodes in the onion requirement path
- Verified account badge
- Encrypted account backup storage
All of Session’s decentralized core components are free of charge. Some additional features and services that would consume OPTF resources to provide or add additional load to the Oxen network will be part of Session’s premium features.
Session’s monetization strategy includes premium features that allow OXEN to be redeemed and burned in the open market, adding to the deflationary pressure on the OXEN cryptocurrency.
7. Is it possible to migrate to Session from other platforms?
Community groups from other apps can easily switch from centralized Telegram to decentralized sessions. However, there is no way to transfer users directly from Telegram to session.
The platform’s open groups allow real-time group chats with an unlimited number of users, while a closed group feature, where users can chat with up to 100 people with action, protects the same metadata as session live chats.
8. What are the plans for the session for the next 12 months?
Our main goal for the next 12 months is to increase the number of users and improve the monetization model. We plan to add user generated sticker packs, increase file size limits, wipe devices remotely, edit messages locally, and much more.
The biggest future upgrade is the Lokinet integration which, unlike Apple / Google, offers lower communication latency and better push notifications, as well as routed voice and video calls.
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