Subscriptions, long a popular business model in the traditional web and media sectors, are coming to crypto.
Mirror, the web3 publishing platform, launched subscriptions on July 26. This means users can now subscribe to a Mirror publication with their crypto wallet, and forward posts to their email address.
Alex Atallah, the co-founder of NFT marketplace OpenSea who is stepping down from the company, was happy with the development. “Great to have newsletter subscribers center on wallet addresses rather than accounts,” he tweeted. “Reinforces them as the first cross-platform unit of identity for people on the Internet.”
Atallah expanded on his thoughts about wallets’ use as digital identities. “It’s a way of identifying a user on the internet that’s public by nature and works across platforms,” he told The Defiant. “Web2 has email addresses, which aren’t always something you want to make public, and are also partly bound to your email host.”
Atallah gave the example of Hotmail email addresses which have essentially become defunct. The question, of course, is whether public crypto addresses will prove more durable.
The idea that users and their crypto wallets are at the center of web3, rather than applications and the usual mess of usernames and passwords, has long been a tenet of the blockchain space.
More to the point, actions on the blockchain are public. A blockchain-based subscription allows anyone, including the writer to whose content people are subscribing, to interact with subscribers.
Some example use cases Mirror gave were to push governance proposals to subscribers, whitelist subscribers for NFT drops, or visualizing subscriptions through analytics tool, Dune Analytics.
Web3 Social Tools
Other moves have been made to communicate by way of crypto addresses. The Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS), launched in January, allows projects to push updates through mobile apps as well as a browser extension.
Etherscan also launched a chat function that same month which allows users to message any Ethereum address.
So far, the social aspect of web3 has largely been confined to web2 social media like Twitter and Discord. With developments like Mirror’s subscriptions, as well as EPNS’ and Etherscan’s, a more crypto-native model may be emerging.