EPNS Deep Dive - Partnering with EPNS will help LI.FI build the ultimate cross-chain UX.

By LI.FI | LiFi | 10 Mar 2022


What Is Ethereum Push Notifications System?

Ethereum Push Notifications System (EPNS) is a web3 application enabling users to receive notifications from decentralized and centralized carriers. Essentially, EPNS allows protocols, users, and dApps to create notification channels for web3-native information.

EPNS changes the paradigm of web3 communication by allowing crypto services to send push notifications to users regarding transaction completion/failures, account information, product drops, gas fee warnings, and more. Furthermore, crypto users can create a customized web3 experience by subscribing to a unique selection of channels that will send them personalized information regarding on-chain events and other crypto news.

Why Is Ethereum Push Notifications System Important?

In its current state, the web3 ecosystem is heavily reliant on web2 platforms to distribute information. Web3 communities and trading alpha are found on Twitter. NFT whitelists are housed on Discord. Protocol updates are released via Medium. Developer support is available on Telegram. Etcetera, etcetera.

Furthermore, web3 applications are not built in a pro-user manner — meaning web3 applications require users to make a transaction and then check back later to view the results of those actions. This runs contradictory to how web2 and web1 platforms work, where every email, text, Instagram like, Twitter retweet, or Candy Crush reminder is explicitly sent out via a push notification to a user’s mobile device.

This is a significant pain point for web3 applications and can lead to a poor user experience. For example, without push notifications, blockchain domains can expire without protocols (like Ethereum Name Service) notifying the owner. Short or long positions on DeFi lending protocols (like Compound) can get liquidated before an owner is even aware they need to top up their account. Most seriously, a web3 dApp could find a significant bug or begin to experience a large-scale hack and have no way to directly contact its users with instructions on how to mitigate the attack…all because no web3 native channel exists to disseminate such information.

EPNS is the solution to this pain point. It is the channel where web3 applications, be it dApp, blockchain network, or centralized company, can directly communicate with their users via push notifications curated at the user’s discretion.

How Does EPNS Work?

EPNS facilitates web3 push notifications in a decentralized manner, without relying upon a single platform or third-party intermediary to host, send, or store its data. EPNS is built on top of Ethereum and is a decentralized middleware layer between dApps, smart contracts, or traditional services to users. Each notification transmitted from a service (any dApp/smart-contract/centralized service that wants to send a message) is sent as a JSON payload or data packet. This allows notifications to be transformed into multiple types of messages, including images, live videos, or calls to action.

EPNS stores each notification on a decentralized storage system called Interplanetary File Storage (IPFS). Each notification can be stored in an encrypted or basic manner, depending on the type of information embedded in the notification (for example, a notification telling a specific user to add collateral on Aave before being liquidated might be encrypted so that such personal information is not stored in a publicly available area). EPNS went LIVE on mainnet in January 2022, allowing services and users to enjoy a gasless experience. Going forward, EPNS has plans to go multi-chain including EVM and non-EVM compatible chains.

Source: EPNS Whitepaper

The EPNS platform consists of services, channels, and subscribers.

  • Services include smart contracts, dApps, and centralized services that send notifications.
  • To send out notifications, services set up a channel, where notifications are distributed when certain events occur, or parameters are met.
  • Subscribers are the users who sign up for notifications from channels.

To reduce spam, EPNS has set up a system to incentivize good behavior from channels. Each channel begins its existence with a spam score of .5 and is then adjusted towards 0 (a good actor) or 1 (bad actor) depending on a multitude of factors, including notification open rate and number of messages sent compared to the average. If/when a spam score of .8 is reached, EPNS begins to throttle, or limit, the number of notifications a channel can send to users.

In v0 of EPNS, services had to deposit 50 DAI into a common staking pool to create a channel. From there, all funds within the common staking pool are staked at AAVE to earn interest. Any value accrued to the staking pool was distributed to subscribers of channels — with early subscribers earning a heavier weighting of token incentives.

In its current iteration, EPNS has pivoted to offering a gasless experience for users and services, which will help the protocol go multi-chain. EPNS is designing more reward streams for users to match or surpass the original plans from v0, as exemplified by their “Gasless March” campaign.

