Who said that Ethereum is only for Decentralized Finance (or DeFi for short) and primate non-fungible tokens (or NFTs)?
In an attempt to explain use cases for decentralized technology beyond common examples, the team at Blockscan, who created the blockchain explorer Etherscan, has released the beta version of its Blockscan Chat.
According to the website’s homepage, “Blockscan Chat is a messaging platform for users to simply and instantly send messages to each other, from wallet to wallet.”
To use it, you need to connect to an Ethereum wallet, such as MetaMask. Recipients of the message with an Ethereum address receive a notification via Block Explorer (although the message will not be public in Block Explorer).
Some people are already informally referring to the tool as “Ethereum Instant Messenger”, in a kind of reference to the old AOL Instant Messenger.
Exactly why would you want to leverage the Ethereum blockchain to send messages instead of using your cell phone or countless other chat apps available?
The answer may be the ability to retain control of a user’s data, utilize censorship-resistant platforms, or communicate without the fear of being watched.
However, this is not the case. The service runs on Etherscan’s servers and messages are not stored on a blockchain, according to the app. Basically, it doesn’t have the benefits of decentralization.
The terms of service, which may seem familiar to those who lead with messaging and centralized social media platforms, state that all of this can go away: “Should a Force Majeure Event occur, breach of these Terms or any other event that would subject the provision of the Services that are commercially inappropriate for the Company, we may, in our sole discretion and without liability to you, suspend your access to all or part of our Services.”
That said, Blockscan has a very good track record in the industry of creating tools that anyone can use. And excited Ethereum users are already talking about potential use cases.
For example, wallet-to-wallet messages will harm NFT markets by allowing bidders to send a direct message to asset owners.
As highlighted by Ryan Sean Adams of Bankless, you can even communicate with hackers, which will be useful in cases where you are trying to trade the return of funds.
*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co.