Updated: Oct 17
Nostr is revolutionising Bitcoin adoption, enforcing human rights, and enhancing user experience. It also promises to attract more female founders to the Bitcoin ecosystem than ever before.
Nostr—short for Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays—is an open-source protocol that aims to restore the internet and social media to their original decentralised vision. Although not a Bitcoin technology per se, Nostr resonates with Bitcoin's ethos, inviting anyone to join, participate, and build in an open, interoperable ecosystem. Participants own their social graph directly and have the ability to maintain and port those connections across any supporting client (user interface).
At the time of writing, Nostr boasts approximately 23 million registered participants, based on Public Key addresses. Companies such as Zebedee and Thndr have integrated with the platform, with Zebedee becoming a Nostr client.
So, why is Nostr significant for female entrepreneurs? Studies referenced on NIH's website reveal substantial gender differences in vocational interests. Men typically prefer to work with 'things,' whereas women gravitate towards people-centred professions. A 2022 study titled "Are Gender Differences in Vocational Interests Universal?" corroborates this, detailing that such differences heavily influence the types of businesses women often establish, usually those with a strong social and societal component.
Historically, the Bitcoin ecosystem has been heavily weighted towards financial services, such as exchanges and wallet providers and technology focused products. However, Nostr's emergence, along with the facilitation of micropayments through the Lightning Network, pivots this focus toward social engagement. This transition unlocks an abundance of opportunities for businesses that cater to 'people' rather than 'things,' spanning content platforms, social communities, professional services, educational resources, and eCommerce.
One of Nostr's most compelling advantages is the ability to retain and seamlessly move your audience across platforms, liberating you from the restrictions and unpredictability of centralised Web 2.0 services such as YouTube. Decentralised platforms like Nostr provide a much-needed alternative to the increasing censorship and arbitrary de-monetisation on mainstream social media platforms. The recent deplatforming of Russell Brand, based on unverified allegations of sexual misconduct, highlights the financial vulnerabilities content creators face when subjected to trial by media and government initiated de-monetisation and censorship requests. As this censorship climate escalates on mainstream social media, decentralised platforms like Nostr offer a refreshing alternative for de-risking your business.
While it might appear risky to transition away from a closed ecosystem where you control your user base, doing so can actually enhance your ability to retain and expand your community and services. Further, with the Lightning Network now allowing content providers to monetise their audiences directly, safeguarding your interactions has become more crucial than ever.
From a user-standpoint the dismantling of walled gardens is also likely to spur improvements in user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX), pushing platforms to innovate in these areas rather than relying on their captive networks.
Furthermore, this transition diminishes platforms' capacity for data mining and algorithmic manipulation of user interactions. Such algorithms often deter many women from participating on social media due to the ensuing toxic environment. Nostr tackles this concern by allowing users to keep control of their networks and choose a client that minimises these algorithm-induced toxic interactions.
In a recent Bitcoin Magazine article, financial analyst Lyn Alden was quoted as saying "Nostr is important because, in a world where half of the world population lives under authoritarianism, the ability to transmit unrestricted speech is important. We might not all want to participate in online forums with unrestricted speech, but it's important that such an option exists".
As a female entrepreneur, I see powerful synergy between Nostr's functionalities and Bitcoin's core principles—human rights, resilience through decentralisation, and genuine human connections. From a business standpoint, incorporating the Nostr protocol into your technology stack is sensible, both from a risk-mitigation standpoint and in order to capture the commercial opportunities that the protocol presents.
Are you ready to join? If yes, your journey starts here.