As of now, quite a few big-time crypto services host a channel on EPNS, including CoinDesk, Ethereum Name Service, Snapshot, MakerDAO, Bancor, dYdX, and, now, LI.FI.

EPNS notifications are pushed out in three ways:

  • EPNS browser extension → allows users to check and receive notifications on a desktop or laptop
  • EPNS App (iOS and Android) → allows users to check and receive notifications on a mobile device
  • EPNS WebApp → allows users to check and receive notifications on the EPNS website (authors note: this feels like checking email, whereas the extension + app feels more like push notifications)

Where Does $PUSH Fit In?

EPNS is governed by $PUSH, a digital utility token designed to grant holders two primary benefits: governance rights and reward accrual.

  1. Governance Rights → $PUSH holders automatically gain voting rights for the core functionalities of EPNS. This includes decision power regarding staking structure, rewards distribution, and the fees charged per notification.
  2. Reward Accrual: $PUSH holders receive 70% of the micro-fees collected in DAI or ETH — which are paid by services in a per-notification or yearly subscription model to use EPNS.

The supply of $PUSH is capped at 100,000,000 tokens. 53% of tokens are reserved for community allocation, 24% went to early investors and advisors, 16% are allocated to the founders and team, and 7% of $PUSH is set aside for the EPNS Foundation.

Source: EPNS' Medium page

Why Is the LI.FI x EPNS Partnership a No-Brainer?

Creating a superb cross-chain user experience is the foundational premise of LI.FI.

Our product is simple: we are a cross-chain bridge and DEX aggregation facilitating any-2-any swaps and have built a slew of cross-chain tools via an API, widget, and SDK that enables dApps to allow users to buy, swap, or deposit any asset from any chain within their platform.

In essence, all bridges and DEXs are aggregated into a one-click user interface.

A LI.FI x EPNS partnership is a no-brainer because it will be a user-experience improvement. While LI.FI abstracts away the complexity of bridging assets across chains; it does not abstract away the frustration that comes with waiting for cross-chain transaction confirmations. Via EPNS, LI.FI users will be able to directly receive push notifications about the status of their transactions without having to wait by the computer/mobile device or triple-check a block explorer every 30 seconds.

Users of LI.FI will now have a direct line of information about the status of bridge transactions, thanks to EPNS. Furthermore, LI.FI users will receive the most up-to-date information on the security of bridges/chains, as LI.FI can use its EPNS channel to quickly notify users about chain security, such as hacks, bugs, or congestion problems.

Conclusion

LI.FI is built on the premise that the future is multi-chain, and we are striving to become THE solution for cross-chain bridging. To do so, partnering with forward-looking, decentralized, and robust protocols is a must… so, obviously, we’re excited to have EPNS on our side. LI.FI is thrilled to partner with EPNS and, therefore, significantly improve the user experience for anyone bridging assets through our platform. We strongly believe that EPNS’s ability to facilitate web3 native notifications will be a gamechanger for the web3 ecosystem.

We’ve partnered up with the brightest minds and aim to build the best abstraction and aggregation solution available on the market. If you’re a blockchain network, bridge builder, wallet, or dApp developer, come talk to us and let’s work together!

To learn more about EPNS, check out their:

About EPNS

EPNS is building the world’s first open communication layer for the Web3 ecosystem, first for Ethereum and then for L2s and other blockchains. The protocol enables any smart contracts, dApps, or traditional servers to send notifications tied to wallet addresses of a user in a platform-agnostic fashion (i.e., notifications can be integrated and shown on any crypto wallet, mobile app, extension, or dApp).

Stay in touch with EPNS! Website, Twitter, Telegram, Medium, Whitepaper, Litepaper

Get started With LI.FI Today:

For more information about the LI.FI protocol,

or try our any-2-any swaps NOW at li.finance

How do you rate this article?


10

0

LI.FI
LI.FI

The ultimate cross-chain liquidity aggregator, aggregating cross-chain liquidity networks to DEXs, calculating you the best cross-chain swaps. The future is cross-chain and we make sure you don't have to care. #DeFi


LiFi
LiFi

The ultimate cross-chain liquidity aggregator, aggregating cross-chain liquidity networks to DEXs, calculating you the best cross-chain swaps. The future is cross-chain and we make sure you don't have to care. #DeFi

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.